Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Two-Legged Dog Gives Hope to Disabled

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Two-Legged Dog Gives Hope to Disabled

Article excerpt

Byline: Sue Manning

LOS ANGELES (AP): For several years, Jude Stringfellow and her dog, a Lab-chow mix, have toured the country with a simple message: faith walks.

Born without front legs to a junkyard dog around Christmas 2002, Faith the puppy was rejected and abused by her mother. She was rescued by Reuben Stringfellow, now an Army officer, who had been asked to bury other puppies in the litter.

"Can we fix her? Stringfellow, then 17, asked his mum. "No, but maybe we can help her," she said.

So Reuben turned Faith over to his mother, English professor Jude Stringfellow. At first the family had to carry Faith to keep her off her chest and chin. But with peanut butter and practice, Faith learned to walk on her two hind legs.

Today Faith is a brisk, upright walker. When she runs, every so often she adds a hop or skip to her step, but she stumbles less often than most humans. She takes vitamins and joint supplements, and vets have declared her very healthy, Stringfellow said.

Since her first step on March 22, 2003, Faith has done the talk show circuit, gone on tour with Ozzy Osbourne and been named an honorary Army sergeant. Jude Stringfellow has become a motivational speaker and written two books. Next year, the two are moving from Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Chicago, Illinois, where they plan to write a third book, called Faith Walks.

They get more than 200 letters and emails a day, run a web site and make dozens of appearances every year, including stops at veterans' hospitals across the country to cheer injured soldiers.

That mission is special for Stringfellow, whose son left Iraq in September and is stationed in Alaska. He is scheduled to get out of the Army and head home on January 1.

For many, Faith brings a powerful message about overcoming adversity. …

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