The motto of Dustin’s Paw of Idaho is “turning challenges into miracles.” It is hard to appreciate the magnitude of that phrase until a member of your family experiences it first had. In our case two members of our family, our twin girls Claire and Julia have been the recipients of the miracle of Dustin’s Paw. This miracle is how the dogs establish a bond with children and adults who find themselves with challenges, and who benefit from the facilitated interaction of the dogs under the direction of their expert hander, Diane Rampelberg. The human-canine bond is very powerful. The human-canine bond in a therapeutic setting is indescribable. The bond between the dogs and their patients, child or adult, is nothing short of amazing. The true miracle is that the dogs, via Diane’s facilitation, can get people to push the limits of their capabilities, achieve new skills and help them conquer their fears of doing tasks that come naturally to most of the population. These tasks include walking, talking, eating, and dressing. Every goal achieved is the result of incredibly hard work by the patient in exchange for the motivation reward from the dogs. Because of our daughters’ involvement with Dustin’s Paw, our family qualified for and received our own Service Canine. As a result, we attempt to recreate the therapeutic activities at home that Diane and the dogs accomplish during their intensive therapy sessions. – The Gambassi Family

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