Monday, July 8, 2013

On relating to a dog with disabilities

Our town's 4th of July celebration includes a pet show. Max hung out there for a little while, patting some of the contestants. Then he spotted the Good Humor ice-cream truck, where they know him by name (literally) and he dragged Dave over. Sabrina and I stayed, and we met Goose.

Goose is a boxer with three legs. He ran around like any other dog and I watched in admiration.

I know just how a body can compensate for seeming deficits.

As Goose relaxed on the lawn, a group of girls stopped by to pet him. When he stood up one said "Goose only has three legs!" and then, in chorus, they all went "Awwww...."

I know those looks of pity.

When the MC called Goose's name, his owner carried him up because by then Goose (like a lot of theother dogs) was weary from the heat. The owner introduced Goose. "A lot of people don't get that Goose is like just other boxers," he said.

And I knew exactly what he meant.


  1. Just want to say thank you for the honesty and courage you bring to your blog. It is always an affirming and uplifting experience. We are new to the special needs community and have learn so much through this venue, gives us hope! :)

  2. I am sure Goose is a happy dog three legs and all he shouldn't be pitied just like a human with a "disability" shouldn't be pitied.

    1. Dogs lack the pity gene for each other as well. They notice if another pack member is different but they just accept it. I've never seen a dog engage in a pity party. Yesterday Spiderman had a series of horrific spells one right after the other. I looked out the door to see our Laberamer guarding him while he was unconscious. She knew something was wrong, but as soon as he woke up she was back to the business of being a dog. We can lean a lot from them.

  3. Goose is so cute! I live in a neighbourhood where most of the dogs are adopted from rescues (including mine!), many of whom just happen to have disabilities. No one notices much, which is pretty cool -- AND it turns out that my recalcitrant basset hound (who has no disabilities) understands sign language WAAAAAY better than words. Sign language I picked up from Athena the deaf Great Dane's owner!

  4. One of the things I love about working with really young children is the fact that when they notice the differences-between people and in animals, it doesn't matter to them. I adopted a cat last summer and our family friend was over with her 2 year old a few days later. The little girl was feeding my cat treats and trying to give her food and throwing toys for her for 20-30 minutes before she suddenly looked up at me and said, "Hey! This kitty only gots one eye!" She then proceeded to continue playing just as she had before, it didn't make a difference to her, and it doesn't make a difference to my cat! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Totally totally love this. Huge high-five.

  6. Yes yes yes.

    We were at Riley Children's Hospital today, and it always so refreshing to be in an environment of such complete understanding and acceptance. Wish that was true everywhere.

  7. Boy is he cute! So many similarities it's ridiculous. It's ruff being different (heheheh).

  8. Goose is so cute. I just want to pet him. I just like petting dogs.


Thanks for sharing!

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