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Jan 28

Keating the Amputee Therapy Dog Makes it Big in Amplitude Magazine

Your favorite furry friend was a main feature in the January edition of Amplitude magazine, a nation-wide magazine for amputees and prosthetic users. Reporter Elizabeth Bofki conducted an exclusive interview with the rockstar pup, Keating, to help spread the word on what it’s like to be a prosthetic therapy dog. In the article, Keating gives a bit of a backstory to explain his origin with the Miller family, and how he grew up to be a huge influence for amputees or anyone who needs a reminder of perseverance.

If you don’t know Keating’s story, this article is a great way to read up on how he goes about his days at work throughout the week, and even how he is able to use his prosthetic leg. The interview is a great read, formatted in the style of a Rolling Stones interview which gives off a real superstar vibe for the deserving therapy dog. Three whole pages are dedicated to Keating, with multiple pictures interjected throughout the article, one picture being his famous pirate picture (featured on his personal business cards).

To check out Keating’s full interview, head over to Amplitude Magazine’s website (link below), and stay tuned to catch this celebrity pup on his next tour!

Online article- https://livingwithamplitude.com/article/exclusive-interview-keating/

Sep 15

Keating loved the 2017 National Amputee Coalition Conference in Louisville!

Amputee Coalition National Conference 2017

Oct 15

Paralympics Rio 2016 – Press Release

Athletes from all over the world faced off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the 2016 Paralympic Games, and volunteers from the Mid-Ohio Valley were there to help!
A goal set in 2012 came to fruition four years later when Mark and Nancy Miller of Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics volunteered in the 2016 Paralympics. As a Certified Licensed Prosthetist, Mark Miller offered his services in the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. This time, against all the risks and warnings, they both made the trip to Rio. The volunteer process involved an online application, skype interviews and online training courses. Once selected as a volunteer, the company “Rio 2016” then assigns each volunteer a role and venue, and assigns a work schedule that can be accepted or rejected by the applicant. Volunteers must be willing to serve for ten days.

Mark and Nancy give USA Paralympic Kayaker Kelly Allen a Keating Pirate Shirt after her race!

Mark and Nancy give USA Paralympic Kayaker Kelly Allen a Keating Pirate Shirt after her race!

Nancy headed to Rio solo since she accepted her month long schedule, which included time before and after the games. The Paralympic Games ran from September 7- 18 and followed the regular Olympic games. The Opening and Closing Ceremonies were held at the same Maracanã Stadium as the Olympics, and the event venues and Paralympic Village were all held at the same places the Olympics occurred. Olympic Park, Athletes Village and other stadiums were built for the Olympic Games. New highways, subway lines and a new BRT bus system was also developed for the games but will also benefit the people of Rio.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is responsible for the Paralympic Games. They work together with the National Paralympic Committees (NPC) from each country. The International Federation of Sport (IF) has a leader in charge of each sport. Together the leaders of these groups make up the “Paralympic Family.” Nancy and Mark both worked in the International Relations department and the Paralympic Family Members were their clients. Nancy worked at the Paralympic Help Desk in the lobby of the Windsor Barra Hotel, in Barra da Tijuca neighborhood of Rio. Mark worked at the Tennis Venue at Olympic Park, which was also in Barra da Tijuca, but required an hour travel time between the BRT bus system and the long walk into the park.

Nancy received her assignment first, so she found an apartment next door to her work location, which happened to be across the street from the Barra da Tijuca beach. The location was fabulous. The ocean and the beaches are scattered with breathtakingly beautiful granite mountains. Surprisingly the beaches were very clean and the area was probably the safest in Rio. Rio is a very active and health-conscience community. In the morning, people exercise all over the beach, along with jogging on the beach or boardwalk, you’ll find biking, surfing, personal trainers, beach volleyball games and lessons, and even foot volley – which is a combination of soccer and volleyball. There are even exercise stations near each “Posto” which are numbered lifeguard stands. The Millers were able to fit in beach volleyball lessons three days a week before work. It was a double lesson since all instructions were in Portuguese! Along with the lessons, they made great friends with the owner, Cynthia, instructor Alex and many of the students. They even had a going away treat from one of the students with Canjica – a variety of Brazilian white corn served warm with milk, sugar and cinnamon and crushed peanuts on the side.

Mark was able to watch wheelchair tennis during some of his volunteer time, and got to know David Wagner, from team USA. Nancy worked behind the scenes with the organizers. Although she didn’t get to work at a venue, she was given tickets to several events including the Opening and Closing Ceremony. The seats were actually some of the best in house, and included access to the Paralympic Family Lounge. The lounge ended up being a great place to get to know some of the leaders from each country, and learn a bit about how the organization of the games works.

The Millers’ were able to sync their schedules and attend several events on their time off. They watched Wheelchair Rugby, Women’s Triathlon, Cycling, Wheelchair Tennis, and Canoe Sprints (which were actually racing kayaks). There were so many more events they wanted to see, but it was tough to fit everything in. The venues were very spread out. The track and field events, for example, were across town, almost two hours away.

