One couple is paying tribute to the amazing work of therapy and service dogs in a 2013 calendar.
Titled 'Rescued Heroes,' the calendar features 11 dogs who were rescued -- via adoption or by sheer luck -- and now work as therapy dogs, providing service and comfort to people in need. On the cover is Fitz, a service dog for an Iraq veteran with PTSD.
"We were so impressed with the way service dogs can help veterans manage their 'invisible wounds' and get their lives back," creator Lynn Sansale told The Huffington Post.
Lynn's husband, Paul Sansale, does all the original artwork for the calendar. The calendar's release comes one year after their 2012 edition, 'Rescue Dogs To Therapy Dogs,' which also paid tribute to some of the most amazing canines who have risen above difficult backgrounds.
One such example is Lucy, a small, beautiful Golden Retriever. At age one and a half, she was given up by her family due to hip dysplasia. In May 2006, Gwen, a life coach, submitted a request to meet Lucy, who was up for adoption on a local website.
Serendipitously, Lucy's owner had already called Gwen earlier that day, wanting to become a client. Once introduced, Gwen and Lucy attended an evaluation for Lucy to become a therapy dog, and they now frequent R.E.A.D. storytelling sessions, which are a perfect fit for Lucy's hip issues.
“Lucy just loves kids,” Gwen says. “Her sweet, gentle presence is a wonderful gift to shy and struggling readers.”
Check out the dogs in this year's calendar in the slideshow below, which includes a sampling of their heartwarming stories. For the rest, purchase the 2013 calendar here.