Hot Cakes — Therapy

Charity Partner: Pets on Wheels
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

I rescued Hot Cakes as a three-legged 11-month old pup; but, as many pet owners have realized, in reality, it was she who rescued me. It was a very rough time for me and she brought me so much joy that I feel I owe her my life. Seeing how much she helped me and how she made everyone she came into contact with smile I could see how much love she had to give, so I was inspired to train and get her certified as a therapy dog. Unfortunately, medical setbacks extended that journey. First, a pulled groin in her only back leg followed by physical therapy; then surgery for a luxating patella in that same leg, followed by more physical therapy. Despite her setbacks, she passed the test with flying colors and has since been visiting special needs adults, elementary and high schools, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and reading programs for children. She participates in special events, including a 9/11 memorial event, annual toy and coat drives at a local fire station, and holiday parades. Why is she a hero? She embodies what it means to live in the moment. She is not defined by her limitations. She is silly. She is sweet. She is playful. She doesn’t let her disabilities affect her ability to give or receive love, nor does she let others’ disabilities affect her love for them. She has taught people that breeds don’t matter. She has helped children and adults who are scared of dogs in general overcome their fears. For these and many more reasons, she is my hero.