Ruby in her PAT gear credit Megan Taylor

** This post has been updated 1/27/2015

You may remember one of our favourite people Megan Taylor from the UK.  She faces challenges every day that most of us don’t.  She also has a heart of gold and makes it her ongoing mission in life to make other people’s lives just a bit better.  Well, everyone’s life better, including animals, people, pretty much the world.  And, she likes to have fun while doing it.  One of my favourite traits that Megan inspires me with is how she doesn’t judge, she just helps.  Because that’s what she does. A little while ago, Megan shared this story with some of her friends and she has kindly allowed me to repeat it here.

Last week when I was walking my dog I came across a man who kept beating his dog every time she pulled on the leash, making her pull even more to try and get away. He noticed the horrified expression on my face and asked how I get my dog to walk beside me instead of pulling. I told him that I am an animal behaviourist and that if he is prepared to listen I am prepared to teach him.

There is no need to beat or shout at your dog or use choke chains and shock collars, the key is love and a whole lot of patience. I told him about a few different methods he could try and he thanked me. All week I have been catching glimpses of him out my window using the methods I taught and today when I saw him, the dog was walking perfectly!

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Three years of attempting to train using violence failed, but one week of love succeeded. My first impression of him was that he was a horrible animal beater but it turns out it was down to simply not knowing any better. When I finish university I would love to set up a charity offering free training classes to those who cannot afford them.

Megan is also taking on yet another challenge with her best four legged friend Ruby who is a Pets As Therapy dog.  Megan trained Ruby herself and after Ruby’s certification they have been a kindness, happiness spreading duo.  As usual, Megan isn’t stopping there.  Ruby and Megan are climbing a mountain to raise funds for the PAT organization so they can make a positive difference in even more lives.  If you would like to support Megan, just click right here!

You can find out more about Megan and Ruby, what they are doing and why they are climbing by following the same link (or reading the updated information at the bottom of this blog).

So you see?  You can teach old dogs new tricks, humans too for the right matter.  Pretty sure that the owner and the dog are both happy they ran into Ruby and Megan that day.  I know Megan and Ruby are.  Me too, because it gave us another reason to feel like we’re rising like air.  And that’s pretty fantastic on a Monday morning.

** here is some more information about Megan and Ruby that you might find interesting. updated 1/27/2015

My name is Megan and I am 18. Most of you will know me by now and have been so supportive, I cannot thank you enough for your kindness! For those of you who don’t, I would like to share my story in the hope that you will find the courage to face your own demons, and to share with you all my latest challenge!

I have a medical condition that causes me to faint/fit/collapse/black out a lot (EVERY DAY). Because of this I fractured my skull and damaged my hearing, I suffer with balance problems and dizziness too. This all started when I was 15 and people instantly started treating me differently, doubting my abilities and feeling sorry for me. But in my opinion, a problem is only as big as you allow it to be!

I wanted to prove to myself and the world that disability is never a reason to give up. Sure, it makes things a lot harder, but that just means I have to fight harder too. Since fracturing my skull I have completed a half marathon, swam 8 kilometers, and climbed the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in just 24 hours. By doing this I have raised just over £3,000 for various charities.

I am currently completing my degree in Animal Behavior & Welfare, studying full time as well as holding down a part time job, running my own small business, and volunteering as a Cub Scout Leader and Pets As Therapy (PAT) visiting volunteer. Helping others allows me to overcome my condition, it reminds me to be grateful for everything I have and make the most of opportunities.

Every week I visit two nursing homes with my PAT dog, Ruby. She is loved by all who meet her and makes a big difference to their lives. People tell me that she is their best friend, their reason to smile. For many, we are the only ones who visit, and it means the world to them. PAT Dogs and cats visit people in nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, special needs schools and many other establishments.

Ruby helps me train for my fundraising challenges by keeping me fit and guiding me when I am too dizzy to see. This time she gets to come along for the whole ride and not just the training. In April we will be climbing Mount Snowdon together, this will be her first ever mountain climb! Please dig deep and support my lovely PAT dog who gives so much to so many and has helped me through the darkest of days. Remember, life is what you make of it! Thank you.

©2015 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

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