Rosemary Gordon calls herself a retired nurse, but after hearing her story it is my estimation that she is anything BUT retired. Rosie is the adopted mother and caretaker to four dogs; two that have significant special needs.
The family consists of Axel, a two year-old Pug who was born at a puppy mill with bilateral severe hip dysplasia. Animal control found Axel discarded outside the puppy mill, apparently because his bad hips kept him from working as a stud dog. He was turned over to a Pug rescue group and when Rosie saw his sweet face, she knew he was meant to be part of her clan. You see Rosemary had two hip replacements and felt she and Axel were kindred spirits.
“Axel was lame in his left hip, but he had hip surgery and now he walks and runs fine,” said Rosemary.
Anna is a nine year-old Pug who ended up at a rescue group, after being used for seven years as a breeding dog in a Missouri puppy mill. At first Anna was a frightened and untrusting girl, but Rosie says she has come a long way since her adoption.
Buddy is a loveable ten year-old Labrador who joined Rosemary and her husband Gary after his elderly owner had to move into a nursing home.
The newest dog to be adopted is Frank. Rosemary first saw his picture on Facebook and like Axel she was instantly drawn to the little guy when she read that he was born with severe spinal cord problems that left his back legs paralyzed.
“He was in very poor health when we rescued him, but now he is stronger and a very happy dog,” said Rosemary. “He will soon be receiving his wheelchair and we so look forward to seeing him fly again with his new wheels.”
To call attention to dogs with special needs, Rosie started a Facebook page. Updates and wonderful pictures are posted on Rosemary Frankie Gordon – Crazy Legs.
Rosemary’s love of special needs dogs began with her first Pug, Simba who became a diabetic at age eleven and lost her vision two months later. Her Pug brother became her Seeing eye dog.
“Simba taught me so much about living life in the moment and adapting to change,” said Rosemary.
The Gordon’s later adopted Rocky, another Pug who was fresh from a puppy mill where he had lived in a 4 X 4 foot cage. Like Simba, Rocky also became blind, but that didn’t matter to Rosie.
“He was my ‘heart dog’,” said Rosie.
Sadly all three Pugs have passed away, but Rosemary looks at their time with her as a gift. The special needs dogs have given back to her more than the love and care she provided for them.
And regarding Frank’s future Rosemary said, “He presented us with a whole new set of challenges, which at first, seemed insurmountable, but with the support of Facebook friends and three wonderful veterinarians, we have overcome those challenges and today he is a happy, healthy boy.”
As Rosemary’s young niece said, “Frank doesn’t know he is handicapped. He is just Frank.” I think that says it all.
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