The last full week in September is Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week and in honor of this special celebration, we’re sharing five stories of pet owners who adopted special needs dogs and never regretted it. These stories may inspire you to make similar adoptions of your own!
1. Patrick The Dog Who Was Blind And Deaf And A Best Friend
Thomas Newman Powell recently lost his best friend, Patrick the Dachshund, when his beloved dog had to be put to sleep due to having an enlarged heart. Patrick was born blind and deaf and was Thomas’s constant companion since 2003. In an interview with DogTime, Thomas shared his story of Patrick. “I was only 8 and they (my parents) were trusting me with a dog with such disabilities,” he recalled. “I remember saying he looked ‘scary’ because he didn’t have normal eyes. But he wasn’t scary at all and I grew to love him quickly.” He said that at first, Patrick bumped into walls and chairs and it took him a few months to get the house mapped out in his mind. As they both grew older, their bond grew stronger. “He would sleep in the bed with me every night, and wanna sit with me on the couch,” Thomas said. “I gave him a whole side (of the bed) to himself. He would lay on his side with his head on the pillow and I would tuck him in.” When Thomas moved in with his grandmother for a new job, Patrick adjusted to the house quickly and took to sitting in the recliner with Thomas’s grandma too. Thomas was heartbroken when Patrick had to be put to sleep. “He meant the world to me and I will never love an animal as much as I loved him,” he said. “He was a one of a kind dog and there will never be another Patrick.”
2. Jeni The Dog With Epilepsy
Nancie Lynne Vollmar and her husband have 11 pets, including three special needs animals. Jeni the dog is one of them. Nancie’s husband adopted Jeni, a Husky/Boxer mix, when she was about 5 years old. Jeni has epilepsy and her seizures are now controlled by medicine given twice a day. She’s a healthy weight, sociable, intelligent, and gives no signs that she once grew up on the streets. She has occasional mild seizures, sometimes triggered by loud noises like fireworks or disruptions in her routine that increase anxiety. Nancie told DogTime that they absolutely love Jeni and you’d have no idea she has any health problems if you weren’t told. They’re big proponents of adopting special needs animals!
3. Emma The American Bulldog/Pitbull Mix
Emma is a special needs dog who was born with a birth defect so severe, she can’t walk. She’s an American Bulldog/Pit Bull mix born with Polyradiculitis. Some dogs in her condition would get outfitted with a wheelchair, but Emma just won’t have anything to do with the contraptions. She prefers to drag or hop along on the floor. Her owner, Melissa Proctor Swanson, says that Emma has no idea she’s special and loves to run and play outdoors. The video above shows her greeting Melissa’s husband after he came home from a deployment. You can see more videos of Emma here.
4. Derby The Dog’s 3D-Printed Legs
Derby the Dog was first fostered by Tara Anderson, a director at 3D Systems. Derby was born with deformed front legs. Tara said that she cried every time she saw his story and decided to foster him so she could help him. She worked with her company to create 3D-printed prosthetic legs for Derby. They started the legs low, so Derby could get used to them, and will slowly give him taller legs over time. Derby’s been adopted by Sherry and Dom Portanova, who absolutely love him. They say he actually runs faster than they do!
5. Ruben The Wonder Dog
Ruben, a dog without any front legs, was adopted by Karen. She said he’s just like a normal dog, enjoys life, plays with other dogs, and is very affectionate. She said he has no idea that he’s special. She’s currently working on getting him a pair of wheels so he can run even better and be more independent.