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creativity

Wonder: The gift of a service dog

I’m always amazed by a dog’s understanding, purpose, and compassion. I live near Gallaudet University, a private university for the education of the deaf and hard of hearing. Yesterday, Phineas and I were going into the store Unleashed by Petco, his favorite place in the neighborhood where everybody knows his name. A service dog was coming out of the store with his mom, a student at Gallaudet, who had her rescue dog trained as a service dog.

We were quickly joined by another neighborhood dog and his dad who has a severe chronic pain disease. This rescue dog was also a service dog, and is able to detect a chemical produced in his dad’s brain that causes severe pain. He alerts him to take his medicine to get ahead of a pain onset.

We talked for quite a while outside Petco and both people said that these rescue dogs were lifesavers for them. I’ve always felt that when I rescued Phineas, he rescued me right back. For these dogs, that isn’t a feeling; it’s a fact. They saved the lives of these people, and that purpose has fueled a deep and unabiding love and devotion that goes both ways. It’s something that anyone can easily see just by meeting them.

I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of how rescue dogs can be incredible partners for people from all walks of life who are grappling with a whole host of health challenges. It’s amazing what love can do.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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