On Saturday, a handsome pit bull named "Jeffrey," celebrated an important anniversary - the day that he walked free from an animal control facility in New York, N.Y., where he nearly lost his life.
Since that momentous day, Jeffrey has become an ambassador of his breed, earning his AKC Canine Good Citizen award, becoming a registered Delta Pet Partners therapy dog as well as becoming a registered Reading Education Assistance dog.
Jeffrey is even in the news - on Sunday, Today News ran a story about Jeffrey's important work with nine-year-old Emma Wishneski, a student from Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Jeffrey and Emma formed a special bond after meeting at a Christmas party held not long after the devastating shooting on December 14, 2012.
Though Emma was not at school during the deadly rampage, she did lose many friends and teachers that day, and the traumatic ordeal took an emotional toll.
Emma found comfort in the big, gentle dog. After their first meeting Emma's mother asked Jeffrey's guardian, Michele Houston, if they could meet again.
Emma's mother, Marykay Wishneski told Today:
I think for her, there's a security in that it's a dog and not another person,”
Emma becomes free and runs and plays and smiles. It's a very tender thing between the two of them.”
Following the first meeting in December, the pair have enjoyed many play dates; Jeffrey even joined Emma at her most recent birthday party.
Jeffrey seems to work magic wherever he goes.
Jeffrey is a regular visitor at school libraries, hospitals and assisted living facilities; regardless of the locale, he seems to win over the people that he meets.
Jeffrey has his own Facebook page where over 1500 adoring fans follow his continued good work.
Jeffrey's Facebook page "About" description speaks volumes:
Registered Therapy Dog and Pit Bull Goodwill Ambassador, Jeffrey, shattering stereotypes and opening minds...one belly rub at a time!
The "Positively Peacefull Pit Bull," is literally saving lives by changing the minds of those who fear bully breeds.
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I am human; if you see a typo, please let me know. Questions, comments or story ideas can be emailed to Eims1@live.com.