If you take a walk in just about any place on earth, day or night, seeing a person walking with their beloved dog is more than likely scenario. Dogs, in all their variety of breeds, have been a huge part of human lives for thousands of years.
And while there was a time when they had a more specific role in terms of utility (guarding and hunting), today, they occupy a place much closer to our heart.
Our pets, dogs in particular, are friends and companions first and foremost.
Naturally, for some owners and pets, that role is still a mixture of companionship and usefulness (therapy dogs, hunting dogs, military/police dogs, or herding dogs), which does not make the relationship any less loving or special.
For people with disabilities, the connection they have with their dog might be one of the strongest and most cherished ones in their life.
But what happens when the tables are turned? When it is the dog that needs extra care because it has a disability?
Hope for Special Canine Friends
Regardless of the pet you decide to adopt, that animal needs plenty of love, care, and dedication. When you open your heart to an animal that has special needs the world certainly shifts a bit – yours and theirs. And then that world becomes a wonderous new territory ready for exploration and conquering. Naturally, the decision is not an easy one to make and careful deliberation is a must.
But what if there is a bond already there and you cannot get those soulful canine eyes out of your mind? What if you keep thinking about how you can change things around and make your home a heaven for that special soul? That, most likely, means you are just as special as your potential buddy is.
Enormous Responsibility = Enormous Rewards
What you will need to do and the changes you will need to make will heavily depend on your pet’s disability. You might need to buy a wheelchair if your dog has mobility issues or administer medication on a daily basis as well as frequent a vet clinic.
As a caregiver, you will need to know all the nuances of what that relationship entails, and if you are still willing to adopt a disabled pet, go into it with your eyes wide open.
However, there is the other side of this story. The part where all that love, care, and dedication is returned tenfold. We often forget that by taking a path less traveled, we learn not just new things about the world but also about ourselves.
Loving a pet with a disability will teach you patience first and foremost. But it can teach you other important life lessons too.
Most pet owners who have embraced a disabled pet will often say that their pets do not realize they are different, and they live their life to the fullest. This is something we often forget in the frenzied, fast-paced lives we live today.
Witnessing how a dog in a wheelchair is facing adversity and is enjoying every day, not in spite of his disability but because of it, can be a powerful and life-changing experience for both parties. We often forget to be grateful for the things we have in life.
On the grand scale of things, living, loving, and caring for a pet with a disability might teach you that you were, perhaps, a more damaged party. Perhaps you were the one that needed a blind dog or incontinent cat more than they needed you.
If you are willing to adopt a disabled pet, learn all you can about its condition and the care that you’ll need to provide. You just might end up living a life less ordinary and loving every day of it.