The Stink Bug Project
Hi, my name is Allison and I am 13 years old. I go to school, hang out with my friends, like to make totally useless craft projects and watch movies to study scenery (I’m going to study stage craft in high school). When I was six years old I had a brain tumor; I named my cancer and chemo treatments Stink Bug. When I was sick and feeling sad, I wanted to crush my Stink Bug! In my utopia, I wanted to say goodbye to cancer, chemo and just plain awfulness.
Then I got my puppy, Coco, from the Prison-Trained K-9 Companion program. At the time, I remember thinking that if I had Coco during my treatments, I know she would have been a great friend to me while I was sick. Since I knew there were other kids fighting cancer—in pain and feeling lonely—I wanted to do something to help them feel better.
So I began selling homemade dog biscuits and lemonade. I finally raised enough money to pay for the adoption of a trained companion dog for a child with a brain tumor. The first adoption was to a little girl named Krista. Her cancer left her blind in one eye so her way of seeing the dog was smelling its fur. The dog she chose was a black lab named Lucky Bug. Coincidence? I think not. Then, a few years later, we got a newspaper clipping of Krista in a performance of The Nutcracker on stage. Little miracles can do big things. Little did I know the word would get around and soon, many others would want to help me. So we started the Stink Bug Project; that was five years and many, many dogs ago!
Now we work with Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation so we can help more kids—as they battle their own serious illnesses— say goodbye to their Stink Bugs. And, we help more dogs find a loving kid to be their forever friend. This summer, KONG is hosting a Stink Bug Project reunion and we are inviting all the Stink Bug families. I wish you could meet all of the kids who now have their own Stink Bug dog; there are almost 40! Instead, you can see some of them here in their pictures with their dogs.
If you know of any kids who could use a loving furry friend to help them feel better, tell them about the Stink Bug Project!
The Stink Bug Project is looking to match well-trained, loving companion dogs with kids who have serious medical conditions. If a child you know is in treatment with a serious condition, lives in the Rocky Mountain region, and needs a forever friend to help them feel better, please contact the Stink Bug Project. For more information about the Stink Bug Project please contact Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation at 303.839.6782 or click here.