Good Samaritan Opens Home To Homeless Dog Owners, Service Dog Is 'Hero' To Man With Hearing Condition

This week's dog news stories are about the heart of a Good Samaritan and the unconditional love from a service dog in a "toy" package.

Months ago, the Jones family of seven was evicted from their home. In an effort to help struggling kin, strangers brought them food, water, and other necessities. Still, they remained homeless, according to a Life With Dogs report.

However, when a Missouri City, Texas resident, Kellye LeBoff, saw the family walking in a field, she realized that there would be a problem in re-housing them in suitable conditions. The Jones family is the proud owners of two pit bull terriers. It turned out that the dogs were a limiting factor to those challenged with helping the family find shelter; a number of landlords expressed an unwillingness to house them, even in the short term due to the breed of their dog.

At the time of discovering the Jones family, LeBoff was struggling with bills herself. However, this did not stop her from helping the family in here limited capacity. As the owner of Jurassic Bark Dog Rescue, LeBoff could not turn her attention from the pit bulls; she desperately wanted to find the family and canines a safe place to live.

She eventually offered her residence as temporary housing until the family got on their feet. Brianna Jones expressed her appreciation.

"We will forever be grateful to her because she did not have to stop We all need to have a little more compassion. You don't know when it's going to be your turn."
This is not the first of LeBoff's acts of kindness. LeBoff and her family regularly go out to check on homeless people with pets in the Houston area.

While providing veterinary care to the animals, the LeBoffs also distribute blankets, food, and other provisions to any homeless person they encounter. Incidentally, this is how her Jurassic Bark business began, according to its Facebook page.

Finnegan McNeil, a toy schnauzer, is a hearing alert dog for Steven File, who claims that his canine companion keeps him safe every day and has been doing so since the dog was 2-years-old.

Thanks to McNeil, File has the ability to know when there is a knock at a door, when his phone rings, or even when someone says his name! In short, Finnegan does most of the heavy lifting, but he seems to enjoy every second of it dearly.

The dog's owner spoke to The Dodo about his relationship with the canine.

"Some of the alerts are contextual-based, i.e., sirens when in the home or office are ignored, but not in the car."
File has Meniere's disease. WebMD says the condition "is an inner ear problem that affects your hearing and balance. It normally occurs in only one ear at a time. But over time, it develops in the other ear in up to half of those who have it."

The disease has symptoms that are mild to severe, with the latter causing "attacks" that last for hours to days. File suffers from episodes that involve vertigo, but thanks to Finnegan, File is able to get to a safe place 10 to 30 minutes before the attack.

The training for Finnegan to become a hearing alert dog was rigorous. The dog had to be taught many techniques for alerting File. For example, Finnegan has to alert his dad to certain events by pushing his nose against File's hand, "mouthing," a sort of biting, pawing or motion characterized by moving back and forth from an object.

"Training usually involves about two total years of training, and it is generally held that only about 8 percent of the total canine population can meet the minimum standards of self-discipline, alertness, and eagerness to please," File said.

Finnegan also has a younger brother, Quinnelan, who is being trained to assist him in a similar capacity. Quinnelan, despite being a mere 18 months, is already halfway through his training. The pair recently celebrated Thanksgiving together.

When Finnegan has his service dog harness on, he is like a highly disciplined soldier in a military uniform -- "always awake and paying close attention to noises and sounds," said File.
"But take Finnegan's service dog harness off and he and his brother Quinnelan will play and chase each other for hours on end, just like normal dogs. Overall, Finnegan's demeanor is more that of a laid-back, big dog in a little dog's body!"
What an amazing story, right?

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