When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. You've no doubt "heard" that expression before. But Rebecca Williams is living it. She's had some hard knocks in the last few years. But the way she's dealt with it, is a lesson to us all. Debbie Williams has her story, somewhere out along County Road 12.
To look at her now, as she plays with half a dozen or more dogs, you would never know. Rebecca Williams was once labeled disabled. "1993 went to bed one night, was perfectly healthy I was an interperator for the deaf. I had worked really hard that day and was sore. Thought that it was probably because I worked so hard and when I woke up the next morning, I couldn't get out of bed." Five months later, doctors had a diagnosis. "I had chronic fybromyalgia. It was so severe in my case that it mirrored MS." She was confined to a wheelchair for two years. "The label disabled really affected me." A dog trainer in her spare time, she soon had her own pet helping her, in more ways than she could have ever imagined. "It was amazing the first time I went out in public with her because instead of going how are you they go oh, that's a cool dog. How'd you teach that dog to do that?" A light bulb went off and Domesti-Pups was born.
Each week you can find Rebecca and her pups training around town, on this day they were in Montgomery Mall. "These are the same dogs that were bouncing around like idiots in the backyard less than 30 minutes ago," she says looking at the dog and puppies now dressed in their harnesses and service dog vest relaxing on the cool mall floor. Now, the teaching begins. Learning how to help someone who has trouble walking, go up or down stairs. "He looks toward you every time you go down a step and he turns toward you to keep you from falling." Or someone confined to a wheel chair getting a little help. She says it's her calling, training these dogs to help someone rejoin the world. It's something she knows first hand. "I've had so many people in my life tell me you can't and a dog toldme I could." In Montgomery, Debbie Williams and photojournalist Darren Gilley, somewhere out along County Road 12.