Meet Our Ambassador


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Hello, My Name Is KING VON NUGGET.

Look at my puppy pictures! It's easy to understand why my mommy couldn't resist adopting me. The smile, the eyes and those ears! I was a bundle of love packaged in fur and only 8 weeks old. And here's my story...

My doggy birth parents had been killed and I, along with my seven siblings, were found in terrible living conditions and poor health. We were taken to the Animal Foundation, the same place where mommy got Angel and Princess. That was the last time I saw my siblings. I hope they are all OK and as fortunate as I was to find such a fantastic furever home.

Mommy's heart was broken and she felt empty after loosing Angel. She was searching daily in shelters, online, e-mailing rescues and talking to people. And one night, after being emotionally depleted and physically exhausted, she logged on to TAF's website and spotted me. Mommy has always adopted older fur babies, but something told her to at least meet me. And boy am I glad she did!

I remember the shelter staff handling me and one of them brought me outside and put me in mommy's arms, it was love at first sight! My given shelter name was Zeus, but apparently mommy thought I looked more like a Nugget. At least she let me keep my royal title. She later told me some guy tried to jump the line to adopt me, but mommy set him straight. Don't mess with a Viking woman!

After being neutered and having an umbilical hernia fixed, mommy picked me up and brought me home. I got very sick. We had to go to the vet, who diagnosed me with Coccidia and Giardia. Those are two VERY nasty parasites that are commonly spread through fecal matters, either ingested or present in water.  These were the living conditions I came from, a filthy and unsafe environment. Mommy was present enough to sign me up for pet insurance, as soon as she adopted me. Smart move!

After two months of medication, I was cleared. But unfortunately it didn't take long before another condition appeared. I was showing distressful neurological signs and the first vet put it down to "growing pains and to keep an eye on it". Mommy wasn't having it. She sought out another opinion and we were referred to a neurologist. I was diagnosed with meningitis after having an MRI, a CT Scan and a spinal tap. That was the start of a long treatment with steroids that is still ongoing. And along that road, I was treated for mange, eye and ear infection and also developed alopecia. My immune system isn't what it should be.

Mommy started training me to become a PTSD service dog right away. Despite all the health related set backs, we have been very successful. I use the legacy of Angel as my motivation and the love for mommy as the driving force. There are days when I am not as responsive as I could be, but we are working on it. And sometimes I am just tired from the steroids and need to nap for long periods of time.

I am still on medication for the meningitis and it has given me a "Buddha belly". Mommy loves to kiss it! But we are making progress and hope to discontinue the use of those pills soon. Every day is a day for growth and learning. And every day is a blessing not to be taken for granted.

I have already accompanied mommy on a cruise to Mexico, stayed at the Encore Hotel in Las Vegas, Edgewater Hotel in Laughlin and Casablanca Resort in Mesquite. And I have also flown to New Orleans, snoozed at the Omni and attended the PLPA convention. I took a plane to San Francisco, indulged at the Intercontinental and visited Alcatraz, as mommy was recovering from surgery. My first ever journey was to Los Angeles. There I provided comfort for mommy while she was getting a tattoo on her spine in memory of Angel. It was an emotional yet uplifting moment. The world is our oyster and I am the pearl!

I will provide snuggles and hugs to everyone who has lost their beautiful furbaby. Mommy will you assist with the Pet Loss Counseling, and believe me, she is all about compassion, validation and support. I will shower you with that special unconditional love and enjoy you touching my silky fur, even the bold patches. Together we are the dream team! The say that trials and tribulations shape your destiny. Well, I believe we both qualify with passing colors. We are looking forward to seeing you, we are here to help you.

In closing, I can't help but wonder if my siblings are still alive. Do their pet parents care for them like my mommy does for me? To where ever you may be, dear brothers and sisters, I am always with you. And we will meet again. I pawsitively love you furever!

Celebrating my 1st birthday in Venice Beach, CA.

Honoring the Rainbow Bridge babies.

Enjoying playtime at Encore Hotel, Las Vegas.