Standing tall on just two legs
02:35 PM, Tuesday, June 28
Six-year-old D.J. is missing two limbs, but this little guy has more than his share of heart. He was born without two front legs, a handicap that some might say is insurmountable. Some people would have suggested he be euthanized at birth. “Thank goodness a kind-hearted human looked at him and saw not his defect, but his joyful spirit and will to live,” said Ann Pollock, founder of Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego (CRSD).

In fact, anyone who encounters D.J. for even one minute recognizes that this tiny bundle of energy is happy, active and smart—wicked smart. He knows how to ask for water and how to stand on two legs! Despite the difficulty he faces getting around, he plays, snuggles, eats and potties just like other dogs. He’s learned to stand upright, something many able-bodied dogs can’t do. He’s thrived in a loving home and it’s fair to say he’s been a perfect pet.

That is, he was a perfect pet until recently, when his owner lost her job and her home. Then, like so many family pets that end up in shelters or worse when their families fall on hard times, D.J. faced homelessness. When CR of SD learned about D.J.’s plight, they stepped in. She’s fostering this amazing, inspiring dog in her own home as she searches for his forever home.

D.J.’s Got Wheels!
D.J.’s not famous—yet. Unlike Faith and other two-legged YouTube and TV-star dogs, D.J. hasn’t been in the spotlight. He’s been busy enjoying life. And even though he was unlucky enough to lose his home, he’s about to get lucky in that a retired, animal-loving physician, is building D.J. a cart. It will support the front of his body so that he can use his back legs to move around more efficiently. D.J. is going to have wheels! No telling how far D.J. will go once he has his custom doggy cart.

Still, D.J.’s main attribute is not his unique body but his indomitable spirit. “D.J. tugs at my heartstrings,” said Sharon Sandorf, a volunteer at CRSD. Like Pollock, Sandorf fosters dogs in her home, including puppies with disabilities. She says D.J.’s joyful personality shines through. “He’s one-of-a-kind and he needs a special new family who will love him as much as he will love them,” she said.

More Able than Disabled
Pollock says that each day brings daunting challenges in the world of dog rescue. In the last year alone, CRSD has fostered several dogs born without eyes, with brain damage, and with broken bones. Birth defects are alarmingly common, she says, because of over breeding and inbreeding. “Some breeders are in it just for the money,

no matter what toll it takes on the animals,” she said. In D.J.’s case, his former owner told Ann that the breeder would have drowned him if she hadn’t saved him.

D.J. stands on his back legs to be picked up. He understands simple commands and is rapidly learning more. He makes his way to his bed and piddle pad on his own when no one is there to help him. He bumped Pollock’s water bottle to show that he’s thirsty. He rides in a carry bag and loves to be petted.   He’s a little standoffish around other dogs, probably because he was the only dog in his home and because he’s so vulnerable. But Pollock says he’s already learning to share his space and his human attention with other pups.

“The truth is we can all learn a lesson from D.J. and other ‘disabled’ dogs,” Pollock said. “They don’t whine about their disability. They adjust, acclimate and love. Anyone should follow D.J.’s example about how to live life to the fullest. He will be a great pet and a great ambassador for both disabled dogs and people.”



To adopt D.J. or learn more about Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego, visit www.chihuahuarescueofsandiego.com, or e-mail them at Dog@RescueAChihuahua.com.



Watch a video of D.J at www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEcdveiTCDo.







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