Northern California Nascar Driver AJ Allmendinger Loves Dogs

AJ Allmendinger in his Richard Petty Motorsports/Best Buy Racing #43 Ford Fusion

AJ Allmendinger, a native of Los Gatos, CA, and driver of Richard Petty’s legendary #43 car, is known as a dog lover partly because of his famous dog. His yellow Lab Misty was one of the stars of the movie Marley & Me. In 2008, Misty appeared in a scene where the puppy ran into a glass door and another one where she knocked over a bowl and ate food off the floor. AJ lists one of his favorite hobbies as playing with his pup who now weighs over 70 lbs. He said: “I’m a race-car driver, [my wife] Lynne is a licensed chiropractor, but I think we’re going to be known simply as Misty’s parents.”
Walldinger Racing Inc. released this on Tuesday:
Allmendinger Donation Will Help Can-Do-Canines
February 15, 2011

15 February 2011 (Davidson, NC)– He’s no dog trainer, but AJ Allmendinger will still be helping one dog make the transformation from adorable puppy into becoming a very helpful companion as the racer provided the support to train the newest member of the Can Do Canines family.

Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs.

Allmendinger’s support will go directly to training a four month old Black Lab named “Dinger,” described by the staff as “a bowling ball with legs.” Dinger will live with a volunteer “puppy raiser” family who will teach him more than 30 basic obedience commands over the next 12-15 months.

“The family will train Dinger so that he’ll not only know how to sit, stay, fetch and not steal lollipops from little kids, he’ll also be socialized in public and have great manners on the bus, in a restaurant or at the mall,” said Kevin Florence of Can Do Canines.

“From there, Dinger will return to Can Do Canines for advanced training and testing, where they will figure out what Dinger likes and what he is good at,” continued Florence. “For example, if he likes to pick up and carry things or pull a wheelchair, he’ll get advanced training to become a Mobility Assist dog. If he shows an aptitude to detect a low blood sugar scent, then he’ll get further training and paired with a client that has developed a complication of diabetes called “blood sugar unawareness.”

Additionally, Dinger could also become an assistance dog to a child with autism, Hearing Assist dog, Special Skills dog or a Seizure Assist dog. No matter what Dinger ends up doing to help, Allmendinger is pleased to be a part of it.

“When we found out about this program, we were pretty excited about the opportunity to help out,” said Allmendinger, who along with his wife Lynne have a Golden Labrador who hit the big screen as one of the dogs that played the title character in “Marley and Me.”

“We are dog lovers and of course we’ve worked with the Paralyzed Veterans Organization through Richard Petty Motorsports before, so this was something that made a lot of sense and I’m happy to be able to help. I’ll admit–I didn’t know they were going to name the dog after me, though!” added Allmendinger with a laugh.

If you would like to find out more about Can Do Canines, visit them on line at:

About Can Do Canines:
Can Do Canines is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. Can Do Canines envision a world where everyone who wants and needs an assistance dog can have one. Assistance dogs provide the gifts of freedom, independence, and peace of mind to our clients and their families. 

Our fully trained dogs, often adopted from local animal shelters, are provided to our clients who live with disabilities that involve mobility challenges, hearing loss or deafness, seizure disorders, autism, or diabetes complicated by hypoglycemia unawareness.

 Dogs, training and supplies are provided to each client free of charge.
You can follow AJ’s racing career at and also at Best Buy Racing.

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