Dogs With Disabilities
Dogs with disabilities are a special breed: they are magnificent in their fortitude and they are both heartwarming and heart-wrenching in their unfailing attitude. Dog disabilities can result from a variety of causes: being hit by a car, being attacked or bitten by another dog, human mistreatment, genetic predispositions, malnutrition, heart issues, arthritis, deafness, blindness and a variety of physical and cognitive issues due to old age.
Whatever the cause, these dogs are teachers to us. We can learn, grow and gain compassion and understanding. By helping them, we are enriched.
Dogs with disabilities:
Don't know they're disabled
Are accepting of what life has to offer
Take each day as it comes to smell whatever they can reach and sometimes eat whatever they find ;)
Still give love, love and more love unconditionally
Have more patience than we'll ever have in the same situation
Enjoy life just like other dogs, just not as rambunctiously
Don't fear the future or worry about the past
Are not a burden, but a joy and a reason for us to slow down
They appreciate love and attention from their owners
The variety of challenges that dogs and their caregivers face have different solutions.
Dogs with mobility issues can benefit from supportive equipment like harnesses, wheelchairs, carts, slings, steps or ramps.
Dogs with blindness can be assisted by halo collars, unobstructed pathways and dangerous areas blocked off.
Dogs with deafness can be taught some simple sign language. A vibration collar (not a shock collar) could also be be useful.
Elderly dogs often need extra care such as medication and/or a special diet; they may also have some incontinent issues and could use diapers or pee pads for the occasional accident. Hearing and visual problems also develop in senior dogs. As they age, dogs have a quiet dignity about them, they continue to give unconditional love and require only our continued love and patience in return.
Dogs with disabilities need our help and support. If considering adopting or supporting a disabled dog, there are a few great organizations providing more information.
Footnote: The GraceSigns app- Sign Me A Story - features a three-legged dog named George. He is a fun-loving enigma. He and many dogs we have known over the years are the inspiration for this blog.