Saturday, March 31, 2012

Homer's Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey is the story of an amazing cat born blind.

Like any disabled animal Homer didn't know he was dealt a bad hand or even care. He is everything a typical cat is and more: adventurous, curious, adorable! He uses sound, smell, and touch as well as spatial information from his whiskers to give him a sense of shape. This book is a reminder that lacking a sense or two should never keep you down.

All thanks to

Friday, March 30, 2012

Looking to adopt? Consider a disabled pet!

Sorry I haven't posted anything in a while. But now I'm back in force with a message of why when looking to adopt an animal you should consider a disabled pet. This is thanks to an article from

(The animals mentioned in this post were thanks to, founded by Joyce Darrell and Michael Dickerson)

 This is Deon, a 10 month old deaf dog. He needs a home TODAY! See what you can do to help Deon and other pets like him here. You can contact about adoption or make a donation

For starters there are a lot of them and they need your help. "Of the average 300 to 500 animals at a typical animal welfare organization, approximately 10 percent quality as disabled. They're often the last to be adopted." Because they don't fit into your typical idea of "cute and cuddly" disabled animals are often passed over.

Though they don't fit into the usual mold disabled animals offer a unique experience that you won't get with a healthy animal.

Consider Debbie Richie from Charlottesville, Virginia. Talk to her for more than five minutes and you can't miss the fact that special-needs animals have something soulfully distinct to offer.
"You form a different kind of bond than you do with healthy dogs,'' said Richie, who adopted a wheelchair-bound five-year-old Boston terrier named Teddy from Darrell's organization. "I can't explain it, it's just special.''
"I tell people that it might take a few months to get adjusted, but that they'll never have a more gratifying experience,'' said Darrell, who with Dickerson has rescued 16 disabled dogs (six of which are in wheelchairs) of their own and a cat born with one eye.
"What people don't realize is these animals can do anything,'' said Johnson, whose blind collie, Lady, practices agility and "reads'' with special-needs kids every Friday.
 Take a look at Howie here.

 This is not to say that you can adopt a disabled animal without thinking it out first. Just like any animal you need to plan the process out before you adopt an animal. It is not true that owning a disabled animal is more complicated, it simply takes more planning and possibly an adaptation or two.
  • Have a plan for where it'll eat, sleep, and exercise. For example, when Richie leaves for work, she places Teddy on several comforters (sort of a makeshift playpen) with his food and water bowls.
  • Pet proof the physical environment. Make sure there's nothing protruding or with sharp edges that can be harmful.
  • Carve out time to spend with the animal, especially in the beginning, when it needs help adjusting to new surroundings.
  • Make sure they have the necessary equipment. There are not only wheelchairs available for disabled animals, but also ramps, steps, beds, and harnesses.
  • Embrace the differences between cats and dogs. Cats tend to be very self-sufficient and don't always need the same kind of care and attention as dogs.
  • Be prepared to treat them as normally as possible. "How do you exercise a wheelchair dog? By taking it for a walk,'' Darnell said. "The only difference is you may have to help it along.''
Take a look at Bella here.

Any animal takes work and a good environment. Before adopting any animal make sure you have the resources and facilities to give the animal the proper care they deserve. But if you can find it in your heart to reach out to a disabled animal you will receive more than you ever thought in return.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Science Daily: Saving dogs with spinal cord injuries

I have a special interest in this subject because of my own spinal cord injury.

These dogs are more prone to disk displacement that closely mimics a traumatic spinal cord injury in humans. The treatment focuses on reducing damage to those nerves that are were interrupted by the injury but not severed. What this means is that it focuses on repairing existing function instead of regrowing new nerve pathways, another active area of spinal cord research.

Read the full article at:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rolling Dog Farm

Rolling Dog Farm is a charity that involves the rescue and housing of disabled animals of all sorts. Their residents include blind dogs, blind horses, deaf dogs, blind cats, and animals with other neurological and orthopedic disabilities.

