Above: The story of me & Jax: How an animal can save a life: Most people who know me know my story & my struggle with Scleroderma & especially Raynaud's phenomenon. Usually when I talk about my fight I leave out a very important (4 legged fur kid named Jax). I have suffered from Scleroderma &Severe Chronic Raynaud's for years but July of 2011 it took over my fingers with a vengeance. I lost 90% blood flow in both hands causing severe ulcers, ischemic & gangrene tissue the whole nine yards. I had 11 surgeries in a 10 month period starting with a sympothectomy that failed, to partial amputations of 4 fingers that failed to heal, skin grafts to try & save an open wound that exposed a tendon & the surrounding tissue dying that exposed the bone that ended up with full amputations of the remainder of the fingers being amputated. Then Arterializations of the Venous system on both wrists to restore blood flow to the hand. During this year long process I was home bound & sleeping & living in my recliner. This caused the muscles in my legs & arms to deteriorate. I couldn't bathe myself at times as both hands were bandaged, my legs barely had the strength to stand up from a chair or toilet. & I was on Morphine, Vicodin & Dilaudid for a year. I was angry, sad, depressed & just downright mad! Along with all that, my 13 year old German Shepherd, Sabre died. My husband, knowing me so well & knows I'm an avid animal lover, (especially the GSD Dog breed) got online one day & called me into the computer room as he had found a GSD Breeder in Michigan. The picture showed a litter of Black Sable puppies. I looked at him & said "no way"! Went back to my recliner & this one little 4 legged fur creature simply stuck in my mind & I couldn't stop thinking of him. So, needless to say we called the Breeder, went through the interview process & flew this little 4 legged fur creature to Houston 6 weeks later. A Czech/East German working line blood line, extremely high drive & high prey with the teeth of a piranha. He forced me to get up off the recliner & start playing, chasing him around the house trying to keep him out of anything & everything, walking him, throwing his ball, taking him to the park & getting up & down on the floor with him & literally spending from dawn to dark with him. & I still do! Little did I nor Jax realize at the time but my body became stronger & I was recovering from a year+ of a living hell! This little high drive, high prey abundance of energy & love of my life saved me in a way no one can possibly understand! & Jax has no clue either. I often hear other’s say (It’s JUST a dog). They are not just (A DOG). They teach us more than we will ever teach them. They are God’s angels sent to rescue US in ways unimaginable. Today I have gained all of my strength back & there is nothing I can't do I just do it differently & a little slower. So, this story is for my Jax who literally saved my life! That, my friends, is how a 4 legged furry child can save someone's life!

Kathy Baker from Texas

We encourage you to research the different breeds, make several phone calls and ask a lot of questions and visit your local animal shelter. There is a loving dog or cat waiting for your home to adopt them.