Our new “normal” lifestyle with Sophie was actually one of constant change. As soon as Ken and I would become accustomed to a particular way of helping of her, the paralysis would take over more of her body and we would have to make adjustments. One of the biggest changes came when Sophie lost her voice. Did I ever mention that somewhere between year one and two of her illness, Sophie lost the ability to bark?
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.
Rikki is a sweet little Chihuahua who was born with a deformity in her front legs. The Animal Rescue League of Boston realized that while Rikki’s body might not be perfect, the perfect match could be made with a loving family. This Holiday Season, Rikki is getting the chance for a new life.
Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog encourages everyone who is looking for a new pet, to consider adopting one of amazing dogs and cats available at shelters with disabilities or special needs. That animal will be forever grateful for your help.
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.