Program came to the sanctuary from the Soi Dog Foundation, a rescue based in Phuket, Thailand.
Program is a street dog, who is paraplegic. He was a special favorite of one of Soi Dog's founders, John Dalley. Program is a sleek, all black, with large ears, a corkscrew tail and a ton of energy.
John recognized his special spirit and will to live, but the only option for Program in Thailand was a dog rescue that kept their paralyzed dogs in a sandpit. John told us he just couldn't send Program there and felt he would be better off euthanized than to live his life that way. He made a personal, special plea to Home for Life® on behalf of Program and his best friend Goofy, who was a victim of the dog meat trade and lost use of his legs when he was crushed and his back broken in a cage of one of the dog meat dealers. Goofy also has a distinctive look: he is built like a Corgi with short legs and a long body, but has medium length golden fur with a beautiful fluffy tail and feathering on his ears. Street dogs are always a mix of many different breeds. What they have in common is their intelligence, resilience and love of life. Goofy is quieter and more reserved and is the leader; Program is younger, and more spunky, but always looks to Goofy for direction.
Both dogs came to Home for Life in 2011, travelling together all the way from Bangkok, Thailand to Chicago where two Home for Life® volunteers collaborated to transport them the rest of the way to Star Prairie Wisconsin, where Home for Life is located. The long trip to the United States and to Home for Life® only strengthened their bond, and they remain inseparable to this day.
Program was featured in the recent video produced by Storytellersforgood.com about Home for Life's Peace Creatures® program. Program is testing his wings as a therapy dog, working with kids who have been impacted by domestic violence and are living with their mothers in a battered women's shelter. See Program in action here.
View Video by clicking on the following link: Animal sanctuary promotes kindness
Update: We lost Program in the summer of 2021 due to kidney failure. We had only an estimate as to his true age, as he was found on the streets, injured, in Phuket, Thailand. But he always seemed like a young dog to us with his energy and enthusiasm for the pet therapy work he was involved in through our Peace Creatures® programs and life with the other dogs at the sanctuary.
Despite much supportive care including fluid therapy, medicines to help with the associated anemia and nausea that comes with kidney failure and a special diet, Program did not rebound and refused to eat. To prevent this good dog from experiencing a suffering death, we released Program from his body that just couldn't support his loving and buoyant spirit any longer. Program was such a vibrant part of Home for Life® for many years that his loss left a big hole in our hearts and that of the many locations where he served as a therapy dog. His best friend Goofy, who is now white in the face, also misses Program, with whom he made the long trip from Thailand to our sanctuary.
If you would like to sponsor Goofy, click on one of the links below.