How many times have you seen a picture of a sad homeless dog living in terrible conditions and said, “Someone should help that animal?” Well an animal lover from Colorado named Susan, made that comment after she saw a photo of a sick dog who was fending for himself on the other side of the globe. She spearheaded a rescue mission to give the paralyzed street dog from Taiwan a second chance.
This story originally posted in 2014, but I think the message about the strength of the human-animal bond makes it worth telling again.
Susan waited 18 months for the beautiful Husky named Naconi to be healthy enough to travel to the USA. Then she got started on the work to get a dog wheelchair for Naconi and see that he received the rehabilitation therapy he needed so the dog could hopefully walk again.
Here is my interview with Susan about her bond with Narconi
How did you discover Naconi?
Susan: I was browsing on Facebook when I saw an image that I could not forget or ignore of a dog lying on the ground wearing a bright red collar with his eyes closed as if he had given up. Something about that image compelled me to look further. The picture was of Naconi.
What do you know about his history?
Susan: The history we have learned is long and at times troubling. Naconi was abused, nearly starved and disabled, all while trying to stay alive on the city streets of Taiwan. After I called about him, a benefactor in Taiwan helped him get admitted into a veterinary hospital. Then 18 months later, Naconi was well enough to travel. He had massive external injuries and that’s when we found out he was also paralyzed. We knew once he arrived home, we would have to do things for him, like having to catheter him twice daily and assisting him to move his bowels. After almost a year in Colorado, Naconi can now do this on his own.
Does his name have a special meaning?
Susan: The name Naconi means wanderer, in Comanche. In Taiwan he had three names: Adorable, Beautiful and finally they gave him the masculine name of Prince. We named him Naconi because he wandered the streets of Taiwan and then flew to San Francisco and finally landed in Denver and our home.
Did Naconi’s experience leave any emotional scars?
Susan: We know he is afraid of lighters and anything that makes that same clicking sound. We can only guess why he fears lighters so much. He’s also intimidated by big dogs, which most likely stems from him being disabled and trying to survive on the streets.
Explain the special dog wheelchair Naconi uses and what you hope it will do for him.
Susan: While looking for things to make life easier for Naconi, I came across the KERDOG/ SOPHIADOG Therapy Chair. We know that Naconi is grade 3 paralysis and the dog modeled in the therapy chair video was evaluated at grade 5 which meant he was far more disabled then Naconi and in 3 1/2 months the dog could walk again. (The KERDOG Therapy Chair has peddles that promotes a dog to strengthen their back legs after spinal surgery.) Unfortunately, the cost of the chair was far out of range for Susan and her family so in her resourceful nature she decided to start a fundraiser for the cart.
Update: The funds were raised and Naconi exercised with his wheels and with aqua therapy sessions.
Susan and her family also adopted a second disabled dog. Sammy is a Dachshund whose spine was injured after a larger dog rolled on top of him. His owners could not afford to take care of his injuries so little Sammy was confined to life in a crate until Susan came to his aid.
“Instead of enjoying life, Sammy’s world was being locked up. I could not allow that so I adopted him,” said Susan.
Susan’s efforts to rescue two handicapped dogs are truly amazing. We can’t thank her enough for sharing her story. You can keep up-to-date on both Naconi and Sammy’s progress on their FB Page. Here is the video of the KERDOG Therapy Chair for you to see.
Related Story: Paralyzed Dog Takes His First Steps