A tail of 6 dogs with 20 paws, 5 pairs of eyes and 1 pair of wheels - running alongside my 3 springers is Maz a 2 legged wise street dog from Afghanistan, Bambi a paraplegic boy from the streets of Romania and Inka my blind girl found at 3 weeks of age in a Romanian river. Disabled these 3 may be but these dogs are awesome you can't feel sorry for yourself when you see how they grab life and embrace everything even though getting over the door frame for Bambi may not be simple, watching my Inka run full pelt cani-crossing to chase her springer siblings and just enjoying life even though missing one of her senses is pretty mind-blowing. Maz is always keen to embrace life and meet everyone he can and he loves to run down sand dunes although does at times attempt to make a break for freedom when his feral nature and enthusiasm for exploring means he ditches me to run off into a bush which I then have to crawl in to retrieve him.
Time spent with them is wonderful as you ponder on their past but see how they live in the moment and enjoy it despite what we might perceive as limits which helps make you stop and think that we should all try and be more dog. They don’t see limits just possibilities, especially dropped food, a sandy beach or a garden to dig in.
There may be challenges such as incontinence but nothing a mop can't sort out and in a routine it all becomes easy, organisation is key and being prepared for when the pee arrives, maybe nappies or wet dog mats on their beds to save washing it all makes life easier. Inka is always keen to run off with a nappy or nappy wrap or trying to play tuggy with the mop!
There is a tin bath in the garden with shampoo and towels at the ready with hot and cold feed for the daily undercarriage washes to keep them clean but in many ways they are so much easier as when washed they don't springboard over all the chairs drying themselves off like my springers, they don't rub themselves and roll over all the cushions, there are no paw prints on the sofa post wash. Paw washes post walk are so much easier, Bambi has 2, Maz 2 and a stump and Inka with her coat and lead on doesn’t get anywhere near as muddy as her springer siblings although Bambi aka The Bams does like to emulate his springer brother for fox poo rolling and believe me he does despite wheels he usually ends up quite successful it needs to be seen to be believed.
The benefits of disabled dogs are huge none are able to counter-surf, they have never stolen the whole slow cooker worth of curry or jumped over my dog gate to eat my homemade body lotion, they don't open the the back door or ever locked me out in my pyjamas when a well aimed jump turns the key, the boys have never pulled me over on a walk with their exuberance or treated me as a springboard for bounding off to run. The disabled gang make sure I have company on a walk with them and are at the end of the day just normal dog's maybe with a bit broken or bits missing they are faithful and loyal and your very best friend all the things we love dogs for so don't be put off by the fact that they look different just revel in the fact that they are awesome and amazing and the best fun and inspiration you will ever have.