Naki’o’s story is not only inspirational, it also says a lot about the kindness of people. When he was born, he and his siblings were born in a foreclosed home in Nebraska in the middle of winter. The weather was extremely cold, and sadly, Naki’o’s mother passed away due to exposure. When the puppies were found, Naki’o was the only one who was gravely injured. He was standing is a puddle that had frozen and he couldn’t get out. Because of this, he had extreme frost bite on all of his paws, his tail, and his nose.
When they were rescued, Naki’o and his siblings were taken to a rescue shelter called A Puppy’s Voice in Fort Collins, Colorado. All of the puppies had to be treated for malnutrition and mange, but Naki’o needed more medical attention. He had to have his paws are other parts of his legs amputated. He also lost half of his nose, his right ear, and half of his tail. It didn’t take long for Naki’o’s siblings to be adopted, however, things didn’t look good for Naki’o due to all of his medical problems. Most people were not willing to take on such a huge responsibility. It seemed as though Naki’o would be at the shelter forever. That is where Christie Pace came into the picture.
Christie worked as a vet tech for 9 years and she loved animals, especially dogs. She was interested in adopting a dog. She decided to find one who had special needs because she knew how hard it was for these dogs to get adopted and she had the knowledge and training to care for such a dog. When she read Nakio’s story, whose name was Stubby at the time, she instantly fell in love. She made an appointment to meet Naki’o. Christie says that he was so happy, that she barely noticed his disability. After plenty of kisses, she took him home the same day.
When she took Naki’o home, he weighed just 4 pounds. Because he was so small, he was able to get around relatively easy. When he got older, however, it became more difficult. Christie knew that he needed help, but she didn’t know what she could do.
When she was at work, a dog came in who was wearing an OrthoPets knee brace. She had never seen one before, but it gave her an idea. When she contacted the company that was located in Denver, she found out that they also made prosthetic. She made an appointment for Naki’o and found out that he would be a perfect candidate. Sadly, she didn’t have the money to pay for the prosthetic. Luckily, the generous clients at the office she worked at donated money for the prosthetic. When she found out that he needed four prosthetics to have the best quality of life, she was devastated. When she explained to OrtoPets that she could not afford the other three prosthetics, they decided to donate them to Neki’o. It took a few months, but finally, he had all four.
According to Christie, the first time he had all four prosthetics, he tried to walk and he looked like a baby deer walking for the first time. During his first walk down the street, he broke the hinges off of his prosthetic because he was running so fast and taking such sharp turns. Over time, the prosthetics were adjusted to work just right for him. Today, Christie says that he is the happiest dog that you will ever meet.
Everything that Naki’o went through inspired Christie to start her own dog rescue called Nakio’s Underdog Rescue. The rescue specializes in helping animals who have special needs. Her rescue has taken in many dogs. She has three dogs who are blind. She also has a dog with two and a half legs and uses a wheelchair. Christie says that she would love to keep all of the special needs animals that come into her rescue, but it isn’t possible. She works to imporve the quality of these animals’ lives so that they can find an over to love them the same way that Naki’o and Christie found each other. Naki’o and Christie’s story should be an inspiration to us all.