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Old 08-26-2010, 01:51 AM   #1
Justin Jett
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Just to clarify my name. :-)

If I am repeating myself, I apologize. Just want to clear up any confusion between Skip and "Justin." I will try to keep this short.

My real name is Skip.

In 2005, I gave a speech about the bond that I had with a very special Greyhound named Justin. Training Justin taught me to believe in myself. After the speech, many people thought I was Justin and the dog was Skip. As time went by, I just got used to answering to the name Justin. There is much more to the story, but you get the picture.

The couple that adopted Justin understood what we both meant to each other. They have been very kind and went to alot of trouble to keep me in Justin's life. Justin passed away earlier this summer. I am currently working on writing something about Justin for my Facebook page

At the track and in the adoption kennel, Justin had a Greyhound friend named Jett. Jett looked and acted almost exactly like Justin. However, Jett had a little something extra. Three spots that shape a perfect (upside-down) Hidden Mickey on his rear end.

While I was out of town at a Greyhound Convention in Kansas, Jett got adopted. When I got back home, the kennel staff told me that Jett had been adopted by a family in Orlando, Florida. I flipped out with excitement! The kennel staff thought I had lost my mind. I was thrilled that the Mickey Mouse Greyhound would be near Walt Disney World.

Six months later, I got to meet Jett's family for the first time. One of the best friendships that I have ever had began to blossom. They encourage me to go back and finish the Disney College Program, and fulfill my dream of attending the University of Central Florida's Rosen School of Hospitality. Also, they helped me start my own business in Orlando. Oh yes.....and they are the family who turned me into a Florida Gator!!!

Both dogs help shape who I am today, and gave me a path to follow.

Justin gave me back the self esteem that I had lost in 1997. He taught me to believe that anything is possible.

Jett taught me that I have a purpose in life, and I should not reinvent myself when things dont go my way. He taught me to follow through and achieve goals.

This is just a brief summary of the name "Justin Jett" and why it is so meaningful to me.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:30 AM   #2
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Great story. It's easy to understand the confusion -as you're an inspiration as well!
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
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That's awesome.

I really look forward to seeing what you do with your degree. You are going to change a lot of lives!
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
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Thanks for that story Justin.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:38 AM   #5
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Awesome story, thanks for sharing that with us.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
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Great story Justin...I mean Skip. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:04 AM   #7
Justin Jett
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Geeeeeezzzzzzz......my grammar is awful at 3 o'clock in the morning!

Thank you all!

Kevin, you left chat before the confusion started last night. It was a fun exchange.
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:06 AM   #8
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Greensboro News & Record (NC)



March 12, 2006

Dogs' best friend


Author: TINA FIRESHEETS

Edition: People & Places
Section: People & Places
Page: P1
Dateline: RANDLEMAN








Estimated printed pages: 3



Article Text:

RANDLEMAN - On the day Skip Potter met Justin, he discovered his purpose in life: to work with greyhounds.

It was December 2004, Potter's first visit to Project Racing Home's retirement and adoption center in Randleman. The center relies on a crew of dedicated volunteers to help care for the dogs.

Potter, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, never doubted that he could help at the kennel, despite his physical limitations.

Justin, a 74-pound rambunctious greyhound, acts more like a puppy than a retired 5-year-old race dog. But on Potter's first day there, Justin put his head obediently on Potter's lap.

Potter stroked Justin's head and talked to him soothingly. He then told kennel owners Kimberly and George Jewell that he would put Justin back in the crate.

The Jewells told Potter to give it a try, but that he probably wouldn't succeed. People without disabilities have a hard enough time managing Justin, a stubborn and muscular dog.

But Potter was stubborn, too, and stronger than he appeared. He worked tirelessly to grasp Justin by the collar, leading him toward the crate - a task more difficult for Potter because he is unable to use his right arm and leg.

The Jewells taunted and teased him. "C'mon Skip. We've got to get him back in there. Today!" they joked.

Forty-five minutes later, face flushed and the veins in his neck bulging, Potter got Justin inside the crate. He felt like he'd won a race, and it became a turning point for him.

Potter, 31, volunteers twice a week at the kennel and is a Project Racing Home board member. He often joins the dogs and other volunteers at events promoting greyhound adoption.

Since his first victory with Justin, Potter has trained three Project Racing Home greyhounds to be therapy dogs, which can assist owners who use a wheelchair. Two have been placed in homes and one is ready for adoption.

Potter chooses dogs with calm dispositions and those that are comfortable around his motorized wheelchair. It takes him three to six months to train a dog. It never occurred to him that he wouldn't be successful - even on that first day with Justin.

