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Happy Tail: Believe it or not, Ripley’s special


When David Hopkins of Augusta, ME, saw Ripley while “poking around” on the Petfinder app, he knew she looked special, he didn’t know just how special she would turn out to be.

“I had no interest in adopting a dog as I already had three cats and worked 60 hours a week,” he says. But Ripley’s photo hit him “like a ton of bricks. She was so sad looking but had a spark that was undeniable and special.”

Ripley has a big smile for everyone he meets.

Ripley has a big smile for people she meets.

She and her eight puppies had been picked up at a greyhound track in Alabama, and the entire family was scheduled to be euthanized. The owner of Maine Greyhound Placement Service couldn’t bear to let that happen, so the dogs were brought to Augusta and listed on Petfinder, though they weren’t Greyhounds.
David, who teaches shamanic energy work, adopted her and was able to take her to work with him, and that’s when he learned how special she was.

“One night we had a person [at our shop] for an event,” he says, ” and Ripley wouldn’t leave her side. Two days later the woman found out she had an aggressive cancer.”

A few months later, the woman returned, and Ripley was her old self — friendly, but not clingy at all. “The woman was so happy and made a point to give Ripley a hug on the way out,” David recalls. Later, he was told that the woman’s cancer was in remission. Not only a doctor had confirmed it, but also Ripley’s normal behavior had done so.

Noting that dogs can sniff out cancers, researchers are hoping to develop electronic sensors to replicate what Ripley comes by naturally – her nose knows.

Above and beyond this very special skill, “she is a natural comfort to those that are hurting and a joy to be around,” David says. She is special in many ways.

Learn why Petfinder believes all dogs should wear collars and tags.

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