The Daily Pip

Life Lessons, resources, and random bits for rescue dogs, cats, bunnies, and their peeps

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Specials: Adopting a Disabled Dog

Big hearts come in little packages. No truer words were ever spoken especially when it comes to tiny Lexi, a three-year-old Pekingese/Maltese mix with a joy and zest for life life ten times her size. Lexi is a busy New Yorker who hustles and bustles with the best of them - and she does it all on wheels! Serving as an ambassador for both Posh Pets Rescue and Eddie's Wheels, the company who provided her with her custom wheelchair, Lexi is a pint-sized, yet powerful advocate for the adoption of disabled (or specially-abled) pets. 

Lexi, the pint-sized advocate for the adoption of specially-abled dogs
Photo used with permission of @realhappydogs

Adopting a specially-abled dog 

Lexi was born with a rare condition that causes underdeveloped bones and shortened front limbs. She was one of four puppies with one stillborn and two other healthy boys. Her original owners were not prepared to care for her so they listed her on Craig's List. Mary and Posh Pets Rescue, the organization for which she volunteers, monitor Craig's List for vulnerable dogs like Lexi. Sadly, many animals listed as "free to a good home" fall victim to cruelty and abuse, laboratories and fighting rings. 

Mary intended to rescue Lexi and perhaps even foster her, but wasn't planning on adopting her. But when they met, it was love at first sight and Mary knew they were meant to be together forever.

Lexi, the pint-sized advocate for the adoption of disabled dogs
Photo used with permission of @realhappydogs
Lexi was initially shy around new people and is still leery of men in hats. Mary carried her around in a pouch the first few weeks and even brought her to work with her. Their bond deepened and they became inseparable with Lexi accompanying Mary almost everywhere. Lexi became quite skilled at hopping, but Mary wanted more for her. She started researching dog wheelchairs and soon discovered Eddie's Wheels, a company that specializes in custom wheelchairs for dogs of all sizes and conditions.



Lexi Gets Her Wheels!


Once Lexi was about seven months old and nearly full-grown, she received her wheelchair. She was understandably nervous at first, but with patience, positive reinforcement and lots of treats, she soon began her journey to mobility and her confidence and spirit soared. Mary says it took about six months for Lexi to fully master her new wheels. She first learned to steer with the help of a front harness to guide her. As she grew stronger, she eventually learned to take off on her own (you can see in the video that she now moves very fast) Being a New Yorker, Lexi also had to learn to maneuver busy Manhattan foot traffic!

Lexi, the pint-sized advocate for the adoption of disabled (specially-abled) dogs
Photo used with permission of @realhappydogs
Lexi loves exploring the world and her sparkling personality attracts admirers wherever she goes. From young to old, she brings a smile to everyone she meets. Mary says it is especially touching to see her interact with children in wheelchairs. "When I place her in the lap of a child who is unable to walk, the connection is instant and powerful."

Some people wonder why Lexi wears clothes and shoes. Mary explains that a protective layer of clothing helps prevent skin irritation and fur matting from her wheelchair. Because she only has two working feet, the shoes also help protect her from the extra wear and tear. Mary admits she enjoys dressing her up for public appearances and photo-shoots and Lexi doesn't seem to mind. But when Lexi is at home she leaves the clothes and wheelchair behind.

Lexi, the pint-sized advocate for the adoption of disabled (specially-abled) dogs
Photo used with permission of @realhappydogs

Lexi gives back and helps other specially-abled dogs


Lexi shares her life with other rescued dogs and cats. At home, she is like any other young dog and loves playing and cuddling with her furry family members. She also likes meeting other dogs on the street, but is still a little hesitant around over-zealous puppies who try to jump on her cart. 

