From the moment that I laid eyes on Penny, I knew that she was different. Her severe overbite is quite hard to ignore. And her deformed front paw turns heads everywhere we go.
When my husband first met her, he told me (and I quote), “She’s ugly!” But, I completely ignored him as I watched Penny hopping around our living room like a bunny. It was too late. She had me wrapped around her little “stump.”
My mom also scoffed at my newest addition. “She just looks….different.” That is when I realized my mom was right.
Penny is most certainly different from any other dog that I have ever met. While she has what some would consider to be “defects,” Penny acts just like her four-legged, normal snouted fur brothers and sister. She happily jumps on and off of the furniture when playing. She races Cole (our 21 pound Min Pin) around the back yard and often beats him!
Her spirit is simply amazing. She has survived being abandoned and left in a shelter to die. She greets everyone she meets with a wag of her extra-long tail and what can only be described as a smile on her face.
Penny has taught me that being different is wonderful. And in doing so, I have gotten to meet other fur parents who fell in love with those that are “different.” Rosie, is the most touching example. She was a Chihuahua that was the product of backyard breeding by an animal hoarder. Unfortunately, she was born with almost no hair, an elongated snout and front legs whose bones had fused together, forcing her to crawl on her “elbows.”
But, Rosie was also born with the most beautiful blue eyes. And these eyes saw nothing but goodness and hope. Upon being rescued, she was soon adopted by a wonderful woman. She saw saving Rosie as the perfect opportunity to show the world that looking different was a gift and nothing to be ashamed of.
Poor Rosie had her share of health problems due to her previous living conditions. Sadly, Ms. Rosie passed away this October. But, her memory lives on through her website: www.everythingrosie.com. Rosie’s mom continues to spread the word about the importance of adopting animals from shelters instead of heading to a breeder. She also strives to teach people to report animal abuse so that others, like Ms. Rosie, can have a second chance at life.
From visiting Rosie’s site, I soon found out about Bunny, the miracle puppy. She was born with a primary cleft palate, and without eyes! Unfortunately, many people would have thought Bunny to be “useless” and a “mistake.” But, Bunny’s rescuers saw a special dog that simply needed love. Bunny now thrives at the special needs dog rescue, Pulling for Paws. Check out this fantastic pooch on her very own Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bunny-the-Miracle-Puppy/361605037279954
Yet another unique pooch is Emma, the Chihuahua. This little cutie was born with a cleft palate. To the naked eye, it appears that she is missing part of her nose. And since her nose is deformed, her tongue can always be seen. Still, Emma has grown up to be one sensational pup. She is even in the running for the Guinness Book of World Records for “World’s Smallest Dog Model.” Check out her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfEmmaCleftPalateChihuahua and her official web page at: http://elizabethhart.com/friendsofemma.html.
To me, Penny is just as inspirational as Rosie, Bunny and Tess. Special needs dogs are just that: special. And owning one will change your life forever.