Every so often, we find a truly incredible story about how Kijiji has played a role in turning someone’s life around. While all Local Heroes are special in their own right, stories like Amanda and Jackson’s – and their incredible bond –remind us of the power of community, and its ability to positively affect us.
Over the past five years, Amanda from Ontario has undergone a number of challenges in her life, leaving her feeling alone and sad. However, she found solace in her roommate’s dog. From this, Amanda decided she would adopt a pet through Kijiji to see if it could help brighten her spirits
After searching high and low for a Bernese Mountain Dog – a favourite breed of hers; Amanda located a male puppy just over two hours away. As Amanda described her experience, it was love at first sight, but she was hesitant in case their first meeting didn’t go as well as she hoped. “I knew I had to meet him. I set up a time to meet [Jackson] pushing aside all of my hope because I had a feeling things may not go as planned. But when he came out of the back room I knew he was perfect.”
A little skittish at first, Jackson quickly bonded with Amanda; instantly cementing their relationship.
However, over the two years since they met, Amanda’s medical conditions worsened and became more complicated – to the point where she could not leave her own home. But thankfully, Jackson was there to pick up on Amanda’s feelings and help give her a new lease on life. “Jackson is the most emotionally intelligent dog I have ever encountered. He picks up on my feelings and responds very quickly. I feel less alone, more confident, and the happiest I’ve been in years.”
So much so that a few months ago, Amanda began to train Jackson as her service canine, a role she credits as allowing her to finally get out of the house again and start living life to the fullest. While Jackson is still in training as of today, he has learned to pick up her emotional cues quickly, and is improving each and every day. So much so, that he looks forward to being “on duty.”
To Amanda, Jackson is her Local Hero. As she tells us, “Jackson means the world to me. To express it into words is extremely difficult. To me he represents independence, confidence, love and friendship; and has made me feel all of these things after years of feeling the opposite. I am so grateful to have him in my life, and couldn’t ask for a better dog – or best friend.”
Amanda’s story has touched us in so many ways. The compassion we feel for animals, is easily returned by inviting them into our homes. We salute Jackson for the astounding Local Hero he is, but we also honour Amanda, for sharing such a deep story with all of us. On behalf of the thousands of pets and their owners who have met through Kijiji, we thank you!
Know a Local Hero in your community? Submit their Local Hero story today!