AKC recognizes blind therapy pug with Award for Canine Excellence
Posted: Saturday, August 9, 2014 12:00 am
By SAMANTHA TIPLER H&N Staff Reporter
The American Kennel Club has recognized what many in the Klamath Basin already know. Xander the Wonder Dog is one amazing pug.
This week the AKC announced the five winners of the humane fund Awards for Canine Excellence, or ACE. Xander won the therapy dog category.
“This is outstanding, once in a lifetime,” said Rodney Beedy, who owns Xander with his wife, Marcie. “He’ll never get it ever again.”
Xander is in good company for the recognition. Other categories were companion dog (Boomer, who fought off a bear for his owner), service dog (Gander, the first mixed-breed dog to earn an ACE award), uniformed service K-9 (Bruno, who took a bullet in the line of duty and is now retired) and search and rescue dog (Patella, who led recovery efforts after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines).
In 2012 another Klamath Basin dog, Joy Akita that sniffed out her owner Terry Sharpe’s cancer, won the kennel club’s exemplary companion ACE award.
Rags to riches
Xander’s own story is no less remarkable.
An accident when Xander was young caused him to lose his eyesight and his eyes were removed. He was put up for adoption at the Klamath Animal Shelter, where the Beedies found and adopted him. They immediately saw Xander’s innate ability to give back and to help others and began training him as a therapy dog. Today Xander works with Klamath-Lake CARES and Hands and Words are Not for Hurting. He visits hospitals, nursing homes and schools, and appears at many parades and events in the community.
“It’s almost a rags-to-riches type of thing,” Rodney said.
Xander went from being blind and homeless to helping others and becoming an international celebrity. In 2013 he was named as one of Buzzfeed’s top 31 pugs of the year. The Herald and News published a story about Xander in May 2013, which was picked up by NPR, Ladies Home Journal, the Huffington Post and others.
“He has over 8,500 friends on Facebook. He’s constantly gaining more and more and more,” Rodney said. “He is popular on the Internet and across the world. It’s almost every country in the world has publicized him.”
Since his ACE award was announced, Xander is slated to have a story in the Oregonian and the Pet Partners therapy animal program magazine. The Beedies and Xander will fly to Orlando in December to receive the award. It will be both Marcie’s and Xander’s first time on an airplane.
Xander’s big heart
Even with all the attention, Xander is still a hardworking pug. Last year Marcie, who is diabetic, was in the hospital in January in a diabetic coma. Since she recovered, Rodney and Marcie saw Xander get anxious whenever Marcie’s blood sugar rose. Rodney is training Xander to be a service dog for Marcie, too.
Rodney said Xander’s natural ability to help others always shines through.
Recently at Double-C Dog Training, a young boy was playing with Xander. They played for a time, and when the boy was tired he lay down for a rest on the floor of the training area.
“Xander came up to him, touched him, gave him a kiss and sat down,” Rodney said.
Rodney said it was like Xander was saying “You’re safe. You’re OK. I’ll wait right here until you’re ready to play again.” Xander didn’t pounce on the boy or continue to rough-house.
“Once the boy said “OK, play again,” Xander was ready and up and loving and kissing him again,” Rodney said. “He allowed the child to take the initiative.”
Sometimes when working with adults Xander will get tired after a few hours. But not with children, Rodney said.
“Just to see him work with the kids is just amazing. All this other stuff is icing on the cake,” Rodney said, referring to the publicity and the awards. “Like his work with that one little boy, it was like, wow. This dog was made to do what he’s doing.”
- See more at: http://www.pugfanatic.com/blog/view/meet-xander-the-blind-therapy-pug#sthash.oN6pdhQh.dpuf
This story of a rescue pug from Klamath Falls, Oregon is stealing our hearts! Despite having lost his sight, Xander's smiling face comforts and lifts peoples' spirit thanks to the companionship he offers. The amazing Xander has passed the A.K.C. Canine Good Citizen Test and is a certified Pet Partner's Therapy Dog.
On Xander's Facebook page, his owners Rodney & Marcie Beedy explain that his mission "is to stop violence" but "will comfort the young and old" until then. Because of his charming and loving personality, he often works with victims of child abuse and spousal abuse.
