If your dog has trouble walking due to arthritis in a knee or elbow, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine may be able to help with two groundbreaking clinical trials.
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What would happen to your pets if you became sick or worse? Most of us don’t have a backup plan if we die before our animals, but a new book is here to help. Authors Joe and Cathy Connolly found themselves in this situation when a death in their family left a 12 year-old dog named Mandy without a home. Together they wrote “If I Should Die Before My Dog-” to let pet owners know there is a way to create an organized plan, in the event of a life-changing emergency.
Sophie, the dog that inspired Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog, helped raise two adopted puppies and a litter of feral kittens. She learned to love animals from her mom who is a co-founder of the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society in Las Vegas, NV. On this Christmas Day, Sophie’s mom would like to share some adorable faces of dogs waiting to be adopted.
Max (pictured above) is a handsome 2 year-old Boxer who told Santa, “I have been a very, very good dog this year. I am potty trained and have learned my basic commands. Please send me a family of my very own. I promise to be their loyal companion.”
Stella is an adorable 3 month-old Terrier mix who loves to run and play. She’s a bit shy with new people, but is learning that being held and petted is very nice.
Cesar is another beautiful male Boxer who would love to start the New Year with a family to call his own. Cesar is a big goofball and a very exuberant boy. He is looking for an experienced owner who can give him lots of exercise.
Deuce had a rough start in life, but now that this young Poodle mix is safe he’s learning to love people and other dogs. He even learned that taking a bath and getting brushed can be fun if there are plenty of treats after.
Dogs rescued by Heaven Can Wait live at the women’s correctional facility and participate in a program called Pups On Parole. Abused and neglected dogs are given a second chance for a new life. At the prison they are given time to heal and re-gain their trust in humans and learn the skills that will help them find a new home.
Please don’t shop for a new pet – Adopt your new best friend.
Sophie had a loving home where she celebrated the holidays with her family and housemates. This Christmas, her mom can’t help but share the dog lovers version of “Twas The Night Before Christmas” which was adapted as a reminder that ALL pets deserve a family who will love and treasure them.
Twas the Night Before Christmas…Rescue Style
Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
With nary a thought of the dog in their heads.
And mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap,
Knew he was cold, but who cared about that?
When out on the lawn there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
The dog must be loose; he’s into the trash!
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Santa Claus with eyes full of tears.
He unchained the dog, once so lively and quick,
Last year’s Christmas gift, now thin and sick.
More rapid than eagles, he called the dogs name,
And the dog went right to him, despite all his pain.
Now DASHER, Now DANCER, Now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On COMET, on CUPID, on DONNER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!!
Let’s find him a home where he’ll be loved by all!!
I knew in an instant there were no gifts this year.
For Santa had made our mistake very clear.
The gift of a dog is not just for the season,
We had gotten a pup for all the wrong reasons.
In our haste to think of a gift for the kids,
There was something important that we had missed.
A dog should be family, and cared for the same.
You don’t give a gift, then put it on a chain.
And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight,
“YOU WERE GIVEN A GIFT!! YOU WERE GIVEN A LIFE.”
Read More Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog Stories: Lesson 3 – Play Games
Photo: Van Allen Belt
Adding a third dog to our family grew out of a bet during a baseball game at Wrigley Field. In an attempt to keep me interested in the game, my husband made the wager to adopt a new dog if the Chicago Cubs hit 12 homeruns. He thought he was safe about winning the bet, but he didn’t take into account that it was 1998; the year when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke world records for the most homeruns hit in a season. I returned to our hometown of Las Vegas and went directly from the airport to the city shelter. That’s how Sophie came to be part of our family.
Sophie fit right into our household and thoroughly enjoyed being the “baby” of our canine family. One of her greatest joys was going with her older housemates to run at the dog park. She would approach a group of dogs minding their own business and stand in front of them challenging them to a contest. Once she got their attention she would turn her back to them and take off running as fast as she could. Of course they chased after her and she loved the idea of leading the pack in a race. Ears flopping out to the side and her tail straight up, Sophie became the fastest runner in the dog park.
During a walk one day in 2008 Sophie’s back legs gave out and she fell on the sidewalk. Soon she began to slip and fall on a regular basis so we went to our veterinarian. After a long series of tests and no diagnosis, we took our little girl home. By summer 2009 Sophie was paralyzed from her mid- section to her hind legs.
Our family started a new “normal” life that included taking care of Sophie’s needs 24/7. We learned many life lessons from this journey that lasted nearly 5 years. Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is a tribute to Sophie and to all pets with special needs. It wasn’t a sad journey; in fact some of it was downright funny. I hope you’ll follow along with Sophie’s story at Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog.