May 3 is Disabled Pets Day, I discovered today. This post might be a bit late, but I still wanted to introduce a few special animals and their wonderful humans! ❤
This ginger cat is Stevie (Wonder). My friend Danya found her about a year ago, lying on the road more dead than alive. She took the cat home and tried to revive her. Stevie lived, but it quickly became clear that she had issues.
First of all – Stevie is completely blind. She does not see anything at all. She bumps into steps and furniture, needs to be led to her food and cannot jump onto tables or climb in trees. Her blindness got her into a couple of tight spots, such as getting chased off her porch by dogs. I once rescued her from a pair of dogs by grabbing her and lifting her up. I still have the scars to prove it – poor Stevie could not see what was happening and freaked out. It was painful, but I don’t blame her…
Apart from being blind, Stevie also has teeth problems and cannot chew her food properly. Besides that, she seems to suffer from stress (obviously), fur loss, incontinence and a whole host of other problems. My friend shelled out hundreds if not thousands on vet treatments, medication and surgery. The carpet had to go to the dry cleaners several times. And still, Danya loves Stevie and would not have her put down.
It is definitely possible that Stevie got lost from her previous home, but sadly, it is more likely that her first owners abandoned her – she’s a high maintenance cat and they probably got tired of her and of paying the vet bills… So I think Danya is awesome for saving her and taking care of her with so much dedication!!
This lovely hound is Lenny, the dog of Danya’s sister-in-law, Moran. This animal-loving family adopts the unadoptable left, right and centre! Moran found Lenny as a stray when he was 9 years old and suffering from a multitude of health problems. The dog had a microchip and his owners were found, but said they didn’t want Lenny back. Demonstrating some chilling cold-heartedness and irresponsibility there!!
Fortunately, Moran stepped in and decided to keep the dog. Lenny had food allergies and had to wear a muzzle at all times, so he wouldn’t snack on dangerous food. He also had back and hip problems and couldn’t walk very well. He was definitely a high-maintenance pet, but Moran loved him. I once said to her: “Lenny was very lucky when you found him.” She told me: “No, I am the lucky one, he is such a lovely dog.” Tears in my eyes!!
In the capable hands of Moran, her husband and her little girl, Lenny lived happily ever after, until he died a few weeks ago at the age of 15. Respect for Moran and her family for taking on this poor, unwanted, disabled animal and giving him a great second chance at life!!
As for myself – well, I have never knowingly and willingly taken on a disabled animal… I do have a guinea pig with some sort of neurological problem at the moment, but he was born that way to one of our lady piggies. He lives with his limitations perfectly fine, he just stays quite small and runs in circles a lot.
But there is one animal I’d like to mention, and that is Rachel, our handicapped chicken. Rachel was one of our first chickens and an ex-battery hen. I got her together with two others. At first, I didn’t realise she had a problem, until I noticed that she didn’t lay eggs and never got up on the roost with her sisters. The vet never found out what was wrong with her – I suspect that she was somehow brain-damaged in the laying factory. Rachel didn’t walk very well and fell over a lot. Still, she managed to get around, dustbathe, peck at green stuff… all the usual chicken things!
Rachel had a good life for another year or so. Then her problems slowly worsened, until she could only walk short distances, from her sleeping place to her food and her preferred spot between the bamboo. Until one day, a dog slipped into the pet zoo and killed poor, defenceless Rachel. I was sad. I was attached to her. Rachel was a sweet, gentle chicken. In the pet zoo, her non-productivity didn’t matter. Her disability actually worked in her favour here, as it was easy to pick her up and stroke her feathers.
So those were of few of the world’s more unfortunate creatures, who got a chance at a happy second life despite their disabilities! Do you know any? I would love to hear their stories! ❤