Home / Storyforce / Story Force X / 3 Shining Stars: Book 1

3 Shining Stars: Book 1

Jason is from Poughkeepsie, NY, and enlisted in the Navy in 1993. In the Navy, Jason traveled around the world for 24+ years as a Religious Program Specialist. He has deployed to the Persian Gulf, Eastern Africa, Japan, Australia, and Korea to name a few. He lives in Onslow County with his wife and four children. He has a Bachelors in Emergency Management from AMU and is attending UNCW for a Masters in Conflict and Resolution Management with a concentration in Emergency Management. Currently, Jason proudly serves as the Assistant Director of Veteran and Military Affairs helping our amazing veteran students.

As the morning begins, Sharon wakes to the orange glow of the morning sun. She sees Brad and Wanda still
curled up in a ball with tongues flapping out their mouths, fast asleep. Sharon is always eager to start the day, as she knows and loves the attention that her day will bring her. With that excitement she decides to wake the other two sleepers with a joyful nudge of her paws. Wanda woke up with a stern look and stare, as she often does, and Brad, the much lazier and youngest of three, just opened one eye and slowly stretched himself back into a lump of slumber.

These three sunny yellow golden retrievers are only sixteen weeks of age, yet they have been treated like Rock Stars since the day they were born. Their home is a beautiful sprawling compound called Pups Assisting People or PAP. PAP is an organization that raises puppies, sends them to training, then partners them with well deserving people who are in need of a Service Dog.

A Service Dog is a special creature that has the great responsibility of helping people complete daily tasks and conduct their daily routines. These types of dogs are not simply picked from a pen or chosen at random; they are born to do this amazing job for their people. Sharon, Brand, and Wanda come from five generations of a family that has this skill and talent ingrained in their DNA. Therefore, they are treated as special puppies and raised with special care because of their talents. Everywhere they go there is a fuss and a joyful commotion that brings them so much attention and love.

Sharon has been the one to gobble this attention up and can never get enough. Now that she has gotten the attention of the other two, she blares out, “Hey Wanda, Do you think the people will give us treats today?”

Wanda replies, “Sharon, you know very well that Cathy will not let anybody give you more treats than we are allowed.”

Sharon reminds Wanda, “I know, but there are always little boys and girls who sneak them to us,” she says with a huge smile.

The lazier brother, Brad, has finally fully stretched and joins the morning discussion. “Sharon please try not to embarrass us again today by jumping all over the two legged creatures like you did yesterday,” Brad pleads.

You can hear the other much older dogs in the background discussing the day that they had yesterday and how today’s training will be much better than their past performance was.

Wanda hears this discussion and shakes her head. She then looks up with an upbeat smile and says, “Ok guys, today we have to really show what we can do to Cathy, John, and Tyreeka.”

Brad sighs, looks down and states, “I’m a little tired, so maybe I’ll just try a little bit.” Wanda was not amused. Of course Sharon was already busy ignoring them and was chasing some frog she found peeking out of the shed door.

“Today is a day that we get to show Cathy and the others how much we know and that we can act right when they command us,” Wanda says with pride from head to toe.

Wanda hears the trainers coming so she heads straight over to them as if she is ready for the plan of the day as she prepares to take notes and pass it on to others.

Sharon, still chasing that little toad, makes her way, accidentally into the pen of the two retired dogs, Juan and Becky. They are not too amused by her carefree attitude.

Becky is a small brown, white, and black beagle who has a personality that is all business. She has worked for over ten years serving as an emotional support dog in a busy pediatric dental office.

Becky looks at her and says, without any regard for the way it comes across, “Little one, you will never be a good Service Dog unless you learn to listen.”

Juan is even meaner, with a stern look. He is a medium sized Doberman and had spent his working life with a retired military veteran. He tells her that she is too cute and slow to be able to help any person.

