In 2005 the yellow Labrador Retriever tore a ligament in her leg and got an infection. After three unsuccessful surgeries to try to clear the infection, the leg had to be amputated.
But nothing could slow her down. Dogs don't seem to realize they have a handicap. Recently Mango, the three-legged therapy dog, received a medallion from St. John ambulance for reaching 150 hours of volunteer service time.
Before becoming a therapy dog, Mango had to go through a series of tests to be sure she had the right disposition. Therapy dogs have to be calm and friendly, able to interact with a variety of people. Only about half the dogs who apply are accepted, according to Judy Robinson, the program coordinator. She believes Mango’s disability makes her more approachable to some of the residents. “People relate to her because some of them are amputees as well. She’s a great therapy dog. She loves the attention.”
Mango takes her volunteer work very seriously, according to her owner Tony Valaitis, who runs a software development business. When she’s on the job, she becomes gentler and more docile.
"She loves going.” Valaitis said. “She can somehow sense she's doing something. She senses that she's there to help."
Thanks to Steve Bartlett