Don't discount a dog simply because they are disabled. That's the takeaway message after spending the day at the disABLED Pet Rally that took place on November 30, 2013 in Colorado Springs, CO.
This message was reflected on the faces of every proud owner's face. Smiles and stories were shared of how time and time again, lives have been changed as an underdog was given a chance, and how everyone is inspired by the dog's determination and chipper attitude.
More often than not, the differently-abled dog that was rescued from an untimely end, ends up being the rescuer of the adopter, even changing the course of their lives. Such was the case of Naki'o, the bionic dog. Though he was injured with frostbite, losing parts of all four limbs, his tail and nose, the pup's sweet spirit caught the attention of his adopters, the Pace family.
Nakio's story can be read here, but that was just the beginning of a whole lifestyle of giving unwanted dogs a chance. Now he has other dog siblings with different needs, one of which was adopted from Romania after being hit by a car and paralyzed in the hind legs.
Now Nakio's family has created a community of pet lovers who can share the trials and triumphs of being the guardians of special-needs pets.
One of the presenters of the day was Eric Melvin and his dog Angelyne. He has an inspirational story of how he was chosen by the little cinnamon-colored cattle dog puppy. He learned that she was deaf when they enrolled in puppy kindergarten together. Her deafness was confirmed at the vet's.
Eric was given options, including euthanasia, but Eric knew there was something special about Angelyne and they began their own journey towards understanding and triumph. Now Angelyne recognizes over 80 hand and touch signals. Watching them work together is truly inspirational.
Through their mutual love and determination, Eric and Angelyne have both learned a lot. They now share their story and demonstrate Angelyne's amazing tricks that will put hearing dogs to shame. They tour the country and share a message of hope, tolerance, love and hard work at various events and at schools. They also participate in regular agility and performance events.
Coming soon... Eric and Angelyne's interview with BaxterBoo.com will be featured in a Baxter's Backyard article!
There were tons of activities at the rally!
Shopping at the auction (This was Baxter's donation)
Product demonstrations (This is the Ginger Lead, for hip dysplasia patients)
Making new friends! Angelyne and Eric Melvin meet my son Michael.
Dogs and humans share a unique bond, but the connection that is shared by differently-abled dogs and humans is a sight to behold. If you get a chance to participate in an event that highlights these special dogs and their humans, definitely go and prepare to be inspired!