A dog named Stewart

If you look at this old boy all you see is a dog, just your average dog named Stewart. However he’s not just a dog he’s an idol to a lot of people that know him. So let’s take a closer look so you can know just how special Stewart really is.

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His Momma (DeDe) was involved in an accident on July 20, 1983. She was riding a bike and was struck by a landscaping truck. The accident left her paralyzed from the chest down. At the time she was married and her son David was 6 years old and her daughter  Julie was 4. In 2008 Stewart came to her as a service dog. He helps her with many tasks such as opening the doors, picking up the telephone, retrieving items that she would drop on the floor, amongst other things. Stewart was almost two years old when he came to her and they bonded immediately.

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“Stewart came from a wonderful organization called PAWS With A Cause®.  PAWS® enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams. There was no charge to me from Stewart as PAWS® raises donations. At the time I reconsidered Stewart the cost to raise a service dog was $18,000. Today the cost is $30,000

Stewart was born in Wayland Michigan. He was fostered by Mary and Ken Blaine for 14 months, where he learned socialization skills and basic commands.

Stewart then went onto “college” at PAWS®, where he was trained to take care of my needs. I then had a local trainer, Ron Donovan, come to my home to teach Stewart and me to work together.”

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In the life of Stewart

Stewart sleeps at night beside his Mom either in her bed or in his Serta bed at the end of her bed (spoiled much ha ha). Usually the first thing in the morning, Stewart would “take a break .” He then comes in and eats one cup of dog food. The rest of the day varies. Because he is a service dog, when wearing his vest, he is permitted to go everywhere with his Mom…. shopping, dining, visiting, to the synagogue, etc… But don’t worry  Stewart is not working all the time. His dinner is usually around 5 when he gets another cup of his dog food. Stewart gets mixed snacks during the day, including treats, dog food, carrots and other veggies.

Stewart’s mom isn’t the only one he helped during his life. He has touched many hearts of children. Jamie, a friend of Stewart’s Mom, had taken it upon herself to enroll Bailey (his best friend) and Stewart into East Union Intermediate in Deer Lakes school district. The program was called Tailwaggin tutors. Third graders would read to the dogs to get comfortable with reading aloud. The children were also so excited to read and the “boys” were so excited to listen. It would be for an hour and 15 minutes and each child would get 10 minutes with Stewart or Bailey as they patiently listened. They also teamed up and gave smiles to the children at Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald house. Both Stewart and Bailey were a welcome site to staff and patients and at least for a little their visit brightened everyone’s day.

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Last summer, his Mom noticed Stewart was losing a lot of weight and became really concerned. In August 2015 Stewart was diagnosed with a malignant tumor called a sarcoma…bom (16 of 52)

He was seen by PVSEC, an amazing pet hospital, located outside of Pittsburgh. They have an emergency department and several veterinarian specialists. He had 5 chemo treatments and was discharged with a good prognosis. bom (1 of 52) Two weeks ago in May 2016, he was diagnosed with another malignant tumor… Surgery and/or chemo was no longer an option. He was discharged to spend his remaining days doing all the things he loves best.bom (1 of 52)

Until 2 weeks ago in May 2016, when he was diagnosed with another malignant tumor… There is no further treatment for Stewart and it would just make him suffer.

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So everyone special in Stewart’s life has made it a point to make him feel comfortable and totally loved. The children that he and Bailey tutored all wrote him cards asking him to get better so they can read him more stories. Some children even wrote short stories for Jamie to read to him.bom (38 of 52)

 

{Jamie being pictured , reading the get well cards from the children they helped to succeed with Stewart and her Bailey}

Stewart will spend what little time he has with his mom so she can now take care of him.

{Stewart has passed away on June 20th 2016, thank you for all the prayers and support his family greatly appreciates it}

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“Stewart is so much more than my dog. Stewart is my savior in so many ways. He is my very BEST friend. He can read my moods whether I am happy, excited or sad. He lifts my spirits and soul.”

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So When you see a service dog think of Stewart. Think of how much of a hero they truly are to everyone. ALWAYS ask permission to pet a service dog. Many have to pay direct attention to their humans to sense seizures and many other things to save their lives and when wearing their vests they are on duty. Dogs are truly mankind’s best friend!

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