Although Nimoy was bred, raised and trained to be a guide dog, he did not pass the training and was returned to the people who raised him. His failure did not deter him from having a brilliant and successful career which spanned more than six years.
The Labrador Retriever with the droll expression has done wonders by guiding people through life. He has worked as a mentor with specials needs children and as a therapist at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Englewood, CO. Nimoy is a comfort to blind children who “see” him through their fingers running through is soft fur and wagging tail. He is a service dog for his partner Bonnie, who is a survivor of childhood polio. He is a non-judgmental friend who listens as someone reads their first words aloud from a storybook. The Lab even “cheers” as human friend takes their first steps in rehab.
The canine has an uncanny sense of what is needed in each situation. Whether he uses his strength to help steady his partner during a moment of unsteady mobility or being gentle with a patient who is struggling to regain their speech, Nimoy understands. His gentle encouragement seems to say: “I know you can do it – let me help.”
Nimoy was awarded the 2008 Colorado Veterinary Medical Association Animal Hero Award in the Human-Animal Bond category. His nominator explains that “he carries in his heart a spark that is buried in the heart of all dogs, the need to share a bond with us. He is a shining example of the gift we call DOG.” He was proudly nominated by Dorothy Dill and Tana Hetrick, DVM.