"It's hard to explain; I just know things have to be done, and I just figure out a way to do them. That goes for inside the greyhound walls and outside in my daily life," said Potter, who also runs an online travel-consulting business.

Potter also is drawn to energetic dogs like Justin. They have a lot in common, he said: "I can't sit still. Neither can Justin. I love to be around people and so does he."

Potter's love for greyhounds began with a visit to Iowa in 2000. While visiting a friend at a casino, he planned to wager on a horse race. But something else caught his attention: a greyhound race.

"I had been interested in the American Kennel Club and dog shows for years, but had never seen or heard of greyhound racing before," Potter said.

He gave it a try and, after four hours of betting, he won enough money to buy a soda. He attended many greyhound races thereafter. "It's just beautiful to see these dogs run," Potter said.

But it wasn't until a family friend adopted a greyhound in 2003 that Potter came into contact with one.

He searched the Internet for local greyhound groups and found the Jewells' then-fledgling organization. Potter became a volunteer, working on communication and fund-raising efforts, mostly from his home.

He now owns two greyhounds, Taylor and Brandy. Brandy lives with Potter and his parents; Taylor, a race dog, lives on a farm in Florida and will begin training in June.

People have a lot of misconceptions about greyhound racing, Potter said. He's visited several training farms and hasn't observed any signs of abuse. Greyhounds, which can reach speeds of up to 40 mph, love to run, he said.

"For me, personally, it is my goal to help the dogs keep doing what they love to do and place them in a home when they retire," Potter said.

His love for greyhounds has spread to his father, Doug, a High Point dentist who also serves on the PRH board of directors.

Doug Potter said his son has become a different person since he's discovered greyhounds.

"The dogs gave him a sense of worth, a sense of importance," Doug Potter said.

George Jewell, concerned for Potter's safety, initially was hesitant about his working at the kennel. But his wife convinced him otherwise.

"He won't break. If he falls, we just pick him back up," Kimberly Jewell said. "I don't view anybody who's handicapped as any different."

Potter, who has earned national recognition for his work, spoke last year at a national greyhound convention.

It still surprises him that his life has changed so much.

"I'm not going to be in the NFL. I'm not going to be in the NBA. This is my chance to be involved in a professional sport," Potter said. ''I just love raising and training them."


Contact Tina Firesheets at 373-3498 or tfiresheets@news-record.com

Caption:
Jerry Wolford/News & Record

Skip Potter has gained national recognition for encouraging Greyhound adoption groups to allow disabled people to work with them.




Memo:
Skip Potter finds purpose in training Greyhounds to work with people like himself who use wheelchairs.

Copyright (c) 2006 Greensboro News & Record
Record Number: 060311622883
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:11 AM   #9
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Such a good and heart-warming story. Well the part about being converted to a UF Gator isn't that good but the rest is wonderful!
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilGMom View Post
Well the part about being converted to a UF Gator isn't that good but the rest is wonderful!
Just to clear up THIS confusion.....

It's great to be a Florida Gator!
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Old 08-26-2010, 10:43 AM   #11
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I have often wondered about dog racing. I never really liked it & always thought it seemed wrong. I'm glad that you visited a lot of the farms & can say there was no abuse. I'm feeling much better about it.
As a dog lover can i say thank you for all you do to help them!
Have a great day
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:47 AM   #12
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What a heart-warming story. Thank you for sharing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Jett View Post
Just to clear up THIS confusion.....

It's great to be a Florida Gator!
You need to come to the other side, and be an Ohio State Buckeye!
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:53 AM   #13
Justin Jett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethecastle View Post
I have often wondered about dog racing. I never really liked it & always thought it seemed wrong. I'm glad that you visited a lot of the farms & can say there was no abuse. I'm feeling much better about it.
As a dog lover can i say thank you for all you do to help them!
Have a great day
That is a very common point of view. I encourage you to visit a farm or track and see for yourself. Seeing is believing.

Also, if you do spot a problem, please report it to the police. If people are mistreating these dogs.....they need to be investigated and shutdown. However, in the 4 years that I have been racing dogs, I have only dealt with one "bad apple," and my dog was moved immediatly, and that person no longer has their license.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #14
Justin Jett
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv2Camp View Post
What a heart-warming story. Thank you for sharing.




You need to come to the other side, and be an Ohio State Buckeye!
Ohio State.....

Your post sure does bring back memories.

http://www.petget.com/prh/viewtopic.php?p=34422#34422
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Last edited by Justin Jett; 08-26-2010 at 01:32 PM. Reason: Edited to correct the link
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:11 PM   #15
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Thanks for sharing the great stories about your name and the dogs.

We have quite few adopted greyhounds around here. I think they are such cool looking dogs!
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