My husband, Matt, knows that I have a huge heart when it comes to
animals. What he did not know was that we were both about to fall in love
with adopting special needs dogs.
I discovered Penny on petfinder.com. She is a gorgeous Chiweenie that
was born with a severe overbite and a deformed front paw causing her to be a
tripawd. We were very nervous on the day of Penny’s home visit.
Questions swirled in our minds. Would we be able to care for a
three-legged dog? Would she need any special accommodations? But,
as soon as Penny hopped into the room, she stole my heart.
After meeting the rest of the pack, Penny did a grand leap right onto our
couch. We were stunned and embarrassed for having such silly preconceived
notions about Penny’s “special needs.” A few weeks later, she
managed to scale our three foot pet gate…twice! Penny is also starring
in her first children’s book, Priceless Penny, that chronicles her
amazing adoption journey from a solo stray in California to a pampered pooch in
Two years later, I came across the Dachshund Rescue North America website
and was completely smitten by Hope. She is a double dapple miniature
Dachshund that was the product of backyard breeding. Hope was born
without eyes and is completely deaf. Her former “owner”
surrendered her to DRNA with a choke chain around her neck.
Matt was extremely hesitant about adopting Hope. “How in the
world can she function if she can’t see or hear?” he asked. We were
about to find out.
When Hope arrived, we watched in amazement as she followed her nose to get
her bearings. She then navigated her way over to Matt and stood on his
shoe. We discovered that this is her
special signal that she wants to be picked up and given kisses.
I will admit the first week was very rough. Watching Hope run into the
walls and furniture was simply heartbreaking. Yet, she never made a
sound. She simply took a step back and tried again.
One week was all it took and Hope was running down the hall, racing to beat
her fur siblings to the water bowl in the kitchen. She can now climb stairs, open the bedroom
closet doors with her nose and jump onto the furniture! Hope has even
garnered almost 2,000 followers on Instagram (@havinghopealways) and has been
called an inspiration by all who meet her. Even after all that she has
been through; she loves to meet new people and cover them in kisses.
Matt and I love to attend pet events and often have Penny and Hope in
tow. We wish to show the world that
special needs dogs are truly amazing creatures that deserve to be adopted,
loved and treasured. To quote Penny’s
moto: Different is beautiful!