Rescue Puppies Couldn’t Even Walk: Now They’re Learning to Play

Learning to Play


For most people, adopting a dog is the final step in a long process of planning and preparation. In some cases, however, having time to think is a luxury that is simply not available. In these cases, adopting the dog requires a leap of faith, a belief that with hard work and compassion, everything will work out in the end.

One remarkable example of such a leap of faith centered on four puppies named Nemo, Dory, Ariel, and Moana. These dogs were just as loving and adorable as any other, but they suffered from conditions that limited their mobility. They were brought to the Miami-Dade Country Animal Services shelter after someone found them on the streets. With no information about how long they were strays, it was difficult to accurately diagnose the dogs.

What was clear from the outset is that the puppies were unable to walk normally. While all four suffered from this issue, Nemo and Dory were especially affected. The puppies would easily lose their balance and were often forced to army crawl in order to move around. With such significant health issues, the shelter was forced to consider euthanizing the puppies. As a last-ditch effort, the shelter sent an email asking volunteers to help. With only a couple days left before they were to be euthanized, the puppies were rescued by a woman named Sandra McGlynn.

McGlynn was the founder of Rescue Paws 4 Furry Hearts, and was moved by the plight of these poor puppies. Without having time to consider the risks, McGlynn stepped up and saved the dogs. This decision was courageous, as her rescue was already dealing with financial hardship. In order to procure funds for the puppies, McGlynn set up an online fundraiser. The campaign was a tremendous success, as McGlynn not only found enough support to pay for the dogs’ medical bills, but also a woman named Jannette Van Brakel who offered to foster the dogs if they survived.

With the future looking up for the dogs, McGlynn brought them home. She brought them to several different vets in order to discover the reason why the puppies could not walk. Unfortunately, she did not get a definitive answer. Possible explanations ranged from congenital conditions to swimmers syndrome, a developmental disorder.

Van Brakel, however, simply saw puppies that wanted to grow and play. Despite not knowing exactly what the condition was, she began treatment that included playing and physical therapy. Amazingly, with Van Brakel’s care and attention, the dogs began to quickly improve. In fact, Dory was able to walk after only a few days. Playing with balls is particularly effective in terms of therapy, as it builds their strength and coordination. Of course, the puppies love it as well.

Sometimes, a leap of faith is necessary in order to make a life-changing impact. McGlynn’s decision to rescue the puppies from the shelter was made without financial stability. This decision led to Van Brakel, who decided to foster the dogs without knowing exactly what their disability was being caused by and how to treat it. However, the care and love that the rescue puppies have received through these courageous decisions has made a world of difference. Being able to play is not only important for their health and happiness, it will also make it much easier to find someone willing to adopt them.

Adopting special needs animals is not a decision that should be made lightly. However, for people who are truly dedicated to helping animals in need, sometimes trusting that the dogs will thrive with the proper care is all that it takes to turn their lives around.


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