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Women’s Triathlon – USA Athlete

The athletes were absolutely amazing. Nancy said “the wheelchair rugby had serious bumper action, even overturned chairs and the wheelchair tennis players would easily beat me”. The United States women swept the triathlon, with Allysa Seely taking Gold, Hailey Danisewicz taking Silver and Melissa Stockwell with Bronze in the PT4 category, and Grace Norman crossing the finish line first, taking the gold in the PT2 category. The athletes are categorized according to their level of ability. The wins were extra rewarding in this inaugural year – 2016 was the first year the triathlon was an official sport in the Paralympics. The Millers also witnessed the inaugural canoe event and met the Kelly Allen, the USA female athlete after the race. They congratulated Kelly with a Keating Pirate shirt!

When asked what the best part of the trip was, Nancy replied “By far the best part of Rio and this Paralympic adventure was the welcoming nature of the Cariocas and all of the Brazilian people. (Cariocas are the proud people who are originally from Rio.) In all of the places we have been, we have never met more friends and felt more welcomed than we did in Brazil.” In fact, Nancy met Claudia originally through Air B-n-B and in person on Nancy’s second day in Rio, and now has a best friend for life! Along with Brazilians, they made new friends from all over the world! They were invited to the German House, and danced the night away on a dance floor filled with a good mix of Germans and Brazilians along with athletes, people dancing on their feet or in their chairs.

Trading pins is a key activity among people involved with the games. The Millers were prepared with pins of their own to trade. The “Keating” pins featured their amputee pirate dog with Carpe Diem, Ohio – WV, USA and their website. The pins along with similarly made Keating shirts were a big hit with everyone. They returned home with a new collection of pins from around the world and two athletic shirts from Ireland and Portugal.

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One sunny day off after the canoe sprint event, Mark and Nancy fit in some sightseeing. They took a train to the top of Corcovado mountain to see “Christ the Redeemer” up close. Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) is a statue that is two-thirds the height of the Statue of Liberty. There, on top of one of the new seven wonders of the world, they ran into Mark’s new friend, David Wagner, who just took the silver medal in wheelchair tennis. From there the Millers headed to Sugarloaf Mountain, where they took a cable car to both mountain tops. On the highest peak, they ran into more friends – this time, it was the NPC President from Ireland and his wife Jimmy and Catherine Gradwell. The Millers then found their way to an amazing bar/restaurant with an indescribable view and met the Mullen family from Scotland. Turns out their son Andrew Mullen swam for Great Brittan’s Paralympic team. The Millers were able to catch Andrew take the Silver in the 50m backstroke the next evening on Sportv and recorded the medal ceremony for them.

The last week Nancy was in town, she shopped for gifts for members of the Prosthetic Users Group. This group of friends with limb loss meets the fourth Thursday of the month at Shoney’s in Parkersburg, WV at 6:30.  Please spread the word to anyone you know with limb loss.
You can read more about their Paralympic Adventures and see photos at Millerpo.com – click on the “Rio” link on the top right.

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International Relations Team poses with Paralympic Mascot, Tom at the Paralympic Family Hotel

Jun 28

Keating Aces Test as Certified Therapy Dog

Congratulations Keating! Miller Prosthetics & Orthotics is proud to announce that Keating has graduated and is now an official therapy dog. His certification from Therapy Dogs International (TDI) is a result of a series of classes and intense personal training.

Keating is now a certified therapy dog!

Keating just passed his Therapy Dog Test!

Owners Mark and Nancy Miller rescued the amputee puppy two years ago from a shelter in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Keating is a regular fixture at the offices. He greets patients, and shows them how happy and well-adapted he is with his artificial leg.

Keating graduated from two classes at the Parkersburg Obedience Club in 2014: Puppy Obedience and Basic Obedience. After the initial training and spending time in both offices, the Millers decided to step up the training. Amanda Ingram from Band of Canines Dog Training spent five days training Keating and Nancy in their office setting. Ms. Ingram has gained her experience in the Army, where she trained bomb-sniffing search dogs. Her technique worked well for the Miller-Keating pair.

Keating’s certification from TDI came just in time for him to join the Millers at the Amputee Coalition’s National Conference in Greensboro, NC. Keating’s official certification gave him access to the entire event, interacting with people from all over the world. “We knew Keating was a hit with our patients, but we never dreamed of the importance this dog holds, gauged by the reactions of the crowd. Many attendees were overcome with emotion, shedding tears, giving hugs, and taking lots and lots of pictures.” According to Nancy, Keating was in his element and loved every bit of the attention!

In addition to his time in the office, Keating visits clients every Tuesday morning at Belpre Landing, the brand new short-term rehabilitation and assisted living facility near their Belpre office.  He also plans to visit patients in the hospitals, nursing homes and definitely next year’s conference in Louisville, KY. If you have someone who may need a visit from this special dog, call Nancy Miller at 740-421-4211. You can also keep up with Keating and see additional photos at MillerPO.com/Inspiring-Stories/Keating.

