Upcoming book will feature dogs with jobs
SALT LAKE CITY — Pet photographer Dawn McBride has been visualizing dogs with jobs. She’s been photographing and photoshopping dogs as scientists, weightlifters, and ballerinas for an upcoming picture book. Half of the proceeds will go to the Humane Society of Utah.
One subject, though, Torie, a race car driver in the book, already has a real job.
Twenty-five years ago, her owner, Kelly Bussio, then Kelly Crompton, was in a small plane crash that killed two people, including her husband, and left her a paraplegic.
“(Before the plane crash) I was very active – scuba dived, skydived, I ran races, mountain biked,” Bussio said, and then she was in a wheelchair.
It was her daughter who first suggested getting a service dog after listening to a talk by Paralympian Muffy Davis.
Bussio contacted Canine Companions and in 2009 got Tadaki. Bussio took her service dog to work and on frequent business trips. “I think we did nine trips one summer,” she said. “Everyone at the airport knew us. We would fly into the same gate every week.”
Tadaki took out the garbage, opened the refrigerator, picked things up off the floor, and, most importantly, pulled her wheelchair, saving wear and tear on Bussio’s shoulders.
“He was a worker, crazy, fast, dedicated worker.”
When Tadaki retired nine years later, Torie, a golden retriever-labrador retriever mix, took over.
“She’s a totally different personality than Tadaki. Tadaki wanted to work really hard. Torie just wants to love really hard.”
In the book, Torie will be pictured as a race car driver because when she pulls, she pulls hard and fast.
“Once we get started and she’s a long, lanky, beautiful dog that pulls me all day long if she wants. She’s really strong and very fast,” Bussio said.
Bussio said Torie is much more than a working dog.
“I don’t know how we could live without animals and pets to keep us company. And to get us through tough times,” Bussio said.
“You know, I’ve always talked to my dogs. I think that they have a really deep vocabulary if they could only talk the way we talk.”
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