Beth Rosenberger and Mobility Assist Dog Loki
As Beth Rosenberger discusses her love for sailing, it may come as a surprise that she’s been battling mobility limitations for much of her life. Born with a tethered spinal cord, the Golden Valley, Minn. resident has spent the majority of her life finding ways to remain independent and active. This has led to Beth not only owning her own boat, but regularly participating in sailboat races.
While Beth has persevered to remain independent, she currently uses a wheelchair as her primary means of mobility. She’s found navigating the world more challenging this way, but true to her nature, she’s been determined to not let it slow her down. This determination has made her realize that even the strongest among us need a little help every now and again.
“I thought about getting an assistance dog for a long time,” Beth says. “For instance, so many times the doors are not automatic, which poses a problem. I was hoping one thing a dog could do was help me with that.”
After learning about Can Do Canines from a Puppy Raiser at her church, she finally made the decision to submit her application. She hoped an assistance dog would not only help with doors, but also help retrieve items that she drops.
“I don’t know if I have dropsy or what, but I drop things a lot,” Beth says. “Having a dog to help me with that as well would be amazing.”
Thank goodness there’s Loki, a two year-old black Labrador retriever! Loki was raised by volunteer Puppy Raisers, Patti and Rick Dougherty. They describe him as a very sweet and good natured dog that loves to retrieve, especially tennis balls! Patti recalls that he was always so excited to see his Can Do Canines vest come out and she knew he’d make a great assistance dog one day.
“Loki is a great dog and we have watched him grow from an independent playful puppy to a mature, hard working adult dog. We know he will make a great assistance dog for somebody as he’s so eager to work,” Beth says.
Beth describes Loki as a calm dog with a marvelous personality that can pick anything up, even paper. Although, Beth admits sometimes the paper doesn’t look the same as it did before Loki retrieved it! Also, just as she hoped, Loki is there to help open doors—a key to helping her live the active life she’s been striving for.
When asked what it’s like to have an assistance dog, Beth says, “Loki has already made a great big change in my life.” It also sounds as though there will be many more adventures in store for Loki as Beth is hopeful that with some additional training he will be able to join her sailing on the open water.
Beth is not only thankful for Loki’s assistance, but also thankful for those intangible benefits that Loki has brought to her life, like the peace of mind and security she feels from just having him near. She would like to thank the Puppy Raisers and training staff for raising such a great dog and the volunteers and donors for making Loki a possibility in her life.
Beth says, “Thank you for making it all possible, it’s just a wonderful, wonderful service.”
Thank you to all those who made this partnership possible:
Puppy Raiser: Patti & Rick Dougherty
Short & Long-term Foster Homes: Sue Klein; The Kohl Family; Darlene Hafner & Tom Cherry; The Larson Family; The Inmate Handlers at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault; Stu & Linda Wicklund