Some of these animals include:

A miniature Dachshund with a spinal problem, he wound up in the hands of an animal hoarder. Thankfully rescued, he now enjoys his freedom and comfort. He sleeps in front of a warm stove at night reminding us to take pleasure in the little things in life.

A blind Quarter Horse, Lena story begins with a problem of rearing up too often, likely caused by an inexperienced rider pulling too hard and often on the reins. It was decided she needed to be taught a "lesson": tying the reins to the back of the saddle, which would cause her to fall over backwards. They did this so many times, causing her to land on her head, that she is permanently blind. Saved by a caring soul who saw her predicament, she eventually was put in contact with the Rolling Dog Farm, where she now receives the love and care she deserves.

Based out of 120 acre ranch in the White Mountains of Hampshire, Alayne Marker and Steve Smith have spent over a decade devoting their lives to these animals. A website everyone should look at, the non-profit includes a page on animal myths about disabled animals. (also see Top 5 Myths About Blind Horses) These include:

1) Disabled animals can't have a good quality of life.
All you have to do is look at a few videos of these animals, playing, roughhousing, and generally having a blast to understand that these animals have amazing lives! Just because you have to have a few adaptations to your life doesn't mean it's not still fun to wrestle:

2) Disabled animals have a lot of medical problems.
Not so! While the disability itself may represent a little extra time and care, disabled animals are no more prone to getting sick than any other animal.

3) Disabled animals have behavior problems – they’re more likely to snap and bite.
You cannot attribute the personality of an animal to their disability. Many otherwise healthy animals snap and bite and this is not blamed attributed to anything other than the personality of the animal.

4) It’s more difficult to care for a disabled animal.
Generally not much extra care is called for, the largest exception being spinal cord injuries. As with any animal, you should never agree to adopt them if you cannot provide them with the space, care, and time that they require. If you make time for them in your life they will always bound back with more excitement, energy, and love than you could ever return.

You can read about some of the other animals who include
Cinder (with kittens Ash and Spark) - blind
Travis - fused jaw
Ella - 3 Legs

for more information visit their website at:
their facebook page:
their blog:
or their youtube page:


Friday, December 16, 2011

Council's Newest Member: Jean-Paul the Bear

Jean-Paul the bear is the lawyer for the Council of Disabled Animal Friends, settling disability claims and any legal issues the Council may enoucounter. He was injured a few weeks ago when coming out of court. A former client, mad that he didn't receive enough money from his case (which he still ended up winning though) took a shot at him. Nicking the spinal cord, he suffers partial paralysis and will need to wear the neck brace while his spine heals. Though the injuries are severe it looks like he may not suffer any permanent damage. The former client on the other hand will not be so lucky. I will advise this: No matter how mad you are, DON'T MESS WITH A LAWYER!

Jean-Paul's home is in the office of my spinal surgeon. The Turtle Walks


Friday, December 9, 2011

3 Legged Tortoise With a Wheel Prosthetic

Keep going strong, oh brother in arms!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Newest Member of the Council: Percival the Bear

Be sure and 'like' The Council of Disabled Animal Friends on facebook. Visit the facebook page here or like it below the post.

Percival the Bear is in charge of new memberships to the council. All potential members go through a screening process directed by Percival. This includes multiple interviews, aptitude and talent testing, as well as educational presentations training which will help further their success as a member of the council.

Percival is missing his right eye. Back in the wild he traveled the world, in search of other teddy bears with similar experiences, the love of a young child and loss as the child grew up. While on these travels he fell for a young disabled turtle. Unfortunately while pursuing said turtle the bear lost an eye in a fight with the turtle's current partner, a snapping turtle. Though he lost an eye and the fight, he ended up winning the heart of the turtle.

Both were rescued at a local thrift store and given a good home to someone close to me. They both have been through hardships and I hope that their stories remind you that the animals around you are experiencing the same struggles as you are, so treat them right.

Now both work for as members of the council. The story of the disabled turtle coming soon.