Owner trained him to be a therapy dog
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A year or so ago, times were not so good for Nash. But the dog, one of 53 given up by a La Pine breeder, has found not just a new family, but a new purpose.
One of the dogs found on the La Pine property had to be euthanized, and the owner was charged with animal neglect.
But a check on one of the dogs, Nash, finds he's making a difference in the lives of his new family, and strangers as well.
The Gylling family, who had just moved to Bend from Washington state, saw NewsChannel 21's coverage of the dogs' plight and brought Nash into their family.
"I believe a dog knows when he or she has been rescued -- and he knows," Amanda Gylling said. "He just has this glimmer in his eye, as (if) to say, 'Thank you.'"
But it was not an easy transition for Nash. Gylling said he showed some clear signs of trauma after leaving the terrible conditions in La Pine as a puppy.
"It was very apparent," she said. "In fact, he would not approach my husband or my son. It was clear that he hadn't been socialized, or just hadn't received the love that he needed and deserved."
Still, the Gyllings soon found out just how special a dog Nash really is.
"That fear diminished pretty quickly, once I realized, he's just easy-going," Amanda Gylling said. "He just needed that love and attention, to kind of pull out and enhance that personality."
Soon, friends and family began to comment on Nash's relaxed nature, and asked Amanda, an elementary school teacher, if she'd thought about training him as a therapy dog.
So she got him certified through an online program, and now she takes him to hospitals and classrooms -- including her own, where her son, Micah, is a student.
When Micah comes home from school, he and his "four-legged brother," as he calls Nash, have a special routine.
"He really just comes out of our gate, and we call it a 'doggy floss dance,' because he's always wagging his tail so much," Micah said.
Of course, just like any siblings, Micah and Nash do sometimes clash.
"There is one thing," he said with a smile. "When I go to bed, he's pretty much always on my bed, and he's mostly a bed hog."
Aside from that, things couldn't be better for Nash.
Only a year after being rescued from inhumane conditions, he's now a dog with a special job, who's never really "off the clock."