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Lone Star Chapter

South Central Region

Gary Boyd

Meet Gary Boyd
Gary Boyd was 22 years old when he suffered a fractured femur while playing softball. His injury turned out to be a "huge blessing in disguise". As a result of the treatment on his femur, doctors discovered that he had a rare form of cancer. Although his cancer was invasive, he had no pain or other symptoms indicating a problem. If he had not suffered the injury playing softball, he may not have had the diagnosis in time for a positive outcome. The cancer ultimately resulted in the amputation of his leg and he endured many months of treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. Thankfully he survived! Gary adjusted to the loss of his leg and for 25+ years did things on his own with little help from others. A few years ago he visited a highly regarded prosthetic company in Florida; the owner (Stan) told him that as he gets older he needs to protect his one leg and not overburden it. Stan suggested that he consider a service dog to assist him with routine tasks and told him about Canine Companions for Independence. At first Gary was apprehensive about getting a service dog. But then he met a Canine Companions graduate (Val) who was also an amputee and learned about the value that her service dog had added to her life.

In 2014 Gary attended team training at the South East Region Training Facility in Orlando, Florida. There he was paired with Sorley, a black Lab Golden Retriever Cross. Sorley helps Gary by carrying things for him when he is using his crutches and retrieving things that are out of reach or that have fallen on the floor. These actions help him put less stress on his leg so that he can maintain good health into the future. Sorley even helps water a newly planted tree by pulling out the hose for him!

Sorley helps Gary water

When asked, Gary says the best thing about Canine Companions for Independence is the team spirit and support the staff provides. You feel like "you are a part of Canine Companions and they are a part of you". Now he takes great satisfaction in being able to offer support to others seeking information about his battle with cancer, his leg amputation and our great dogs. When out in public Sorley provides the social bridge that enables those discussions.

The Boyd family with Jenny

Gary works as a Project Leader for Fidelity Investments in West Lake. In his spare time he enjoys golf, travel and coaching basketball. For the past seven years he has coached 5th and 6th grade girls' basketball for his church, First Baptist of Carrollton.

Gary grew up in Plano but now lives in Corinth with his wife of 14 years, Sherry. She works for the City of Flower Mound Police Department and has volunteered to work on the planning committee for our upcoming Howl-O-Ween Yappy Hour. Sorley's Puppy Raiser was Jenny Becker; Sherry and Gary feel like she is their "adopted daughter". Finally, Sorley has a four legged brother named Dreiden. He is a German Shepard that Sherry and Gary rescued 2 years ago.

Please join us in thanking Gary and Sherry Boyd for their contributions to Canine Companions for Independence and the Lone Star Chapter!