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Dog of the Day
Today's Dog of the Day
Chester the Labrador Retriever, the Dog of the Day
Name: Chester
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male Breed: Labrador Retriever
Home: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
   Hi, my name is Chester - it's hard to believe, but August 17th marked a whole year since I started my journey with Katey. We've been there for each other through thick and thin. I'm so grateful that I've been able to be a good friend to her-helping her they way I've been. At first I was a bit confused to leave my home with Jack, but I knew he wanted the best for me. Now I have my wonderful new home with her and her family. Katey, Jack and I still stay in touch and we even hang out from time to time! Which is great, because it's always nice to see him.

     Madison Messick says it's thanks to Jack's loving care teaching me proper obedience, that I became a service dog so quickly. So a huge thank you to him. He's a daddy now and his little girl is the love of his life. I think that's wonderful and Emma sure is a cutie pie! Mom and I love seeing the photos of you guys together. Stay awesome man.

     This year has been amazing. I've learned so much and seen so many things. I love my job and I'm so happy. I look forward to what the future brings. That's it for my part of the story, Katey will take it over from here!

     Wow, it's been a whole year guys. I'm spending the day just reflecting on it. It's been a wonderful journey. Before I met Chester I was dealing with massive depression from loosing my two-year-oold Catahoula Dan. I wasn't social, wasn't eating well and pretty much just going through the motions. Then everything changed. My sister Hayley came upstairs with her phone and showed me an add on craigslist. It was about Chester. I read it over and decided I'd like to give this a try (hoping he had not already been promised to another family).

     Now my folks had decided for my birthday another dog would be good to help me heal. So we had been searching on pet finder, but I wasn't feeling any connection to the dogs we were seeing. I had however decided on two names - Daisy for female and Chester for male. So this felt very much like fate and soon we were meeting Jack at the dog park.

     Seeing Chester for the first time.I was shy, but curious. Thoughts racing around my head. Would if he comes up to me and doesn't like me? Would if Ruca doesn't like him? It turned out I had nothing to worry about. I was watching him go up to Mom, Dad and Hayley. When he got to Dad he lifted his leg and peed on his shoe. My mom sister and I were struggling so hard not to laugh. My dad just giggled and said, "Welcome home." Jack of course apologized - but it really was okay.

     Once we got home Chester became my shadow. It's like he knew me right from the start. Chester, my friends say, brought me back to life. He healed me from my depression that summer and brought happiness back into my life. Since then we've been thick as thieves and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love him and I thank God so much that he came into my life.

     Since he became my service dog, he has been my psychiatric and medical alert dog. He has helped me through so much PTSD, Chronic Anxiety, Depression and various health issues, one being low blood sugar issues. He has taught himself 23 tasks to date.

     He recently went with me to a science fiction convention, and we did cosplay together. Wherever I go, I end up having to educate people about service dogs. Please do not pet a service dog - they are working. If you really want to, ask the person before touching the dog. Distracting a dog from its job could be disastrous, people could get hurt. You would not take away a blind person's cane, right? At least at the convention, we met many children, and hopefully they will remember this lesson, and tell other kids - and adults, too. Respect the Vest, please - thanks from Chester and me.

Chester the Labrador Retriever, the Dog of the Day Chester the Labrador Retriever, the Dog of the Day Chester the Labrador Retriever, the Dog of the Day Chester the Labrador Retriever, the Dog of the Day

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