Voncille Martin & Mobility Assist Dog Doc
Voncille Martin of Rochester, Minn. would like Can Do Canines to know that, “Without your care and your time and your desire to help someone else, I would be in an assisted living facility.”
Voncille shared her life with Mobility Assist Dog Bauer for 11 years. Bauer made independent living possible for Voncille. She struggles with multiple mobility limitations such as severe vestibular imbalance, fibromyalgia and neuropathy of the hands. Additionally, Bauer provided the support and security Voncille needed to cope with other health issues such as obstructive sleep apnea, asthma, and primary immune deficiency.
As all dog owners know, the single most heartbreaking aspect of sharing your life with a dog is when you have to say goodbye. So when Bauer passed away in December 2015 Voncille immediately knew she needed to contact Can Do Canines for a successor dog. In her application she wrote, “The time I spent with my previous assistance dog, Bauer, renewed my desire to live and helped establish my independence and confidence in myself.”
Voncille was ultimately matched with Mobility Assist Dog Doc, a two and a half year old golden retriever mix. Aptly named, Doc is steadfast and focused on making sure Voncille is always cared for and never leaves her side.
“On the first day we met we just fell in love. He has been with me ever since,” Voncille says.
Doc is trained to retrieve items for Voncille on command as well as items she drops due to the neuropathy in her hands. Doc also assists Voncille with her balance issues by bracing her when she gets out of bed, up and down stairs and when she needs to bend down. Doc is quite the gentlemen as he just loves to help open and close doors for Voncille—a little southern hospitality the Mississippi native really appreciates! Doc even does chores around the house by pulling the laundry basket and helping sort the laundry.
When asked about how Doc has impacted her life Voncille says, “he has been not only a love, but he has anticipated some of the needs I have had.” For instance, one day when she was taking a shower, Voncille dropped her face-wash. Without waiting for a command Doc slid the shower door open, looked at Voncille then jumped in and retrieved the face-wash from the shower floor. He politely handed it to Voncille and then hopped right out.
Voncille says that Doc was well worth the wait and doesn’t just provide mobility assistance, but independence as well. To the volunteers and supports that make Can Do Canines a reality, Voncille would like to say:
“Your care and your desire to help others unselfishly by donating your money, your time, your material, your equipment is a blessing and is something that until you have a disability or have had a friend who has disabilities, you really don’t encompass how much of a difference it makes. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser—The Inmate Handlers at the Federal Prison Camp at Duluth
Special Thanks—Lisa & Mike Hathy; Maureen La Bore
Dog Source—Jenne Black