Petey is Violette Nast’s 9-year-old service Labrador. He can empty a dryer full of clothes into a basket, pull the basket to the bedroom, fetch medicine, close doors, and even pick up a coin from the floor.
Once, Petey even called 911 after Violette had an asthma attack and passes out.
“I have a medic alert and there is a main box which has a button on top and he is trained to hit that button,” said Violette.
The Black Labrador Retriever can even sniff out diabetes.
“As we all know, Labradors have such great noses so he can sense the chemical change and when it’s my diabetes he just puts his head in my lap and I know with his position that I’m headed for a blood sugar problem,” said Violette.
Violette Nast has struggled a lot in life. She survived a sexual assault. Her left leg was amputated. She lives in constant pain with fibromyalgia, diabetes, and asthma.
Her experiences and hardships became her foundation as a church volunteer and motivational speaker.
“Stuff happens and the good Lord turned me around and said ‘hey, now you’re going to help other people.'”
People are returning the favor, all because of Petey.
The Lab’s herniated disk and other health issues make it harder for him to care for Violette. Petey has to retire, and it is time for a new service dog.
The cost for purchase and training of one is at $9,000. Multiple Metro East communities helped to raise nearly $7,000.
The VFW in Collinsville, St. Paul’s United Christian Church in Columbia, and a Waterloo, Illinois Applebees Restaurant are among the local groups holding fundraisers. They raised $900.
Nast’s church, St. Paul United Christian, has co-sponsored several fundraisers, including lemonade stands and car washes.
Violette has been a part of so many people’s lives. Now that Violette needs some help, everyone is more than willing to step up and help her.
As of writing, nearly $7,000 has been raised for the new service dog. The yellow Labrador puppy is already being trained in North Carolina.
Part of Petey’s retirement will be showing the young Lab how it’s done.
If you’re interested in donating to the service dog fund, contact St. Paul’s United Christian Church in Columbia, Illinois, 618-281-5102.