People have a long way to go before getting over the stigma of rescue dogs, but the truth is, these sweet dogs with difficult backgrounds can be some of the most compassionate and loving pets. While rescue dogs can be a lot of work, it’s also very rewarding to know you’ve helped rehabilitate and reintegrate a troubled animal. Unfortunately, many rescue animals have also been victims of diseases or accidents that have restricted them the use of some of their body parts, rendering them Disabled. Initially, we believe that such animals are stripped of the pleasures of being a Dog – running on the beach, walking alongside their owners, chasing squirrels. But, the truth is, pet wheelchairs and harnesses make this feat easier than ever for disabled dogs. So, if you’re questioning whether or not a disabled dog is something you can handle right now, we’re happy to convince you why they’re some of the most endearing creatures.
#1) Their empathy
As victims of troubling incidents, such as abuse or accidents, disabled dogs are often timid and kind-natured. Their background allows them to embody an element of sympathy toward other animals and even their owners. If you have a dog, it’s likely they’re a best friend to you, so you turn to them in times of sorrow and heartache. Disabled dogs have been through the sorrow and heartache of being without a home or being in pain, and as the one to rescue them from that, they will typically spend the rest of their lives rescuing you from difficult times also.
#2) The reward of rehabilitation
Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing a once-immobile dog jet across the dog park on his new wheels. Many people believe that disabled dogs don’t get to have half the fun that healthy dogs do, but that’s simply not true. With the right gear and medical treatment, disabled dogs can enjoy their lives just as much (if not more!) More importantly, you have the comfort of knowing you made a new life possible for that dog, which is perhaps one of the most enlightening and inspiring parts of this whole process.
The strong will and determination of a disabled dog can often cause us to reflect on ourselves. Although we spend a lot of time training and housebreaking our dogs, it’s no secret that we can learn from them just as well they do from us sometimes. The obstacles and persistence that go into caring for a disabled dog can allow us to hone our patience and commitment. Similarly, the hardships and personalities these dogs embody can remind us to persevere and remain optimistic throughout our own life’s struggles.
#4) Your kids will love them
Having a disabled dog is a great way to introduce your child to the different abilities and needs animals (and even humans) can possess. Additionally, their gentle nature makes them a safe playmate for your children. Particularly for children that are very young, curious, or just learning cooperative play, a specially-abled dog might make an excellent companion.
#5) You will set an example
For your kids, neighbors, friends, and the world. It’s no secret that shelter dogs that go unwanted for long periods of time are euthanized. If more people were willing to adopt rather than buy, less animals would face this fate. According to the American Humane Association, between 5 to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters every year. Of these, 3-4 million are euthanized. By getting a disabled dog, you not only add a vibrant and lovable member to your family, but you take a stand for animals everywhere that are simply in need of a warm and caring home.
Ellie Batchiyska is a writer for Handicapped Pets, your most trusted source for dog wheelchairs and harnesses.