Top Five Reasons Why Specially-Abled Dogs Rock

Today is National Specially-Abled Pets Day – a day to educate and celebrate dogs with physical challenges like paralysis, blindness or deafness.

Top Five Reasons Why Specially-Abled Dogs Rock

Whether from injury or birth defect, specially-abled dogs make wonderful companions and can live happy, healthy lives. Sadly, specially-abled dogs are often overlooked and euthanized by both breeders and shelters alike.

Top Five Reasons Specially-Abled Dogs Rock:

1. Specially-abled dogs possess an enormous capacity for love and make amazing companions.

While it’s true they may require extra care, training, and planning, they help us live in the moment and their gratitude, loyalty and love is immense.

2. Specially-abled dogs inspire everyone they meet. 

These unique dogs do not realize they are different. They never give up or feel sorry for themselves, and they have much to teach us about acceptance and living life to the fullest.

Top Five Reasons Why Specially-Abled Dogs Rock

3. Specially-abled dogs often have amazing abilities and talents in other areas.

A blind dog might develop sensitive hearing; a deaf dog, an extra keen sense of smell; a dog paralyzed in the back legs, superhero upper body strength.

4. Specially-abled dogs help children (and adults) develop empathy and compassion. 

These dogs lead by example, teaching us about tolerance, respect and kindness for all living things in spite of their outer shell.

5. Specially-abled dogs are beautifully imperfect.

Our differences make us extraordinary. We all have quirks and flaws that make us unique and truly ourselves. These special dogs have much to share and when given a chance, their love and gratitude is epic.
Most importantly, by welcoming a specially-abled dog into your home, you might just be saving a life! Sadly, many these one-of-a-kind dogs still face a greater risk of euthanasia than other dogs. Please consider a specially-abled dog because second chances are amazing whether you are the giving or receiving side.

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kristin averyKristin Avery

Kristin Avery is a writer and photographer with an extensive background in philanthropy and a life-long passion for animal welfare. Her blog, The Daily Pip, is an award-winning, lifestyle pet blog providing resources, support, and humor for rescue families. She was recently honored with two BlogPaws Nose-to-Nose Social Media Awards this year: Best Cause Blog and Best Written Blog Post.

Kristin received her MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied creative writing as well as installation and visual arts. After graduation, she was a founding member of Red Door Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter for cats, dogs, and rabbits in Chicago. She enjoys working with local Chicago shelters and also recently spent several days at Best Friends Animal Society volunteering at Quincy House with cats with severe special needs including paralysis. Through her blog and volunteer work, she encourages and advocates for rescue and adoption, especially for those animals considered less adoptable. She currently shares her home with one dog, one rabbit, two cats, a husband and 10-year-old daughter.


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18 Responses to Top Five Reasons Why Specially-Abled Dogs Rock

  1. Nichole says:

    Those are all excellent reasons! Of course, we think ALL dogs rock – all the time! :)

  2. Hindy Pearson says:

    Fantastic post, and so glad you’re raising awareness about “differently abled” dogs. To be honest, if a dog isn’t old and have some sort of issue I’m just not interested. Hopefully with articles like yours, more people will start to realise how lucky they would be to share their lives with a dog that doesn’t resemble a stuffed toy.

  3. Kelly says:

    I love the term specially-abled! Yes, they may require a little more attention, but the love they give back will more than compensate for it!

  4. My favorite quote—“beautifully imperfect.” That’s just poetry, and so true! Thanks for shining a light on these special ones.

  5. I couldn’t agree more! Every animal is special and specially-abled pets have much to teach us. They are not fazed by our view of limitations. They should be a source of inspiration.

  6. Dash Kitten says:

    We think ‘specially abled’ pets are the best, and we would take one in a heartbeat. Who needs perfect – we certainly don’t!

  7. Leave it to Kristin to write such a beautiful post. I especially love number 2, because they are definitely inspiring.

  8. Great post. I love today. It’s such a special day to appreciate all of our pets and all of the lovely humans.

  9. sonja says:

    We have a friend who not long ago was in a horrible swimming accident and is now paralyzed waist down. MONTHS later and lots and lots of rehab he is getting more and more depressed…. so … his kids (in their 20’s) and I went to the shelter and found him … a tiny little dog who ALSO needs wheels!!and now? Both are SO happy together! seeing them in the park racing is just …. TOO MUCH!So cute.

  10. So true, our differences definitely DO make us extraordinary! Specially-abled dogs are definitely a testament to the strength and willpower of the species and provide a great example for people dealing with their own limitations, especially children with disabilities, when they see a cute animal who is similarly impaired living a happy, healthy life.

  11. Beth says:

    Thanks for highlighting some of the great reasons why specially-abled pets rock! We had a dog who in her senior years lost the use of her back legs, and unfortunately, she was suffering. Back then, there weren’t any options for dog wheelchairs or therapies. It breaks my heart to know that if she lived in a different era, we would have been able to accommodate her needs.

  12. Dear Mishu says:

    I applaud your efforts to share the beauty of every dog. The list of the great things specially abled dogs give us was perfect.

  13. OMG that little nugget in the photo is gorgeous!! So true, all of this!

  14. Kamira Gayle says:

    I’ve never owned a special abled pet however one thing is certain, they have the biggest hearts and drive. They will find a way to do what their “peers” can do. Fearless. If I had the ability to be home more hours in the day I would totally adopt a special abled pet. Great post. Will share!

  15. I admire those who adopt specially-abled dogs and cats just like I did with people who could teach specially-abled children.

  16. So true. Specially-abled dogs can inspire us and teach empathy. Our friend Smiley the Blind Therapy Dog works with children with different abilities and also with an anti-bullying program in schools.

  17. Cathy Armato says:

    This is so sweet and so true! I love that there are so many great products on the market that can assist specially abled pets. I’m glad there’s a day to celebrate these wonderful pets!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  18. I believe every word you said about disabled pets, although my heart breaks when I see a disabled dog with wheels, it’s just something I have a hard time with. We have a blind dog in our neighborhood with his dog brother and he gets along so well. A friend with a blind dog once told me that it bothers her more than the dog! Which is probably true about any other disability!

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