Gordon, Freeride, or G-Dog—this plucky, miniature Doberman has almost as many names and he has fans. Not quite three years old, Gordon has already run a marathon in his new home state of West Virginia and he and his human, Janet Turner are now training for the Chicago Marathon in October. The reason this is so remarkable is that when he was still a puppy, Gordon was deliberately shot. The .22 caliber bullet remains in his spine and left him an incomplete paraplegic.
Janet Turner is an animal lover, athlete and physical therapist with nearly 30 years of experience in the field. In addition to Gordon who has been in her life for nearly a year now, Janet’s family includes a Labrador/pit bull mix named, Leftee, a Walker hound named Sam and a cat named Carter. It was after the loss of her boxer, Moose who struggled behaviorally, that Janet thought, that given her hard-earned experience with Moose and her decades working in physical therapy, she was uniquely qualified to care for another animal with special needs. She wanted to adopt again.
After beginning her search to find her new family member, Janet learned of Marley’s Mutts in Tehachapi, California, a non-profit, no-kill rescue organization. Marley’s Mutts helped save Gordon from an uncertain future. They worked to make Gordon mobile and even gave him a job visiting a local prison while trying to find his forever home. It was there Gordon taught inmates about responsibility and gun violence. The inmates nicknamed him G-Dog and admired his resilience but Gordon was happy to move east when Janet came for him.
Janet is very open about her struggles with anxiety and running helps her keep it in check. So does the company of her pets. She used to run with Moose now she couldn’t imagine running without Gordon. While Gordon found his own mobility both with and without a cart, when he runs with Janet, he has his own special backpack to ride in. Together they are running to raise money for Marley Mutts’ Pawsitive Change Program. If you would like to support Janet and Gordon in their efforts, please visit their fundraising page. You can also follow Gordon on his Facebook Page.