Posted: 3:15 am Thursday, March 9th, 2017
By Ann Kelly
Some people give up on an pet that’s not “perfect.” That’s not how they roll at the Suncoast Animal League and the story of Spicie is a solid example of that. You can meet Spicie and check out her cool new wheels this Saturday at Mutt Madness!
Spicie’s Story by Rick Chaboudy
We met Spicie while we were rescuing dogs at Angel Dog Rescue in mid-January 2017. For nearly two years prior, she was with that rescue group. While there, she was able to exercise only for short periods of time in a cart which she had long-ago outgrown. Her front legs were showing signs of deterioration due to lack of exercise. She wasn’t mobile. She wasn’t able to run and play like a normal dog. But in spite of not being able to function with her rear legs, her spirit and zest for life are infectious, and for us, it was love at first sight.
When we loaded her into the van for the ride to our shelter, we promised Spicie that we would do everything possible to correct her disability. Once she was under our care, we sent her to vet specialists. She underwent x-rays, an MRI and an ultrasound only to find out that there was no way that her damaged spine could ever be repaired. She can never walk like a regular dog. Disappointed, we went about the business of making her as comfortable as possible. Her cart was too small and too flimsy. Within days, after getting more regular exercise with our volunteers and staff, she broke two cart harnesses. Multiple trips outside for exercise each day helped her build confidence, and more importantly, strength in her front legs and upper body.
As Spicie got more cart time, she began improving her “driving” skills and she became a burst of energy in her cart. One day, one of our dog care volunteers Joanne captured one of the most entertaining and joyous videos of Spicie playing with another one of our special needs dogs named Phoenix, who is nearly 100% blind. The two had the best time and watching that video made us realize a new cart was what Spicie needed most. The research began. We found a company in Massachusetts who specializes in custom building wheelchairs and carts for animals. We took all the necessary measurements and photos and sent them to the company. In the meantime, Spicie has won the heart of each and every one of us. Spicie never has a bad day and she brightens ours with her effervescent soul. Her ear-to-ear smile is truly contagious.
Who knows? Your forever friend may be waiting to meet you Saturday at Mutt Madness. Click here for details and I’ll see you there. – Ann Kelly