Truly an all-around dog, Rafter is an 8-year old Australian Shepherd that has had a very eventful life. As a puppy and young dog he earned his Companion Dog title in competitive obedience. He also loved running through agility courses, chasing sheep around a pen, and going for long walks twice a day. In addition, at the young age of 14 months he became a registered therapy dog. Then, just 10 months later, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer, and was told he might have only another 6 to 18 months to live.
Today, with a focus on enjoying every single day of life and having survived more than 5 years since his diagnosis, Rafter is considered a miracle dog, and his life is extremely busy. Every month he participates in a reading program called “Woof to Read.” It is part of a Pet Buddies program, teaching humane education and responsible pet ownership. Rafter has also become well known in several states as a therapy and tricks dog, and even took up canine freestyle (dog dancing) to add to his repertoire of entertainment.
In 2006 Rafter received Honorable Mention in the Therapy Dog Division of the American Kennel Club’s Award for Canine Excellence.
Also in 2006, with the help of his human interpreter, editors, and photographers, Rafter wrote a book! Rafter’s Story is an entertaining account of his life as a therapy dog, his therapy friends, and his experience with bone cancer. Profits from its sale go to the canine cancer research fund.