There was an instant connection--no turning back. He made himself an instantaneous and irreplaceable member of our family right away. More than a month before his first day in our apartment we had already bought food (the best kind - we researched!), bowls, a bed, a collar, a dog tag, toys, a lift harness and a ramp. You might notice that those last two items aren't part of your typical dog outfit. That's because our boy is no typical dog.
It has never been easy for Tucker. A few months ago he was hit by a car, shattering the bones in both his front legs. Instead of receiving emergency medical attention, he was abandoned in a veterinary clinic where, unbelievably, he was denied any form of medical care, social interaction or love. After six painful, lonely weeks, he was finally released to a rescue organization that promised to give him the necessary medical care. It was decided one leg had to be amputated while the other front leg was rendered unusable due to severe nerve damage.
So now our Tucker, accustomed to living the carefree life of an able-bodied dog, has only two usable legs. He has a front wheel cart and we are deeply committed to giving Tucker the active, happy life that he deserves. Our boy will be climbing mountains, swimming, running, smelling, and peeing on trees all over the country. The next chapter of his life will far eclipse the last terrible months.
Tucker has no idea that he can't just jump up on the couch when he wants to cuddle, or that three stairs might be the deciding factor in whether or not he can independently enter a building. We don’t intend to let him know that he can't do these things: we have built him his own, custom, foldable ramp to use because his wheels are wider than any commercial ramp can accommodate. We’ve started an adventure group to find other special needs dogs that have the same drive to live fully as Tucker. We are pursuing therapy training so he can bond with veterans who have suffered his same pain. Through his complete love for people Tucker has elected himself an advocate for special needs dogs that are overlooked--we are just following his lead.
Tucker should have been scared, broken, and angry after all that he was forced to suffer but he has shown nothing but resilience and affection. Tucker has shown us what love and just a little bit of patience can accomplish. We never saw ourselves adopting a dog with special needs, especially one that has such severe mobility limitations, but we couldn't imagine it any different now. Some people ask us how we are going to handle his limitations, how we could give up so much to have him, but we don't see it that way. Tucker is a special dog because he has never once seen his mobility issues as a limitation--this is something that he has taught us..