"Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well." (Bonnie Wilcox)
"I wanted to share with you the story of my precious little dog Scooter. He was born with his two front legs missing. One day I received a phone call from my aunt who raises hairless chihuahuas. She informed me that one of her dogs had three pups and that two of them were missing their front legs. After a few hours, one of the pups passed on but the other seemed to be doing okay. She figured no one would want the little guy.
I told her that we would take him. I have a child with special needs and figured it would be good for her to have a "special" dog like her. I took the pup, hoping I could give him a somewhat normal life. We had no idea what was in store for us. We picked Scooter up at around 6 weeks. He was only about 10 ounces and very gray in color and looked terrible. I was determined to work with him and give him as good a quality of life as possible.
At first, Scooter's back legs were in bad shape. They looked and felt like they were dying. I figured we would have to amputate them. I took him to the vet, who said his knees were a '3' on a scale of 1-4. They were very loose and he couldn't even stand on them. I brought him home and we began the hard work. Everything we did with him consisted of making him put pressure on his legs. He began to gain strength and color. He started crawling around on the floor. Then his crawling turned to hopping. Now he hops very quickly and stands on his back legs like the famous dog 'Faith'. We are working with him on walking on his back legs. He is up to about 4-5 steps and hops.
Scooter is now doing very well. We took him to the vet the other day and she was amazed at his progress. He is up to 2.2 lbs and very active. He chases the cats, and plays with our 90-pound lab. He will hop around the coffee table and attempt to jump up on the couch.
Scooter is a blessing to us. He has come so far and we do not even see him differently anymore. I want to encourage people to take in animals even when they are special needs. Animals are special creatures - they don't realize they are different e ven when we see them that way. They can show you a strength you didn't know existed.
Sometimes people see Scooter and make the remark, 'poor thing'. I correct them quickly and tell them there is nothing poor about him. He is just a normal little happy dog.
Story sent in by Kim Holt from Texas, USA.
"Token on the ridge above our home near Lundbreck, Alberta, Canada."
- Judith S.
"Here is a picture of Mickey on Canada Day."
- Ruby L. from Edmonton, Alberta
|Want to see your pet here? Send us your photos!|
Can dogs really learn to use a litter box? Sure! Dog box training probably isn't something you'd find dog owners regularly talking about, and although it may be unusual, it does have some advantages. Plus dog box training can be done at home, by any patient and positive dog owner.
Likely one of the biggest advantages to litter box training your dog is the added freedom: your dog can go any time he needs to, even when you're not at home. It's convenient for your pup, and gives you more freedom to stay out longer (ever rushed home because you had to let the dog out?). Of course, since using the litter box doesn't come as naturally to a dog as it does to a cat, you will need to be prepared for several weeks of training plus an additional couple of months of monitoring and reinforcement.
It's beyond the scope of this article to advise you on litter box training, but there are a number of good articles & books that can do so. In general, though, here are a few things to think about:
And yes, large dogs can use boxes too! Try using a large plastic storage bin (modified to give your dog easy access to the inside). Or build your own box if you're a do-it-yourselfer.