The Story of Hokie, the Black Lab

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

It's Black Dog Day so I thought I'd tell you about a very special black Lab by the name of Hokie.

In August of 2011, I was asked by staff of St. Francis Service Dogs in Roanoke, Virginia to take a 9-month-old black Lab "for a few days".

Hokie (named by her Bland Prison puppy raiser because he was a Virginia Tech fan) was limping badly and needed to see the vet.

I thought it might be panosteitis, which presents itself as limping which moves from leg to leg.

But the vet announced she had elbow displasia and Hokie was "career changed" by the organization.

Then came the search for her "forever" home.

After a few weeks, I was told Hokie had a home. I accompanied the career-change coordinator to the new owners' home, told them what I knew about Hokie, and said my goodbyes.

A couple of days later, the coordinator called me and said the adoption had fallen through.

Hokie didn't like their cat and she peed on the floor!

So I took Hokie back until she the time came when she had two families interested in adopting her so I took her to meet them.

One of the potential adopters was looking for a dog to run with and the vet had said because Hokie had elbow displasia, she was definitely NOT allowed to run. (Interestingly, I noticed Hokie's limp cleared up after a few days of running with my dog, Zippy, who was als