When you write a blog, you never know who is going to read it or how it will affect them. I always hope to inspire people, but I really never know unless they reach out to me. Recently, Amber M. read one of our stories about amazing pets with disabilities. It encouraged her to share the sweet story about how she decided to adopt a paralyzed puppy named Fitzgerald.
Her story began in upstate New York while Amber was trying to fulfill a Christmas wish for her parents.
Here is Amber and Fitzgerald’s story
This past Christmas my parents told my siblings and me not to give them gifts, but to instead spend the money on charitable work no matter how big or small. I have always loved and rescued animals so that became the idea for my gift. To make my donation personal, I chose a local animal rescue called Logan’s Rescue in Ontario, NY. The rescue is run by a veterinary technician named Lauren. At the time she was fostering a lot of dogs and cats and was about to take on 14 puppies so we decided to meet at her home. As I was going over the wish list of items I could donate, Lauren brought out a sweet 6-month-old paralyzed puppy.
I fell in love. I already have a 4-year-old rescue Pit bull, named Hemingway, who is quite a handful so it made me wonder if I could take care of two dogs; one with special needs. The question drove me to do research about the options out there for paralyzed dogs. I researched everything from the price of diapers, wipes, wheelchairs etc.
That’s how I found Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog and I was able to have my questions answered. There was no question as to my next step, so I set up a home visit with Lauren.
How Fitzgerald became paralyzed
This brings us to the story of how Lincoln (now renamed Fitzgerald) became paralyzed. At 4-weeks-old there was an accident which left him with a shattered pelvis. There is a mark by his tail where the fur never grows. Our veterinarian believes someone stepped on him with a high heeled shoe.
The owners gave him away and did not seek medical treatment. His new owners tried to help by sticking him in a diaper, but they did not get medical care for him either.
It wasn’t until Fitzgerald was 3-months-old that he was surrendered to Logan’s Rescue. Lauren went to work giving him the care he desperately needed. She took the puppy to a veterinarian, but after a thorough exam and x-rays it was determined that too much damage had been done. Fitzgerald would be paralyzed for life.
Life at Fitzgerald’s forever home
From the day I brought him into my home I have never regretted a moment. We spent the first couple of weeks figuring out how to stop his leaky diaper and wondering where he got his escape artist skills. I would come home from work to find my puppy downstairs and his crate, upstairs!
While there are daily struggles of money, time, washing, feeding and taking Fitzgerald to physical therapy and laser therapy; it has also been the most rewarding days of my life. He has brought so much joy to Hemingway and me. Fitzgerald has no idea he’s different. He’s a happy puppy who is still figuring out the world.
His demeanor for a puppy is stoic and gentle. And after taking him around town to see how he interacts with people, I’ve decided he is a natural born therapy dog. That is what we will be focusing on in the future.
I am going to see that Fitzgerald lives life to the fullest. I want him do everything like any other dog. I am working on getting him custom wheels to get around and I hope take him to a specialist at Cornell University, which is nearby.
Stay in touch with Amber and Fitzgerald
Amber started a Facebook page where pet lovers can keep up with Fitzgerald’s progress and his adventures with his brother. I hope you’ll check it out.