Simon is a tall, lanky, young red Doberman with gentle eyes and uncut ears. In 2007, he was photographed with Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan to promote our fall events. Despite Simon's obvious star qualities, his beginnings are much humbler.
He was surrendered to Home for Life after his owners brought him to a veterinarian to be euthanized. They had been leaving Simon in a crate all day and became enraged when, upon returning, the crate was soiled. Simon was only several months old at the time, and he did not do this out disobedience. He was born with a urinary system deformity that makes it difficult for him to hold his urine for that many hours. The vet persuaded the owners to surrender Simon and then asked Home for Life to help.
Here at the sanctuary, this gentle yet energetic young dog has blossomed into a hero. Simon's new career began in our Renaissance Program, where he developed a strong bond with his student trainer, Ron. Simon loved going to class and running with Ron. Their work together resulted in Simon's certification as a therapy dog. As a certified therapy dog, Simon now is a regular participant in the Sit*Stay*Heal program, where he visits veterans who are receiving treatment in the Polytrauma Unit of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center. The soldiers enjoy meeting Simon and he is always ready to extend a helping paw of support and camaraderie. Several soldiers remember Simon and ask to see him when he returns. One patient, who had been non-verbal as a result of a head injury, finally spoke a few words upon meeting Simon, and according to the VA staff, he continues to ask for Simon between visits. Simon's good work even landed him a spot in the VA Medical Center's employee newsletter.
It's hard to believe that a dog who simply needs more bathroom breaks than other dogs was cast aside and almost euthanized. The joy that Simon has brought to others far outweighs any "inconvenience" his physical defect might impose on his human caretakers. At Home for Life, we are not inconvenienced by Simon at all. Rather, we are honored to have helped this amazing dog reach his potential.
If you would like to sponsor Simon, please click here.