Even though in pain — with a perforated lung, enlarged liver and fractured front leg — service dog in training, Ori, is doing what she can to help her owner and do her job.
It’s for this reason and so many more that Valencia resident KC Enriquez is raising funds for the 9-month-old German shepherd pup who was hit by a car earlier this week.
Enriquez, who suffers from PTSD among other things, got Ori when she was just 7 weeks old and began training her to be her service dog.
“She’s been working really, really, really hard,” Enriquez said. “Her trainer says she’s at the (top) of her class.”
It was during one of Enriquez’s episodes, where she typically passes out and has convulsions, that Ori was hit, as Enriquez’s chaperone, unfortunately, did not leash Ori before opening his car door, allowing Ori to exit the vehicle prematurely.
Ori, who urgently had to relieve herself, recognized Enriquez’s house — and the area where she is trained to relieve herself — across the street and was hit by another car while crossing the street.
While the driver did everything he could to slow down, Ori still got hit by his car.
“She’s got a few bumps and bruises and a bunch of cuts,” Enriquez said, “but her recovery rate should be pretty high because she’s so young.”
Ori remains in good spirits, continuing to walk around greeting people, and is doing better than Enriquez expected.
“Even though she’s got a cast on, she’ll try and give you her paw to shake,” Enriquez added.
And while Ori is evidently still in a lot of pain, she continues to try to do her job.
“I started crying because I heard her whine in pain after I put the antibiotics on her, and she got up and tried to do direct pressure, which is something service dogs are trained to do where they lie across their owners, like a big hug,” Enriquez said. “It really broke my heart.”
“It’s really amazing for her to be (following her training) to this extent at her age,” Enriquez added.
Any funds that exceed the amount needed for Ori’s recovery are set to be put toward Squeaks and Bounds Animal Rescue, a nonprofit Enriquez runs with other animal lovers that works to rescue small animals, such as cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, turtles and ducklings — some of which Ori has even helped to foster.
“She’s really clumsy because she’s still a puppy … so I was worried, but she was so gentle with them,” Enriquez said. “She loves small animals.”
To donate, visit gofund.me/e35c3d51. A bowling fundraiser for Ori has also been scheduled 9 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Santa Clarita Lanes, located at 21615 Soledad Canyon Road, with admission at $20. To RSVP, email [email protected].