ALBANY, N.Y. – A local rescue dog is paying it forward as he trains to become a registered therapy dog to help inspire others to persevere.
Hudson, known as one of the "Railroad Puppies" was abandoned on the railroad tracks in Albany this September, with two of his siblings. One puppy died from its injuries, but Hudson and Pearl survived. Hudson, whose left-rear limb was severed, now walks with a prosthetic paw.
Local children at St. Catherine's in Albany had a chance to meet Hudson and learn about his journey on Wednesday.
"Their connection is almost magical," said St Catherine's CEO Bill Gettman.
"To see him with the children, who have similar problems, and to see how happy they are and they are bringing a smile to their faces," said Hudson's owner, Rosemarie Nash.
Children who take part in the programs at St. Catherine's tend to have a difficult home life. Aimee and Valerie Gutin-Nado are part of the program, and say they can't get enough of Hudson and his playful ways.
"It is just incredibly mood-boosting," said Valerie.
"The dogs added was a good idea because it gets the kids outside and taking part in fun activities," said Aimee.
The fact that Hudson went through trauma of his own will make him a perfect therapy dog, says his owner Rosemarie Nash.
"He can show them that it's not so terrible. He has a prosthetic paw and still plays and people don't look at him like he's weird," she said.
"The kids hold back trauma and the dogs have a way of bringing it out of them in a positive way," said Gettman.
"Sometimes kids don't want to talk to adults so we will sit and they talk to the animals even just petting them reduces blood pressure and heart rate," said St. Catherine's teacher Colleen Mitchell.
Walker will serve six months in Albany County Correctional Facility, in addition to entering into 5 years of felony probation. A primary condition of that probation term is that he not possess or reside with animals. He will be sentenced on August 13, 2013.
You can follow Hudson on his Facebook page HERE.