Well Brad was still laying around, but he heard those words spoken to his sister and quickly got up to go to her side. Brad, all of one centimeter taller than Sharon, felt like it was his duty to protect his sister, so he stepped right up to those older and much bigger dogs, with all of the growl and scowl he could muster, and the said with all of his sternness, “You two are just being mean because she will be the best service animal and you are both jealous.”

This defense was amusing to those two, so they looked at him, then each other, and broke into a rolling laugh.

“Thank you Brad,” said Sharon.

They then walked off to meet up with Wanda to begin their day of Rock Star treatment. The Rock Star treatment happens because well, they are the cutest three puppies ever. Plus everyone loves what these dogs are going to be in their future.

Cathy, John, and Tyreeka are their handlers and bring them to schools, churches, and other events to teach children and others what a service animal does.

All three are settled in their crates in the back of the PAP’s raggedy van. The three handlers are chatting away as they drive to their first visit of the day at a middle school gymnasium that will be filled with adoring children.

They are staring at the houses, trees, cars, and buildings when all of sudden Sharon blares out, “This is going to be the best day!” They all smiled.

The music was loud, but cheerful, the crowds were all busy moving from booth to booth. Most of the children were so busy with the games and activities. The three little pups came strutting into the large gymnasium with their tails wagging and ears and heads in the air. The school was holding a Fun Day, so there were activities all over.

Within seconds, the three were swarmed by dozens of children excited to see them.

Now of course, Sharon and Brad are too busy soaking in the attention of the other children who are showing them all sorts of love and affection. In fact, Brad just got done playing catch with three boys who were full of energy and wanted him to be the fourth in a game of pickle. Brad, who is lazy by nature, sure loved jumping and grabbing the ball out of the air and returning it to one of them.

Billy got the ball from Brad, and knelt down to him to give him a cookie that he had in his pocket. Brad thought about not eating it, but it was a cookie after all, and how could he turn that down?

Melina saw this and immediately came over. Melina called all three boys over. “I know that it seems harmless to give these dogs a small treat, but they are learning that food is a reward for when they complete their task. I know this is hard to understand, but for them to become a great Service Dog for a person, they must be disciplined,” Melina explains to the boys.

Wanda notices a little boy off in the corner. She looks at Cathy and tugs at her leash. Cathy is too busy talking with another student to notice. Wanda tugs again and nothing. Still no response. Wanda grows concerned about this boy, so she tugs harder and manages to break the loose grip that Cathy has on the leash.

Wanda quickly scurries over to the boy and stares at him, tail wagging looking in his eyes almost as if she is asking him what is wrong.

The boy barely looks up at her. He is sitting with his head down. Wanda’s instincts take over and she bumps her head against his leg to get him to smile. He then begins to pet her, so Wanda sits with her hind legs down, head in the air and facing the other people.

This act was not commanded nor was it taught to the three pups yet. However Wanda could sense that there was something wrong with Miguel, and she instantly felt the urge to go to his side. A Service Dog needs many months of training for this type of behavior, but the leadership and intelligence of Wanda is innate to her.

Cathy came over quickly to Wanda and looked at her in amazement and appreciation. Ms. Brean was with her and was so happy to see Miguel smiling and now fully interacting with Wanda.

Ms. Brean says, “This is the happiest I have seen him in months.” Cathy asked, “What happened to him?”

“His mom had recently died from a long battle with Cancer.”

Miguel looks up to them and says with a huge grin, “Thank you for bringing her here today.” They both choked up a little. Cathy was extremely proud of Wanda. This made Wanda even more proud of herself. She had a smile and a look of pure joy and accomplishment. This act has proven that she is ready for this amazing job that she is destined to do.

Wanda is destined to serve a Military Veteran who will need her strength and will to provide the comfort they may need.

Sharon, with her outgoing and bubbly personality, believes that she will end up with a person who struggles to be around other people who shies away from being themselves.

Brad, confident, reckless, and loyal could someday help a person that may not always see things the same way as others and may have a difficult time explaining what is on their mind.

The three little rocks stars are now ready for the next journey of their wonderful lives.

Translate »