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Carl, the paralyzed dog that we fell in love with…
We were introduced to Carl when SOCA-FBC took him from Fort Bend County Animal Services and placed him with his first foster family. They loved Carl, even though he was paralyzed in his hind legs and required extra care. Carl zoomed around their house and yard using his front legs. He didn’t let his condition stop him from being a happy dog, playing with the other family pets, and looking for hugs. Then one day, Carl miraculously got up and walked, although very wobbly.
SOCA set up a Facebook page for Carl to help him look for a special family to adopt him.
SOCA asked if we would take over as Carl’s foster family. We had lost our three beloved dogs over the past few years, and we were thinking of getting another dog. We wanted to help Carl, but we were reluctant to commit to adoption because of his condition. Although he was learning to walk, he still had no control over BMs or urine and was in diapers all of the time.
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With help from a local vet, SOCA arranged for laser treatments and acupuncture. We took him to appointments twice weekly for a few months, and we walked him twice a day. He started to regain some strength in his hind legs. Over time, he could control his BMs/urine and no longer needed diapers, and he learned to run and play fetch by hopping on his hind legs. He loves playing fetch! Throughout this process, we were falling in love with Carl, and so were our cats. Our female cat sleeps with him/grooms his face, and they all love to play chase with him.
Carl changed our lives because we discovered that it didn’t matter that he had special needs. He was happy, lovable and friendly, gentle, and smart. He particularly changed my life because I was overweight/still am somewhat. Since retiring a few years ago, I was waking up late mornings, sometimes losing a big portion of the day and not accomplishing much. Our vet emphasized to us to make sure Carl got regular exercise.
When Carl joined our family, because of his special needs, I began to lose weight. Now I get up between 6:30-7:00 every morning – partly to make sure that Carl doesn’t have a BM accident in the house, and also to keep the walk schedule he loves so much. We walk for an hour and my day begins early, so that I can accomplish much more than previously. We walk before dinner for a shorter period of time. I’m healthier and accomplishing more – all because of the commitment I made to Carl when we adopted him to make sure he has regular exercise and keep his hind legs strong.
Story submitted by Deborah Silvi.
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