I was zipping around on Facebook a few minutes ago and came across a photo that belonged to “Team London and the 2 Legged Pit Bull.” I had to look at the photo because 1) I love Pits and 2) I love special needs dogs. What a darling, darling pittie, despite losing his 2 front legs! I mean, any photo will instinctively induce a strong desire to hug and kiss him. He is absolutely divine!
I felt remarkably good looking at his photos, and seeing his handsome face smiling, walking on two legs, loving affection from humans…and then suddenly I was sad. Not saddened by London’s condition, but sad because I love, love, love working with special needs dogs…yet we are so limited as to what we can take into our program due to space and finances. I just want to do more.
Special needs/handicapped animals are SO much fun! You would not believe their spirit and tenacity. They aren’t discouraged. Instead they simply adjust. No complaining, no whining, no demands…they just say “Well, okay, so I’ll do this….” A proper description of the emotions that overwhelm you when you spend time withe one of these dogs just isn’t available. You have to experience it for yourself to know the joy.
It’s not always easy. Things like bladder control, for example, can most certainly be trying. However, there are ways to work with problems that come your way. Sometimes you can carry on for years, other times it’s a shorter duration, but to walk side by side the dog that is committed to life gives you a strength that you never knew you could muster.
So if you ever find yourself parenting a pet that develops a special need, or have the opportunity to work with a rescue or shelter who works with handicapped animals, give it a chance. There is so much fun, education and strength gained from the pets, and you’ll find pride in their accomplishments and stoic mindset. If you just give it a try…you will never regret it. 🙂