"I began using my other senses, the love in my heart and my many blessings to brighten the days of everyone that I met," Xander writes on his own webpage. "He's amazing in that his blindness does not affect his ability to do his work," Rodney remarked, although the work that Xander accomplishes is pretty amazing in itself.
To the compassionate Pug and his rescuers Rodney & Marcie Beedy, you have won over our hearts. Thanks to the good work that you do! It means more than you'll ever know to those who see his smiling face. And now all we want to do is give Xander a big hug. We feel like he wouldn't mind it either.
If you're touched by Xander's story, help out the Klamath Animal Shelter and donate. Please support your local Animal Rescues as well. Help by donating your time, your home to a pet or donating money to assist with the health and care of our rescue animals.
Watch this interview Xander the blind pug with his owner and meet the cute pug himself. To view click here
Thanks for reading! Pugs and Kisses
All images are copyright their respective owners. We thank our fellow pug lovers out there for the wonderful pictures used in this article!
Post by Ashley Marie
Xander even got into a Hong Kong News paper. You can read and listen in Chineese. 50,000 shares
Blind Pug gets new lease of life bringing joy to sick children and the elderly (and look at the smile it puts on HIS face!)
By SARA MALM
PUBLISHED: 09:03 EST, 2 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:56 EST, 2 February 2014
A blind pug has found a new calling in life after taking up a role as a therapy dog.
Xander from Klamath Falls in Oregon, U.S., went blind in an accident when he was just one year old and was subsequently put up for adoption.
However, volunteers at Klamath Animal Shelter, fell for the pug, and decided to take Xander home with them.
Love is blind: Despite having lost his sight, Xander's smiling face is lighting up the lives of residents in Klamath Falls since becoming a therapy dog
Smug pug: Clearly beaming with pride, Xander shows off his new certificate vest after qualifying as a therapy dog in Oregon, U.S.
Man's best friend: Xander wipes the tears from a little girl's cheeks during one of his therapy dog rounds in Klamath Falls
Marcie and Rodney Beedy say they soon realised their new dog’s ability to boost the spirits of those around him.
The Beedy’s decided to enrol Xander in the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program.
Three weeks later, Xander became a certified Pet Partner's Therapy Dog and now spends his days greeting young and old at the likes of hospitals, nursing homes, animal shelters and schools.
Owner Marcie has to wear a bell around her trouser leg to keep the adorable Xander by her side as he spreads his love – despite not being able to see the people he meets.
Spreading the joy: Proving that a disability is no reason to give up on your dreams, therapy pup Xander leaves a trail of smiles wherever he goes
New job: After taking Xander home, Marcie and Rodney Beedy decided to enrol Xander in the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program
Dapper dog: Xander dressed up in a pug-sized suit, left, and in his threapy dog vest, right
Lovepug: Xander's rounds includes visiting the sick in hospital or lonely elderly people in nursing homes
Puggle cuddle: Xander is in his element as he is being petted by children during one of this therapy rounds
Xander - the peace dog: His Facebook states that his mission in life is to stop violence and that he will continue to comfort those old and young until he can no longer do so
The pug has also started to receive a strong following on the web.
His Facebook page - ‘Meet Xander’ - states that the dog’s mission in life is to stop violence and that he will continue to comfort those old and young until he can no longer do so.
Rodney said: ‘I loved him - just his personality and everything.
‘I was saying I'll take this dog, he's going to make a fantastic therapy dog.
‘A lot of times he'll hear a child crying at an event and he's bolted several times, at least 500ft over to this child to comfort them.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2550425/Blind-pug-Xander-given-new-lease-life-therapy-dog-adoption.html#ixzz2thqXLHza
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For a head injury the eyes were removed, but the volunteers
have adopted and educated and is now a certified pet therapy dog
FULVIO CERUTTI (AGB)
It's small, like all pugs. And I do not see anything, because it is blind from an early age. Yet the dog is able to move Xander problems as big as a mountain.Those blocks that are formed in children, the boulders they carry within women, the giant that has to live with the nightmares those who have suffered abuse and violence.
