The following is a guest post written by ThatOne, a 3-year-old English Bulldog and AKC certified Canine Good Citizen. He is the original Champion Fur Children’s Literacy, visiting schools promoting literacy, and an active pet therapy dog with a major health care system in California. You can read more about ThatOne and his work on his titular blog.
By the time I came to live with Her, I was already six months old. I was living with the breeder, my biological mother and father, several half siblings and my twin sister.
My sister and I were born with cosmetic and confirmation defects that proved impediments to our ever becoming show dogs. As soon as show quality ineligibility becomes apparent, puppies like me are sometimes destroyed.
Lucky for me, these breeders chose to sell us instead. Before they did That, they wanted to make certain our undesirable genetic traits would be permanently destroyed and not leaked into the gene pool, so we were spayed and neutered.
They had hoped to be able to keep us together but That didn’t happen. My sister was already promised to a family in Hawaii by the time She walked through That door.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
She had never had a dog in her life and when we laid eyes on each other it was love at first sight. She decided to call me ThatOne because when She saw me and my twin sister happily nipping at each others necks she gushed:
“I’ll take this one and that one!”
The breeder said “Well, you can’t have this one.”
“OK, then I’ll take that one.” And ThatOne is my name– O!
Having never had a dog before in her life, She was pleasantly surprised to learn about the extensive dog culture, things like the dog park, PetSmart, doggie boutiques, furniture, and apparel; doggie-themed day festivals, contests, local animal celebrities and heroes, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. A whole new world opened up for Her.
People began to stop Her on the street every day wanting to ask Her questions about me or to admire me or to take my picture. She noticed children seemed more eager to publicly practice being polite, frail, translucent skinned elderly People smiled and made physically herculean efforts to touch and pet me. She was moved by all the goodwill my mere presence seemed to bring out in all kinds of People and awed by the joy my funny, furrowed face brought to them as well.
We decided we were going to join our love for children’s literacy with my innate ability to draw People out and make People smile. First, I started writing a blog. Then I began training to become a Canine Good Citizen and then an Assisted Animal Activity dog. Together, we came up with ThatOneiWork, a company that supports our children’s literacy program ThatOne |WORD, and ThatOneWORKS, our hospital therapy visitation program and we have not looked back.
If you want to learn more about ThatOne and ThatOne | WORD, would like to partner with us, or would like to support our work with a generous contribution, please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.