Finding a pet sitter for a dog that couldn’t walk or go to the bathroom on her own was a lot like Jane and Michael Banks, from Mary Poppins, as they searched for a “practically perfect” nanny. The whole idea seemed practically impossible.
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.
This story is part of a series called The Lessons . This post was updated October 2018.
This story is a personal account of my dog and her first encounter with a dog wheelchair. It’s not meant to deter pet owners from getting a wheelchair for their paralyzed dog. The majority of handicapped dogs love their carts. The goal of the story is to offer alternatives if your dog doesn’t take to a wheelchair or if they are too ill to maneuver a cart. For more information about dog wheelchair brands, please click on our annual Dog Wheelchair Review in the middle of this story .
My dog Sophie was a paralyzed, but she still loved being outdoors. She was used to going on daily walks before her illness and she still craved the fresh air and smells of our neighborhood. The desire to keep her mobile led to a whole series of paralyzed dog wagons, wheelchairs and carts my husband and I bought for her to try. Some of these were good ideas and others turned out to be pretty terrible. I hope you’ll use our experience as a guide of what not to do.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear bad news about the health of a loved one I feel compelled to take action. The first thing I do is run to the computer to research all I can about the ailment. It gives me a sense of control when I understand, at least the basics of the disease and it makes me feel like I’ve taken a step to help the person in need. I’ve done this over and over again during the years, when my parents became ill, every time my child got sick and especially when each of my pets got old.
I guess this makes me a bit of a control freak and probably explains why I find it so frustrating to watch a movie where a person has been kidnapped. Inevitably the FBI agent tells the family to sit tight at home and wait for a call. I wouldn’t be able to wait at home for one minute. I’d be out on the streets combing every corner of my town, looking for my loved one.
Life at our house returned to normal once Sophie recovered from the Distemper virus. We felt very lucky to have overcome that crisis. We were also lucky that the new puppy fit right into our family, especially with our Lab mix, Missy and our German shepherd, Bear. Missy, who was the perpetual mother dog, introduced Sophie to the canine household rules and showed her how to use the doggie door by giving her bottom a push with her nose. Bear on the other hand, was the constant protector of our home and made Sophie feel safe. When life got too hectic you would see Sophie slowly back her hind quarters into Bear’s sturdy body and stay there with him until a sense of calmness was restored in our household.
Sophie wasn’t very fond of our cat Muffin, who promptly welcomed her to the family by thumping her on the nose with her paw. It was a gesture Muffin used on every dog in our house to say, “I’m an old cat so give me some respect and stay out of my way.”