Supporting Jenna: A Journey of Resilience and Community

At Big Barker, we believe every dog deserves comfort, especially those like Jenna, who are on a special journey to become service dogs. Recently, we had the privilege of donating one of our orthopedic beds to Jenna, a 14-month-old Labrador Retriever in training to become a service dog. Her story, filled with resilience and community support, exemplifies the remarkable bond between humans and their animal companions.

Jenna, the Patriot Labrador

Jenna's journey began with a noble purpose. Bred and donated to a disabled veteran by Patriot Labradors, Jenna embarked on a path to serve those who have served their country. Her owners, Jackie DeVries and Ken Sacelaris, welcomed her into their home at 8 weeks old, with the intention of training her to be a service dog for Ken, a Vietnam War veteran.

Unexpected Challenges

However, Jenna’s journey faced an unexpected challenge when she suffered a freak accident. She was impaled by a branch 16 inches into her abdomen. Despite this setback, Jenna’s resilience shone through as she embarked on her journey of rehabilitation. Juli Rasure, the K9 Director & Head Trainer at the Hero Academy, swiftly stepped in to provide virtual support for Jenna’s training. Juli’s dedication to helping dogs like Jenna reach their full potential is evident in her tireless efforts to assist with training and rehabilitation.

Jenna’s Strength in Rehabilitation

Jenna's rehabilitation has not been without its challenges. Physical discomfort, startle responses to sounds, and reluctance to enter the car are among the obstacles she faces. However, with the support of Juli and her owners, Jenna is making remarkable progress. From resolving physical issues with epsom salt compresses to exploring alternative therapies like LENS neurofeedback, Jenna's holistic approach to healing is a testament to the dedication of her caregivers.

Jenna’s Strong Community

The importance of community support in Jenna's journey cannot be overstated. Service dog organizations like the Hero Academy rely on the generosity of individuals and companies like Big Barker to provide essential resources for training and care. Financial support, volunteer engagement, in-kind donations, and corporate partnerships all play a vital role in ensuring the success of these organizations.

Juli and Her Unwavering Love for Jenna

As Juli reflects on Jenna's situation, she acknowledges the challenges of training dogs with injuries. From broken bones to cuts and lameness, each dog presents unique obstacles that require creative solutions. Despite the challenges, Juli remains committed to helping dogs like Jenna overcome their setbacks and achieve their full potential as service animals.

Jenna's Progress Update

In a heartwarming update on Jenna's progress, her owners express gratitude for the support she has received. Despite lingering effects from her accident, Jenna is making strides in her training and healing. Her owners' holistic approach to her care, coupled with the comfort of her Big Barker bed, reflects their unwavering dedication to her well-being.

A Testament to Resilience and Support

Jenna's journey is a testament to the resilience of service dogs and the power of community support. As she continues on her path to becoming a service dog, we at Big Barker are honored to play a small role in supporting her journey. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Juli, Jackie, Ken, and everyone involved in Jenna's care for their dedication to her success.

Honoring Jenna and Service Dogs Everywhere

At Big Barker, we believe in the power of a good night's sleep for every dog, especially those like Jenna who work tirelessly to serve others. We salute Jenna and all the service dogs who enrich our lives with their unwavering loyalty and dedication.