His story begins in Oregon, United States. Due to a bad head injury, veterinarians removed you are forced to both eyes. At the time the dog was only 10 months and his family decided to leave the shelter volunteers because did not want to keep it.
But just in Klamath Animal Shelter that the dog finds two angels Marcie and Rodney sees the potential in him and, despite his disability, educating adopt it until it becomes a certified pet therapy dog. So if life has reserved a difficult fate, Xander, for two years now, is able to give a smile to children who have been abused and women who have suffered domestic violence.
Xander has become a character on the Internet with a lot of website ( www.meetxander.com ) and Facebook page ( click here ) where "writes" in the first person and tells his story: "Even if I have taken my eyes, I see clearly kindness.Am I the only four-legged member of the Hospital Guilde and are always ready when you call me for the visits! I love spending time with someone who needs companionship and comfort or those who may feel alone. I can help also help children frightened by dogs to overcome their fear, and often accompany the group Hands and Words are Not for Hurting ® in school programs and tours, "says the little pug.
Xander, you can read on his Facebook page, also received a national recognition for bringing empathy and happiness in the lives of people in need and is underlined his four-legged mission: "to stop the violence ... will comfort children and adults up to that day "
Animalist.com is affiliated with Animal Planet. What a great honor!
Posted: Friday, December 6, 2013 12:00 am
By SAMANTHA TIPLER H&N Staff Reporter |0 comments
Xander the blind pug’s big heart is world famous.
On Thursday the website Buzzfeed named Xander the third most important pug of 2013.
Though most of the list are gifs and memes (pictures) of silly pugs, Xander, who works as a therapy dog, is likely the only one of the 31 pugs listed who contributes to society.
“He has three to four things a week he goes to,” said Rodney Beedy with his wife Marcie, who owns Xander. “I want to be in the background so he can do his work.”
The Herald and News published a story May 24 about Xander the wonder dog. His story was picked up by NPR, Ladies Home Journal, the Huffington Post and others. He was on Purina One’s Facebook page where he garnered 2,800 likes in 24 hours, said Michael Kaibel, violence prevention specialist for Hands and Words are Not For Hurting, one of the many organizations Xander works with.
Rodney said Xander is the first and only therapy dog to work with Klamath-Lake CARES (child abuse response and evaluation services) and the only four-legged member of the Sky Lakes Medical Center volunteer guild.
“He has his own ID badge for the hospital to visit patients,” Rodney said. “Last Monday he visited two floors of patients.”
This week he visited his first hospice patient and will likely visit more in the next few weeks.
Rodney keeps Xander’s schedule straight with a calendar on the dog’s website,meetxander.com.
Rodney and Marcie adopted Xander from the Klamath Animal Shelter in January. An accident caused him to lose his eyesight, and his eyes were removed, all before they adopted him. He took classes to become a therapy dog at Double C Dog Training and he lives with seven other pugs at the Beedys’ home.
Even with all his fame, Xander remains the humble pug, ready to help anyone in need.
At the Klamath Basin Potato Festival, Rodney said Xander pulled him 500 feet to a girl who was crying.
“He wanted to comfort her,” Rodney said. “I picked him up and showed the little girl Xander. She stopped crying and started laughing and playing with Xander.”
While he’s fielded interviews and seen Xander’s face on national media outlets, Rodney said seeing that little girl laugh is the greatest reward for himself and for the pug.
“That part is so rewarding to see a crying child turn into smiles instantly when they see Xander,” Rodney said. “Seeing that is just so wonderful.”
Xander and Marcie has an article in the Ladies Home Journal the Dec./Jan 2013 issue http://www.lhj.com/community/your-stories/16-women-made-world-happier-2013/?page=3
Xander hit the front page of the HERALD AND NEWS .
Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:00 am
By SAMANTHA TIPLER H&N Staff Reporter |0 comments
Xander the pug doesn’t have eyes, but he has a huge heart.
The proud pup is working to make people happier as a therapy dog helping organizations like Klamath-Lake CARES (child abuse response and evaluation services) and Hands and Words are not for Hurting.
