May 3 is National Specially-Abled Pets Day, previously known as Special Needs Pets Day. To me, the change in the name indicates a desire to shift the focus from what a pet needs (or lacks) to what its abilities are in spite of its particular condition. And when it comes to specially-abled pets, many of these companion animals, while not able to do everything, are very and perhaps even more gifted in what they are able to do. Several specially-abled pets have sparked national and international interest in the cause of specially abled pets. Their stories of overcoming challenges while retaining their liveliness, playfulness, and loveable-ness never fail to inspire. So to kick off the national celebration, let’s spotlight some of our favorite specially-abled pets.
Crepes, The Famous Three-legged Cat
Crepes, aside from having the distinction of being a three-legged cat, is famous for her appearance in “Catalogue” and other short films in the Catastrophes web series. Adopted from a rescue shelter, Crepes stole the hearts of her foster parents and went on to be adopted. Crepes’ owner, Alana Greyack, together with her husband, took interest in Crepes as a specially-abled cat. Although she is three-legged, and as such could be put at a disadvantage for adoption, she proved that her personality far outshined her apparent physical disabilities. This motivated her owners to begin advocating the cause of specially-abled pets. They host a website that highlights specially-abled cats that are up for adoption. And in case you’re wondering, Crepes’ role in “Catalogue” was the cat in the fridge, which also happens to be the name of the website created in her honor: Cat in the fridge.
Watch the Catalogue video here
Tanner and Blair, BFFs (Best Friends Forever)
As a puppy, Tanner, a blind Labrador retriever, suffered great anxiety after his owner passed away. He was eventually sent to a rescue shelter for Labradors. His anxiety exacerbated an already existing seizure problem to the point that he was having seizures almost daily.
Blair, another resident of the rescue shelter, had a long history of timidity after being shot as a young puppy.
The two dogs met one day in the dog run and became inseparable friends. Blair, seeming to sense Tanner’s needs, began taking his leash in her mouth and leading him around the yard. This decreased the anxiety of both dogs. Tanner’s seizures stopped and Blair became a more well-adjusted and outgoing dog. After being featured in a news story, the dogs were adopted together into a family.
Watch the original news story
Go Go TurboRoo
The story of TurboRoo begins in the veterinary clinic where he was brought shortly after birth. The runt of his litter, and missing his two front legs, TurboRoo’s future may have been in trouble, but his feisty energy and ability, in spite of his lack of legs, made his owner, a veterinary technician, decide to adopt him. A picture of TurboRoo in one of his first walking carts, made out of plastic building toys, went viral. The attention given to this tea-cup pup has launched the little Chihuahua, along with his human parents, into being a spokesman (spokes-puppy?) for specially-abled pets. TurboRoo’s owners have gone on to develop commercially-made carts for dogs who are missing legs.
See this news story about turboroo’s ongoing progress and influence
Lil Bub: The most interesting cat in the world (according to her owner)
Right there in the running with Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub is one of the most recognizable internet sensation cats of today. Her large eyes and lolling tongue have caught the attention of millions of viewers, but there’s more behind the unique look of this kitty.
Lil Bub was a rescue cat adopted by her owner, Mike Bridavsky. She was the runt of a litter born to a feral mother. She has genetic defects that have caused her to have stunted and deformed bone growth in her legs. She was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis, and that has led to treatment that is helping her to walk and even run. Lil Bub does not have teeth, and her recessed lower jaw causes her tongue to always stick out. To top it off, she has six toes on all her feet. While her unique look is certainly a draw, many have also been attracted by the story of her physical progress and healing. She has a website, tons of Lil Bub merchandise, a short documentary, a web series, and a book.
Video showing Lil Bub’s running progress
What I love is how we recognize the amazing abilities of animals, and how they have helped so many people. Do you have a story? We would love to hear.
We are available to help your special pets. Give Jackie, our pet friendly manager, aka Director of Operations a call at 770-695-3096 to help you with all your pet sitting, dog walking or training needs. Lets take a moment to honor our four legged friends.