When you have this many dogs they become your life. And when 5 of them are special needs, it teaches you about life. You learn what limits are and that they don’t really exist unless you let them. You see that life and happiness carry more weight than most things in life. And when you have two badass moms, life’s pretty good.
Heather and Kabrina have room in their hearts for 12 dogs. Twelve. Dogs. Five of them being disabled pit bulls. It doesn’t stop there. They want to open up a special needs pit bull rescue in the future. Heather and Karina, you’re awesome.
These kids came with tag lines. A short clue, a flash of the evidence from what lived in their past and what drives them into each day with such joy. Read these stories. Read them twice. Because these special needs dogs have spectacularly horrendous pasts and unbelievably beautiful futures. Let’s get this party started.
Kafziel (Tripawd, Recently Diagnosed with Addison’s Disease)
Kafziel was rescued from California when he was young. He was everything a dog should be. And then at 13 weeks old he broke his leg. After 2 failed surgeries to correct his leg, there was no option but to amputate it. This young, healthy dog loved to swim and run so the heartbreak for him was palpable. The world as Heather and Kabrina knew it had ended. And a new one began. Kafziel was still the same dog they loved. He ran. He fetched. He swam. He didn’t set limits for himself. He didn’t’ know how. This began their quest to save, educate, and advocate for special needs pit bulls and pit mixes.
Age: 5 1/2 years old
Bad Habit: Chasing his tail
Super Power: He has an uncanny ability to make everyone he meets fall head over heels in love with him.
Favorite Activity: Swimming
Favorite Treat: Chris Shuster Cookies
Favorite Nap Spot: On the couch on his back.
Pyg (One eyed, Partially Deaf)
She was 14 weeks old when she was rescued out of the back of a truck before being taken to a shelter that would have most likely euthanized her. She was covered in bite wounds, had a necrotic rotting eye, and was bleeding from her nose. Ticks covered her skin and she had already lost hearing in her left ear. She had been gruesomely neglected, tortured, and chewed on but from the moment Heather and Kabrina brought her into their home her tail never stopped wagging. Her eye had to be removed. A migrating foxtail was pulled from her nose which left some damage and a lingering snort (for life). The top of her head bears a large scar from one of the more horrific bite wounds. And still she’s nothing but love.
Age: 2 1/2 Years Old.
Personality Quirk: She needs to mother cats. Any cat she meets.
Super Power: Her happy tail.
Favorite Activity: Watching the rain.
Favorite Treat: Ice Cubes.
Favorite Nap Spot: Upside down hanging off of a dog bed.
Coven (Tripawd, Bilateral FHO’s)
Coven was not in the plans. Heather and Kabrina had two pits and that was enough. Until they met him. He had been on this earth for 5 short months and had the unfortunate luck of spending that time at the hands of an abuser. Not much on this dog was not broken. All but one of his legs, both femoral heads on his back legs, and his left elbow were among the broken bones. The breaks were not new. He had been dragging himself around by his one good leg for 4 weeks and had the scrapes on his feet to prove it. The elbow fracture was too severe so his right leg was amputated and the femoral head was removed. Since recovering from surgery he plays frisbee, swims, and lives life to the fullest. He’s understandably got some lingering trust issues with people, but who could blame him?
Age: 2 1/2 Years Old
Super Power: He can fly, climb trees, and catch frisbees. All with 3 bum legs.
Favorite Activity: Frisbee time.
Favorite Treat: Sugar Cubes.
Favorite Nap Spot: Naps aren’t in his vocabulary. He’s always on the go.
Valak (Tripawd, No Ears)
Valak was pulled off the streets of Philly by animal control. He was 32 pounds, emaciated, and had a mangled mess of infected ears that were shredded and abscessed. They were past the point of saving so they were removed. He was found only having 3 legs. His ears and scars suggest a story of fighting; whether for food, sport, or survival, we’ll never know. He came with aggression and possession issues but Heather and Kabrina were likely his one and only shot at survival. Now 65 pounds, after tireless training, he has become a functioning part of the family. He’s a sweet boy. The sweetest. After 6 months of training he’s now a demo dog for the dog trainers at Passion for Paws, (the people who helped Heather and Kabrina through it all to see that Valak could be a normal dog). He’s starting his therapy dog training in a few short days.
Age: 5-7 Years Old.
Strange Habit: Sucks stuffed animals like he is nursing.
Super Power: Can sleep anywhere, anytime.
Favorite Activity: Snoring
Favorite Treat: Auntie Liane’s Peanut Butter Cookies
Favorite Nap Spot: Training Class
Davey Joe (Cerebellar Abiotrophy)
Davey is the specialist of special needs dogs in this family. He has been diagnosed with Cerebellar Abiotrophy. The neurons in his cerebellum are dying, mostly affecting his balance and coordination. His entire life was lived in New York, tied to a dog house. Because of his neuro issues he was picked up by Animal Control and spent the next 7 months in a shelter. He quickly become a staff and volunteer favorite at Riverhead Animal Shelter. They couldn’t give up on him so they sent his video to Desperate Dogs of Long Island. Mr. Bones & Co. got wind, pulled him from the shelter, and got him into a home.
“One email to Mr. Bones & Co. about a vacancy in the household and here we are. No one knows how much time Davey has but we were certain that we could make the most of it. Davey Joe has given our lives purpose. Because of him we know what we’re meant to do on this earth. This was thought to be a hospice adoption but we’re celebrating 5 beautiful months with Davey Joe and he’s showing no signs of slowing down”.
Age: 8 Years Old.
Personality Quirk: Very nosey. Has to be involved in everything.
Super Power: Living with a debilitating disease.
Favorite Activity: Everything.
Favorite Treat: Bagels.
Favorite Nap Spot: Anywhere his moms are.
“We have learned a lot of lessons from our dogs. They are just as capable of doing things as non handicapped dogs. They’re happy. We’ve also realized how much work, money, and dedication it takes to have 5 handicapped dogs. We have to be 100% willing to put their needs before ours. Not everyone will understand why we do what we do. But they make us happy and we love making them happy. We hope to open a special needs pit bull rescue in the near future. ”
To keep up with this fabulous crew, check ’em out on their Facebook Page!
We want to hear from you! Do you know of any cool dogs and cool owners that our bloggers should highlight? You know, the ones that don’t make the news because they’re just good dogs? Have them send us their contact info at firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Blog Story” as the subject.
Wallace the Pit Bull Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of dogs and the people who care for them.