Xander put his skills on display Tuesday, visiting Tiny Hopefuls Daycare with Hands and Words are not for Hurting. Surrounded by a ring of preschoolers, Xander welcomed hands stroking his back and head, even gently pulling on his tail to see it curl back up. Xander didn’t flinch at the peals of laughter. He didn’t get anxious in the crowd. For him, it was business as usual.
“If I was blind and in a crowd of people on top of me I would be freaking out,” Rodney Beedy, who owns Xander with his wife, Marcie, said. “He has no qualms whatsoever. He has a good stable temperament.”
Rodney and Marcie adopted Xander from the Klamath Animal Shelter in January. He is now a little more than a year old. They don’t know what happened to his eyes, only that there was an accident and the eyes had to be removed. Xander also has problems breathing through his nose and instead breathes mostly through his mouth. Every once in a while he lets out a big gasp through his mouth, vibrating his lips. Some people think he’s growling, but Rodney said it’s more like the sound a horse makes.
“He’s just another dog,” Rodney said. “He still wants to play and do everything a normal dog does.”
“He uses the doggie door like the rest of them,” Marcie added. At home the Beedys have seven other pugs.
When they decided to adopt Xander, Rodney and Marcie knew he would be a good therapy dog.
“This would be perfect for a therapy dog because of the way his attitude was: how calm he was but he still had a good outgoingness,” Rodney said.
Xander took some basic obedience classes at Double-C dog training and took a few tests to see how he would react to people who are injured.
In one of the tests a woman knelt down and started groaning as if she was injured and in pain.
“Xander tilted his head, pulled Marcie and started giving her kisses,” Rodney recalled.
Xander also has been on hand at the animal shelter to help children who are afraid of dogs.
“One girl was crying, so I went and got Xander,” Rodney said. “The girl’s empathy went to him and she totally forgot about everything else. She started laughing and playing with Xander. It was amazing how well he did that.”
Now Xander struts while wearing his therapy dog vests. One of his vests has the Hands and Words are not for Hurting patch, too. He is available to help children who have been abused by being their buddy, visit nursing homes, or help get out anti-violence messages with organizations like the Hands group.
Rodney said in an ideal world no one would be in pain and no one would need Xander’s help.
“It would be great if Xander didn’t have a job,” he said. “There would be no hurting kids out there. If Xander didn’t have a job that would be wonderful. He would just play all the time.”
But until children aren’t hurting any more, he’s going to be there.
NPR picked up the Herald and News article and ran with it and reached about 976 affiliate stations, which gets about 26 million viewers a week.
The next day THE HUFFING POST called me and did an interview and wrote this article. Xander The Blind Pug Warms Hearts As Therapy Dog.
Blind pug spends days comforting abused children
By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof
May 29th, 2013 @ 10:38am
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — After meeting Xander the blind pug, you might look on your situation with a little more optimism.
That is the purpose Rodney and Marcie Beedy hope Xander fills for people. The year-old pug is missing his eyes and has difficulty breathing through his nose after an accident, the details of which they are unsure. They adopted him from an animal shelter in January, adding him to the pack of six other pugs in their home.
The couple said they knew even-tempered Xander would make a good therapy dog because people could empathize with him.
"This would be perfect for a therapy dog because of the way his attitude was: how calm he was but he still had a good outgoingness," Rodney told Herald and News.
They take Xander around Klamath Falls, Oreg., to animal shelters, nursing homes, safe houses for abused children, and daycares to work. Kids play with him, people cuddle him and he comforts them.
"One girl (at the animal shelter) was crying, so I went and got Xander. The girl's empathy went to him and she totally forgot about everything else," Rodney said. "She started laughing and playing with Xander. It was amazing how well he did that."
And as long as people need him, the Beedys say he will be available.
"It would be great if Xander didn't have a job," he said. "There would be no hurting kids out there. If Xander didn't have a job that would be wonderful. He would just play all the time."
Top image: Herald and News
Read more at http://www.ksl.com/?nid=1010&sid=25374385#ifdcC7of3DUol6WH.99
Purina One even post Xander on their FaceBook page.
After that it has been a world wing of articles around the web. All you have to do is Google (Xander therapy dog) and you get about 11 pages of listings. I'm so proud of this dog and how he works with Children and adults alike.