PICKING THINGS UP FRANK KUHAR AND MOBILITY ASSIST DOG DIVA BY: LINDSEY TRADER
For Frank Kuhar of Plymouth, Minn. there is nothing more frustrating than being unable to reach a fallen object. That frustration ended when Mobility Assist Dog Diva came into his life. The 18-month-old Collie retrieves objects Frank drops and in return receives a loving home and some free time to chase the squirrels. As a businessman in the corporate world, Frank was used to keeping busy. That took a different turn in 2004 when he was diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor the left him paraplegic. Frank suddenly went from golf and cycling to using a wheelchair. Frank and his wife Cindy made the adjustments to daily life including a hand controlled vehicle for him to drive. Then he began to have seizures in 2010. For a while, his hobbies were put on hold and he was not able to drive. They were most concerned about Frank being home alone, in case he had another seizure or fell out of his wheelchair or bed. One of his physicians had received an assistance dog from Can Do Canines and suggested he look into the organization. Frank did and applied for a Mobility Assist Dog to help him with the physical tasks he found difficult. A few months later, he received Diva and his life has been closer to its normal pace again. Diva is able to retrieve the phone, press an alert button within the home in case of an emergency, and act as an assuring presence for Frank so he is able to again drive a vehicle and take walks on his own. The team continues to work together on commands and Frank comments that it is amusing to watch how focused Diva can be, turning her head every which way he directs.
FRANK KUHAR AND DIVA
Frank highly recommends those considering applying for an assistance dog to do so. He says, “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.” He goes on to thank those involved with Can Do Canines, particularly the Puppy Raisers. Frank says, “the dogs are all terrific when they come in for training, so they have had really great people working with them before.” Frank hopes to continue interacting with Can Do Canines in the future and to help others receive the peace of mind he and Cindy have received through Diva.