Two years ago instead of sending out holiday cards we made a donation to the Rolling Dog Ranch in Montana instead. I came across a story about them and a wee paralyzed Yorkie named Spirit. After reading her story and reading about the work they do out at the ranch for disabled animals, I thought my money was better spent on helping them than a bunch of paper and glitter.
Here is Spirit's story, but you can read about the other dogs, cats and horses at the Rolling Dog on their website or make a quick and easy donation by clicking here.
Spirit the paralyzed dog
The start of Spirit's story is hard to read at first, but please stick with it...because there's a very happy ending.
A lady in Butte, Montana, Denise S., was walking down a street when she caught a glimpse through the traffic of a Yorkshire terrier lying on the pavement. She waited for the cars to pass and then rushed into the street to get the dog. That's when she noticed a man standing next to the little Yorkie, kicking it.
Denise ran over and scooped up the dog in her arms. The man was drunk and shouted at her, “That's my dog!” Then he turned and walked away, leaving her holding the Yorkie.
The dog was paralyzed in her front legs, her eyes were crusted over, and her hair was matted. Denise took the Yorkie to a vet clinic for some initial treatment, and then called us. Two days later Denise's family brought the dog to the ranch.
Despite her paralysis and the abuse she suffered, the Yorkie was full of life and love. She propelled herself with her back legs, hopping and then sliding on her chin. She wanted mobility, no matter what the effort. Whenever we picked her up, she'd lick us on the face. To have endured such a life of trauma, and still be like this...well, that's why we named her Spirit.
The wonderful folks at Doggon' Wheels in Bozeman, Montana, came out to personally measure Spirit for a wheelchair – and then they donated the entire cost! When we first put Spirit in her new wheels, she didn't know what to do. She looked up at us as if to say, “Now what?” Yet the expression on her face told us she was thrilled to be upright like a “normal” dog.
To get moving, though, she needed some motivation, so we took Spirit to the cat house and set her on the floor. Her eyes got really big, her back legs started to move, and off she went to check out the cats! Spirit completely forgot she was in a wheelchair. Now it's natural.
When she's not in her wheels, Spirit likes to lie on a dog cot in our living room, which she thinks is a Yorkie lounge.
The best part of Spirit's story? A family from Tampa, Florida, just contacted us after reading about Spirit on our blog. They had recently lost a paralyzed Yorkie, also rescued from abuse, and wanted to know if they could fly out and adopt Spirit!
So Spirit will be arriving at her home in Florida in time for the holidays, and her new family is excited about enjoying a little Christmas Spirit together!