Special Thanks to Ruth DeFranco (second from left) and the testing team in Alliance Ohio for arranging our testing day. Therapy Dogs International.

Special Thanks to Ruth DeFranco (second from left) and the testing team in Alliance Ohio for arranging our testing day. Therapy Dogs International.

 

“Look! He is just like me!”

Keating finds a new friend, Angel, at the National Amputee Coalition Conference June 2016.

 

Amputee Therapy Dog Keating poses with Reggie Showers

Keating poses with Reggie Showers, Professional Motorcycle Racer and recently crossed the Serengeti Desert with “Mygrations”, a program currently airing on the National Geographic Channel.

 

Keating poses with World Champion Triathlete Mabio Costa

Keating poses with Two-Time World Champion Triathlete, Mabio Costa! National Amputee Coalition Conference June 2016 in Greensboro, NC.

 

 

May 19

Happy 2nd Birthday Keating! May 19, 2016

We had a fun impromptu birthday party for Keating in our office today! He enjoyed his slice of cake and his birthday gifts of ham and salami!  Thanks to Amanda, Chester & James for helping us celebrate!!

 

 

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Mar 29

Giving the Dog a Bone – 3D Printed Style

Nov 2

Selfies with Keating!

Our daughter Arienne was home from college for the weekend, and got a chance to play with Keating!  She worked on his “Selfie” trick.  Below is a quick video and some photo’s from the beautiful fall day.

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Nov 2

Keating Fetch Video and Fall Photo Shoot with Arienne!

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Although Keating gets along fine with three legs, he loves running fast with all four! Check out the video of our daughter Arienne playing fetch with him. He is also getting quite used to the camera. We did a fun photo shoot with the Miller Prosthetics & Orthothics (MPO) gear. The green bandana is his work uniform, and Arienne is wearing one of our original t-shirts! Keating loved the treats he got after each good pose. He’s up for a photo shoot any day!
Notice the foot on the leg he is wearing. Mark turned the foot around so he wouldn’t get it caught on sticks, wires, etc when he runs.

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Oct 21

Road Trip to Virginia!

Mark and Nancy attended the Virginia Orthotic and Prosthetic Annual Conference in Richmond, Virginia on October 17-18, and Keating tagged along. Keating was welcomed by the clinicians, vendors and patients at the show. Thanks to Comfort Products, Inc. he even got two new pairs of prosthetic socks to help his leg fit more comfortably.

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Aug 22

Meet Keating!

Meet Keating!  He is a 13 week old adorable puppy, a mixed hound breed.  He is a congenital amputee, which means he was born without a complete right front leg.  Keating came to us all the way from Chattanooga, TN.  We found him through Traci, a prosthetist  in Tennessee, who volunteered to fit the dog with a prosthetic leg.  Traci wanted to help the local shelter find a permanent home for him with a prosthetist that would continue to make new legs as he grows.  She sent an email to an online network of prosthetists, and Mark answered the post.

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Traci put us in touch with April with the rescue group “MARC” to finalize the arrangements.  After several phone calls to make sure the fit was right for us and the puppy, April arranged transportation.  A driver picked up the puppy in Chattanooga and was able to take him to Wytheville, VA.  I made the 3 ½ hour drive south to Wythville and was ready and waiting for the puppy.  Thanks to Traci and April, Keating and the Millers are now one happy family.

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When we got him, he had two prostheses that worked okay, but needed to be modified.  The first time we put the leg on him, he ran across the field, but the leg wouldn’t stay on.  We tried the second leg the next day and it stayed on great, but is a little short. That was enough for Keating though.  The leg enabled him to run through the campground in Fayetteville, hang out on the boat and play on the banks of Summersville Lake.  Welcome to the Miller family, Keating, get ready for a life full of adventure!

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When we finally got home Saturday night, Keating was ready to play.  I bounced a ball across the floor, and Keating took off after it, grabbed it and delivered it right back to me!  I couldn’t believe it.   The thumping of the right leg was too cute.  Check out Keating’s first ball fetch!

 

The puppy has a great temperament and is very smart.  He listens well and is eager to please as he learns new tricks.  We are working on come, sit and “bang” (where he rolls over and plays dead.)  Now our goal is to train and license him to be a therapy dog for our patients.

Why the name Keating?  Mark watched Robin Williams play Professor Keating in the Dead Poet’s Society the night before Robin’s death.  In honor of a comedian/actor we both loved, we chose the name Keating for our new puppy.

We are also planning to bring 3D printing into the practice, where we can use it to make new sockets for Keating.  We are headed to a 3D printing conference next month and hope to learn about the printers and software necessary to bring another leading technology into the office.

Let us know if you want to meet Keating.  Call Mark anytime at his office line 304-699-2373.

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