This is Nala’s Therapy Dog Wall of Fame story told by her human Jonathan Jenkins.

Nala was found wandering the streets of Gary, IN when she was maybe 6 months old. A shelter there was going to put her down because she was a pit mix and there are just too many of them out there. My friend Augusta who created and runs Augies Doggies rescued her from the shelter. Augie’s Doggies Rescue is a non-profit dog rescue organization that is dedicated to the mission of rescuing, rehabilitating, and re- homing dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. I was looking for a special needs pit or pit mix who could get along with my Old English Bulldogge as well as work with me with both my Special Olympics volunteer work and my training work for a program called Pets for Life at HSUS.

 

Scenic

SelfHelpHome2

Nala ended up being the perfect fit for all of those opportunities. I took her in when she was maybe 9 months old. We trained for maybe 2 months and then she started helping me at both the SO events and the Pets for Life training events. That was early in her career. After a couple years we moved on to the Pet Therapy and dog rehabilitation work.

SelfHelpHome5

 

Nala and I still do SO events maybe every other month and plan on getting more involved again this summer.

MuttStrut2013

Outside of that Nala loves off-leash hiking in the woods, hot summer days spent at the Foster Ave dog beach, visiting pet stores, playing with her brother Brando, continuing to do any and all work I throw her way, and most of all sleeping in the sun.

DogBeach2

On a side note you may see an e-collar on Nala in some of these pictures. This is a vibrating e-collar. Nala knows how to come, sit, and lay down based on the vibration. She also of course knows hand commands.

SelfHelpHome7

Currently Nala does therapy work for Chicago Cares. She visits both the Covenant Home  which is an assisted living facility in Chicago and the Self Help Home which is a senior living facility in Chicago. The Self Help Home is special because there it is a large amount of Holocaust survivors living there. Nala also helps me train, socialize, and rehabilitate foster dogs for multiple animal care & control, anti-cruelty, and boarding/training facilities in the Chicagoland area.

SelfHelpHome1

 

Nala’s confident, patient, calm, and friendly disposition make her perfect for this. Many of the dogs she works with are either scared, lack confidence, are not socialized, mistreated, or show signs of aggression.

SelfHelpHome6

Nala does a great job of just dealing with their issues and not responding to them while I actually work with the dogs to build up there confidence and show them how to be more calm and stable dogs. I would say about 90% of the dogs she has worked with end up becoming her friend and playing off-leash with her within 2 weeks.

NalaandPayton

NalaandRosie2-001

NalaandJunebug1

Cool Rocker Dog Nala

Cool-001

Note from Christina Lee – Thanks Jonathan for giving Nala the time, love, training, and attention to be the best dog she can be but also to have her out there in the world being an ambassador for deaf dogs everywhere and proving how much deaf Therapy Dogs Rock!

Christina Lee – Deaf Dogs Rock

212 Shares