SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A pet therapist and a disabled dog are back on their feet, thanks to a huge offering of donations from News 8 viewers.
Trish Penick has helped thousands of dogs with her unique swim therapy. But in January, the helper herself needed help.
"I didn't know if we were going to have anywhere to work," Penick said.
After five years, Trish suddenly lost the lease at a pool in Carmel Valley. Her business was sinking, until News 8 viewers threw her a lifeline and offered their own swimming pools to save her.
"Some very very generous
people with good hearts, they just wanted to do it to help us," Penick
Trish had her pick of 25 pools from across the county. She found one in La Mesa to support her clients in the south, and a second one in Cardiff that looks more like a spa.
Vicki Armstrong watched our story and gave Trish a call, opening up her home and pool to the dogs.
"I am such a dog person. I have five rescue dogs myself, two of them are from Rancho Coastal Humane," Armstrong said.
It was at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in February where we first met Koa, an 88-pound gentle giant that was suffering from a grinding bone-on-one hip dysplasia. News 8 viewers paid for his $6,000 surgery. Then Jan Kreckter stepped up and took the rescue dog home.
"It was love at first sight. You saw that face, right?" Kreckter said.
Koa is still recovering from surgery. Penick offered free pool therapy to help. The swim therapy will build muscle without the pain of a weight-bearing treadmill.
"That's pretty amazing. She's a saint. I think that's great. I think our dogs need people like her," Kreckter said.
Much like Koa's circling puppy paws, from Trish to Vicki to Jan and all of those News 8 viewers, the story's positive energy just keeps going around and around. With the extra money collected for Koa's surgery, another shelter dog was able to have eye surgery.
"You know, it's the whole paying it forward thing. It all keeps going around," Penick said.