Just like humans, many dogs have a physical disability, and this can pose many challenges in their day-to-day lives. While some dogs have a disability due to injury, others have a disability that is a birth defect or that has been caused by an illness. Regardless of the cause, most dogs who have a physical disability continue to enjoy life just like any other dog, and they continue to love many of the same activities. One dog that lives life to the full despite his disability is a two-legged Coonhound called Lieutenant Dan. According to I Heart Dogs, describes how Lieutenant Dan was born with a severe defect that affected his hind limbs and tail, which were deformed and unusable. He was given the name Lieutenant Dan after the character from Forest Gump who has both his legs amputated after serving in the Vietnam War.
Due to the deformity and because he could not use his limbs, Lieutenant Dan’s hind legs were removed when he was just six months old. Not long after his first operation, Lieutenant Dan returned to surgery to have his tail removed. Lieutenant Dan’s family told his story on Instagram. They explained that a veterinarian surgeon and a neurologist had recommended that the dog’s hind limbs were amputated. In their opinion, it was the best way to give Lieutenant Dan a better quality of life. It would help to keep him cleaner, take the pressure off his spine, and stop sores from developing on his back legs. Prior to his surgery, Lieutenant Dan had learned how to get around using only his front paws. He had also started using a wheelchair that carried his rear legs that he pulled along using his front legs. Furthermore, he had also undergone swim therapy as a way of strengthening his muscles to help him cope with the extra load the front half of his body was taking due to his rear legs not working.
Despite his lack of back legs, Lieutenant Dan is a lively boy who loves to play with his toys. He is a Coonhound, and these dogs are hunters that are naturally energetic. Using a wheelchair has not stopped him from tearing around the house having lots of fun. He also loves to run around outdoors, especially in the yard and on the beach. It was his love of the beach that has made Lieutenant Dan a social media star. His family posted a video on social media in 2019 that showed Lieutenant Dan racing along the beach with his wheelchair. This video soon went viral as people liked, commented on, and shared the post. Lieutenant Dan soon began to gain fans due to his infectious joy and energy, despite the physical challenges he was facing. He also caught the attention of the confectionary company Cadbury. The company was so impressed by the dog’s attitude to life in the face of adversity, that they have included in him their list of 2020 finalists at the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts.
On reading this, you are probably wondering what the Cadbury Bunny Tryouts is and what is involved. This is an annual competition held by the confectionary company to find an animal to appear in its Easter advertising campaign. Cadbury has now selected the ten finalists. Lieutenant Dan is one of two dogs in the group of finalists, the other is a Labrador called Dodger. There is also a pig called Ducksong. Other animals in the group of finalists include cats, a horse, a llama, a hamster, and a duck. Photographs and more information about each of the finalists are posted on the Cadbury Instagram page. Each of the finalists has struck their cutest bunny pose, and they are all wearing adorable bunny ears. Voting is open until March 18, and people can vote for their favorite animal by signing in on the Cadbury’s website with their email.
Although members of staff from the confectionary company have selected the finalists, who will win the title and the honor of appearing in the advertising campaign is completely down to the public vote. All the animals must do to win this competition is to look as cute as they possibly can. If you check out Lieutenant Dan’s photo, he is certainly in with a chance as he is a strong contender for the title. Of course, the competition is strong as all the animals are adorable, and each of them will appeal to different people. However, there was one group of animals that were not allowed to enter this competition. Cadbury’s decided that rabbits could not take part as they have a clear advantage over the other animals. Therefore, bunny lovers will not have the chance to vote for their favorite animals in this year’s competition.
If Lieutenant Dan is lucky enough to win the title and the chance to appear in the advertisements, it will be a big achievement for the two-legged Coonhound. It is a particularly big achievement considering the adversity that this dog has faced throughout his life. When he was born with such a severe birth defect, many people would have written off Lieutenant Dan’s chances of having a happy and fulfilled life. His inability to use his back legs may have seemed too huge a hurdle to overcome for many people. Thankfully, his family was able to see past his disability and give him the best chance possible in life. They have encouraged him to enjoy all the same activities as any other dog and kept things as normal as possible for him. They have not allowed the dog’s disability to hold him back, and they have provided him with plenty of opportunities to make the most out of life. Not only is he a social media star, but he is now potentially the star of an advertising campaign.