Charlie Sparkle’s purpose in life is to make people happy. Born with Spina bifida, the 3-year-old English bulldog works his magic every week as a certified therapy dog in Logan, Utah. He scoots through the halls of the Sunshine Foundation’s Terrace Grove Assisted Living putting a smile on the faces of the residents. [Read more…]
I am thrilled to share this guest post from fellow blogger and animal lover Nikki Carvey. Trained as a journalist in the UK, Nikki now makes her home in Los Angeles where she says she “complains less about the weather.” Nikki has always had a passion for English Bulldogs and she writes about them often. Not long ago she met another family of Bulldogs that she feels has an important lesson for all pet parents.
The family calls themselves Mickey and The Padded Bum Crew because all of the pups are in diapers due to a birth defect that is commonly seen in English Bulldogs.
It is called Spina bifida and the condition happens when one or more of a dog’s vertebrae do not properly fuse together in the womb. While the problem isn’t well-understood, researchers believe there is a strong genetic component that is somehow linked to malnutrition or the ingestion of toxins by the mother during pregnancy. Dogs with Spina bifida have problems walking, controlling their muscles and are usually incontinent. They can also have a drainage from their spine. The good news is Spina bifida doesn’t get worse with time.