I hate labels

Labels.  They bother me. We are so much more than a label.

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Meet Junior, my partner. Here he is the month we adopted him.

When we first met, he was an 11 month old homeless golden retriever in an animal shelter. He came into my home as a foster dog, waiting for his forever home.

He never left.

Junior is proof of the power of second chances. At almost one year old, Junior was left by his owner at the shelter. My rescue group pulled him from the shelter and I fostered him.

I saw something in the exuberant, red charmer who so readily greeted people with a flashy smile and an eager paw shake. So we began our road to rescuing each other through helping others as a therapy dog team.

We are now both retired  but we worked together for years as a registered Pet Partners therapy dog team and a registered Reading Education Assistance Dog team. Our partnership combined my love for teaching and helping people to read and my passion for working with animals with Junior’s people skills, and charisma. In addition to his therapy and reading work, Junior worked as an Ambassadog for animal rescue. Junior worked the crowd at community events to encourage the adoption of homeless pets . He and I would proudly tell his story of redemption and second chance as a well-loved and busy therapy dog and a “Retriever Reader”.

I am still often asked how I get such a lively golden to model so many of the fashion forward hats and bandanas we feature here and over on The DailyJuniorBlog.

It’s all about negotiation.

Junior is not allowed on any bed in our house except the one he is sitting on in the photo. To this day, if I let him sit on this bed to take his picture, he will wear any outfit I present to him. And he smiles.

Oh, how he loves that bed.

Junior fills many roles in my life; confidant, security patrol, jester, comforter, fitness coach, squirrel cat and possum monitor, social director, alarm clock and nap companion. And yes, he is my boy.

The “Mama’s Boy ” label fit then. The label fits now. But he doesn’t need a label or to wear the bandana.

We both know.

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