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