AC’s Culture of Caring extends to helping an injured dog convalesce

by Joe Wyatt
Published November 12, 2020

Had Terry Longbine been forced to choose between continuing his quest for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) at Amarillo College or staying home with his grievously injured 3-month-old chocolate lab, the pup would have easily won out.


Fortunately, he was spared from making that fateful choice when, at the urging of some compassionate staff at AC’s East Campus, both dog an owner began attending school together – one to convalesce, the other to persevere.


Emma, whose hips had to be surgically reattached to the spine after being run over by a car, now contentedly spends her days in the care of Shauna Jones, staff assistant, and Sheri Myers, supervisor of professional truck operations.


“We never envisioned a situation like this, but we’re happy to do whatever we can to help our students succeed,” Jones said. “Emma is just adorable. She’s no problem at all and getting stronger every day.”


Said Myers: “Helping care for Emma is a pleasure, just another example of a very real culture of caring at work at Amarillo College.”


Emma, whose injury occurred Nov. 2, cannot yet walk on her own and therefore requires assistance when nature calls. Support straps help whoever’s walking the dog hold her upright. The traumatic accident nearly proved fatal.


“The first veterinarian I took her to only suggested euthanasia, but I said ‘no way,’” Longbine said. “The vet I found who finally did the operation had never even done it before – screwed both hips back into the spine – but it worked.


“Emma may always walk with a limp, but thanks to her being so young – 13 weeks – she should fully recover otherwise.”


Because Longbine had to search for a willing surgeon for his pup, he missed a full day of CDL classes. The explanation he gave to his teachers for his absence is what alerted Jones and Myers to his dilemma; they immediately encouraged him to let Emma stay in their offices as long as necessary.


“I really appreciate all they are doing for Emma and me,” said Longbine, who expects to complete the CDL Program on Dec. 18. “They’ve truly been a godsend for me and Emma, both.”