Batman, a disabled black Formosa Mountain Dog, doesn’t mirror the brooding caped superhero after whom he is named. But he is a crusader of a sort — his crusade is about not letting things get you down. He certainly hasn’t. And payback has come through being named The Hub‘s “Happiest Dog in America” in a vote by viewers of the children’s tv network.
Batman competed with nearly 2,500 smiling dogs across the country. As the winner, the title comes with a $2,500 prize and a trip to Hollywood for some pampering at a puppy spa. In addition, The Hub is making a $5,000 donation in Batman’s name to the Petfinder Foundation to help other pets in need.
Found nearly dead in a Taiwan alley after being hit by a car several days earlier, Batman had a broken spine and a severed spinal cord. He had lost use of his hindquarters. The cynics might say, “Put him down,” but his personality won the hearts of his two rescuers. They sent him to UC Davis where he was patched up and fitted with what might be termed his batmobile, a set of wheels harnessed to his hindquarters. After his surgery, Love and Second Chances set him up with fosters Eray Bekir and Anjolee. Both are UC Davis veterinary students.
With the wheels, Batman races and chases with the best of dogs and even wrestles when he’s off his batmobile. Against all odds, this intrepid fighter has started reflexively moving his hind legs that previously seemed so useless. The movement mimics walking, and when he’s not wearing his wheels, the little guy’s trying hard to use those legs. You can see more on his Facebook page, but be prepared to shed a tear or two.
What’s next? Batman’s fosters have decided to forgo the Hollywood pampering and put the value of the trip, along with the prize money, toward braces to possibly provide Batman with more mobility.
Anjolee really wants the win to help Batman find a permanent home. She told Good Day Sacramento, “I’m hoping that it’ll just make it more likely that he gets adopted because he really deserves a good home.”
We hope so, too!