Superstar NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. plans to retire at the end of this year.  Sunday will be Dale Earnhardt Jr’s final race at Sonoma, a track in California.  It’s customary for tracks to give a token of appreciation to star drivers who are retiring, and much like the other racetracks he’s visited since announcing his retirement, Jr. was presented with a farewell gift, or should we say, a trio of gifts, ones which will benefit others in the community for years to come.

The President of Sonoma, Steve Page, introduced Jr. to three puppies, ‘Dale’, ‘Amy’ and ‘Junior’. The Lab trio, donated by Tabbitha Whitaker of Micons Labradors and Fieldstone Labradors, will be taught to help children with disabilities, including autism and mobility issues.

The track donated the three puppies to Paws As Loving Support (PALS) Assistance Dogs on Earnhardt’s behalf. Jr. and his wife, Amy, are both passionate animal lovers.  Puppy Dale, formerly known as Casper, will also be part of the PALS juvenile detention program.  Incarcerated youth will be instrumental in providing his basic service dog training.

At the ceremony, the puppies were outfitted in capes embroidered with their names.  Said a visibly touched Jr.,

“It really warms my heart.  We love dogs and making a difference in people’s lives.”

Page told the crowd, “Dale has such a huge following among our fans and we wanted to find a way for his legacy to carry forward.  These three puppies will make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people…”

Pretty cool!  To learn more about PALS and their programs, click here!

If you’d like more stories like these, click here!  And catch an episode of ShelterMe.tv like this one, where shelter dogs are paired with veterans to help them overcome their PTSD.

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