As an ambassador dog for Posh Pets Rescue and Eddie's Wheels, Mary and Lexi are on a mission to change the perception of disabled (specially-abled) pets. Had Lexi ended up in a shelter, her chances of finding a home would have been slim. Mary hopes by sharing her story that others will be inspired to open their homes and hearts to a specially-abled dog. "If we can help get even one adopted, our work will be a success!" she says. You can follow Lexi's adventures and mission of compassion on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Little Lexi, the pint-size advocate for the adoption of disabled (specially-abled) dogs

Please do not adopt an animal if you are unable or unwilling to provide a lifetime of loving and compassionate care. If  
you are ready for adoption, please consider adopting or fostering a special needs pet because second chances are amazing whether you are on the giving or receiving side. If you enjoyed this post, please check out my posts on adopting a paralyzed dog and adopting a paralyzed cat. 

The Specials is a blog series focusing on special needs pet adoption. Senior pets, those with chronic medical issues, behavioral or temperament concerns as well as overlooked or misunderstood breeds like Pit Bulls and black cats. If not, for the courage and compassion of their adopters, many of these animals might have been euthanized in shelters or died alone and hungry on the streets. You can read more special needs adoption posts here.
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26 comments

  1. What a special girl and her human too! I love Lexi's story!

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  2. Hari OM
    Look at Lexi loping along! what a heart-lifter... YAM xx

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  3. Oh my goodness, we totally understand falling in love with that sweet girl. Such a pretty girl too. Love the post friends!!!

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  4. Well Lexi you have melted our hearts today. Bless your sweet little joyful self and your family. What a beautiful story you nailed it Kristin
    Hugs Cecilia and Madi

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  5. Lexi you are a trooper... hugs to you and Mary :o)

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  6. Lexi is a beauty, and such an inspiration! She is so lucky to have found Mary (and I'm sure Mary believes vice versa as well). This is such a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

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  7. How sweet is that little girl! It's amazing how dogs take everything in their stride.
    Well done to her mum for adopting her.
    Lynne x

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  8. Oh how wonderful - Lexi looks full of zest for life, despite all her disadvantages.

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  9. Oh how wonderful - Lexi looks full of zest for life, despite all her disadvantages.

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  10. It is amazing what can be done to help out disabled animals these days. So happy for Lexi!

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  11. What a sweet little girl ! And so brave ! Paws up to her mom for taking such good care of Lexi. Purrs

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  12. what a cutie. we had an adopted senior pug Bingo abut 6 years ago who lived with us for two years he was paralyzed and incontinent but a lovely boy

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  13. What a sweetheart
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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  14. Lexi is so cute! Mommy hopes to run into her one day when she's out and about.

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  15. What a special girl Lexi is. Some of my favorite videos on you tube were of a little pug learning to use a wheelchair - it was fascinating to watch!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  16. What a sweet little princess Lexi is! <3 She looks so happy on her wheels! Such an inspiration! I want to adopt a disabled dog one day. I'd be so honored to take care of them and be able to provide for those special precious souls. <3 Thank you for writing this blog post series! <3

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  17. What a beautiful pup. Dogs can overcome almost anything if you give them a chance. We are so happy that Lexi was given a chance. I am sure she is brightening the lives of everyone she meets.

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  18. Lexi is adorable! Paws up to her and her human for all they do to promote the adoption of disabled pets.

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  20. I will get my fingers on the right keys this time.
    There have been several Scots that have come into Lee's life missing digits.
    A number of years ago we were given the opportunity to have a puppy Scotty that was missing a back paw. We researched and researched for wheels but at the time they were not as available as now. Had we had access to wheels we would have taken him. Being Lee has a weight limit of 25 lbs she worried she would not be able to carry him when he got older. Bless Lexi's little heart.
    Thanks for being a friend
    Sweet William The Scot

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  21. What a wonderful story. Lexi is an inspiration. ♥

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  22. Lexi is adorable and look at her run!

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  23. How adorable is little Lexi! I love her spirit and I'm so glad that Mary found her!

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  24. What a beautiful story and an extraordinary little pup!

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  25. what a beautiful sweet, and lucky girl...

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  26. Lexi is precious and what a wonderful ambassador for special-needs pets. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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