Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Faith: the biped walking dog

On Sunday, I got to attend a special outdoor church service that featured a very special guest — Faith, a two-legged, walking dog.
For those who haven’t read the article, here’s the link, with video — Two legged dog walks into fame.
I really enjoyed the sidebar I wrote for the article, which is called fun facts about Faith. I’m going to copy it into this blog, but don’t worry, I’m not strictly recycling material.
There’s new stuff in here that didn’t make it to print. Enjoy!

Fun facts about Faith
• Owner Jude Stringfellow said the most-asked question about Faith is how she goes to the bathroom. The answer? She does it while walking, both number one and number two. “It’s always kind-of in a line,” Stringfellow said. “Never really a pile.”

• Faith is an honorary E-5 class sergeant in the army.

• When Stringfellow’s daughter went on tour with singer Ozzie Osbourne, she took Faith along with her. Although Faith is a little scared of men who aren’t in service uniforms, Stringfellow said that she just loved Ozzie.

• Her favorite toy? Dirty socks. Stringfellow said Faith fishes them out of the laundry basket and hides them under beds.

• If she can walk with two legs, she can swim with two legs too. Stringfellow and her family found this out during a picnic at the beach, when Faith suddenly bolted into the lake to chase a duck. And she did get the duck.

• Her mother’s a purebred Chow Chow — this is evident because Faith’s tongue is speckled with the color blue. Blue tongues are one big sign of Chow Chow blood. But what about Faith’s dad — which Stringfellow called a “fence jumper?” They did some DNA testing and it shows that Faith has some Labrador Retriever, some pointer and some Beagle in her.

• Not all of the puppies in Faith’s litter were deformed. The mother had been terminating the lives of the ones that were, which is natural for dogs to do. Faith was saved just in time. The mother, an elderly 12-year-old dog, died six months later and no one has kept track of what happened to Faith’s healthy litter mates.

• Stringfellow had to choose between her job and Faith. She was a full-time teacher when Faith came along, and she told her employers she’d have to bring Faith to work with her because she required full-time care. “They said, make a choice: your job or a two legged dog,” Stringfellow said. “It was a no-brainer, so I quit my job.” She later found another teaching job that welcomed Faith into the classroom.

• After a child asked if Faith did any tricks, Stringfellow said jokingly, “You mean, like walking upright on two legs with no arms?” But the real answer is no, other than walking upright, Faith doesn’t do many tricks. She does catch gummy bears in her mouth, though.

• Faith likes to be a “diva,” Stringfellow said. She likes to hang out and isn’t too interested in toys or games of fetch. Can you blame her? It can’t be easy for a dog to run on two legs.

• Faith shares her home with several other animals — a St. Bernard, a Dachsund-Beagle mix, a Dachsund-Chihuahua mix, one cat and two snakes.

• This pup accepts no less than first-class when flying. After American Airlines lost Faith — sending her to Chicago when she was supposed to arrive in Orlando — the airline company made up for it by promising Faith a permanent seat in first class. Faith has a particular seat she likes to sit in. Actor Vin Diesel was sitting in it one day when Faith boarded the plane, but moved to accommodate the dog.

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