Special Needs Dogs

Lab Rescue Helen
Helen. Photo courtesy Lab Rescue


The Fairfax County Times had this sweet article about special needs dogs, written from the perspective of the author’s (Allen Pearson) dog, Noah. They also pen the blog at www.fromthedogspaw.com I’m reproducing the article in its entirety in hopes it will help the cause of getting special needs pets adopted.

In life, there are many circumstances where some extra special help is needed for humans to get by. My human is a prime example. Without me, what would he ever do? I walk him, exercise him, take him outside to play, secure the property, chase off the varmints and the like. If you know him, he’s not normal under any stretch of the imagination – dog or human alike. WOOF!!!! All kidding aside, I keep him active, which mom says is very good thing! WOOF!

The same happens with dogs. While we are the greatest creatures in God’s universe, some may need a little help along the way. Some special needs dogs may be missing a limb, be insulin dependent, afraid of men, or have been abused and need special attention. That’s where special humans can help these dogs or cats find love.

As I pawed this article, I barked with my friend “Lab Lady” from Lab Rescue who shared with me a thought concerning special needs dogs: “I think the most important thing is to focus on the dog, not the illness,” she said. “Helen, a Labrador Retriever with Lab Rescue, needs insulin shots twice a day but for those few minutes she is your average loving, easy-mannered, and good-looking dog.”

This week, I spent a few minutes barking with a Lab Rescue foster who has spent time caring for special needs dogs and some humans too. Lindee shares…..

“My last dog passed away five years ago. I grew up with dogs, cats, a hamster, gerbils, etc.. Knowing I was going to be an empty-nester, I had to find a way to fill a void I knew was coming. I signed up as a short-term sub foster.”

“So, now about Helen and my other fosters who have special needs. I’ve had fosters that were used as bait dogs, had mange, had neurological issues, were afraid of men, former Dock jumping dogs who were hairless (his name was Hairy) and I’ve had a Foster become a Frostburg police department Missing Persons and Drug Dog,” Lindee says.

“What is a ‘special needs’ dog? The obvious… known medical issues. Heartworm positive, tripod, ‘happy tail,’ skin issues and medicated baths, neurological issues, masses, thyroid issues, diabetes, too thin, too heavy, GI issues. The list goes on.”

Lindee continues, “But what about social issues. Afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks, fear every time the air conditioning turns on, [the] doorbell rings, high prey drives, fear of men, etc. Just like a newborn, sometimes we just don’t know what we’re taking home.”

“I picked [Helen] up at 20 plus pounds underweight, with her beautiful Chocolate coat bleached out, almost totally blind, at least six BBs embedded under her skin, and [she was] an uncontrolled diabetic. Since then, she’s gained weight, had eye surgery, been through kennel cough and pneumonia.”

“If I could keep her, I know what I have, and what she needs. [She is] a total love bug who is overwhelmingly happy to be safe and loved! She has a schedule I can follow.”

Meet Helen! A six-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever looking for a forever home in a single-family home with no fence requirement in a rural or suburban setting. She needs humans with a short workday or someone who works from home would be the pawfect match! She will need someone to give her insulin on a regular schedule every day. Barkingly, she needs to be your one and only dog. No cats. She finds them fun to chase! BARK!!!

Helen does excellent on a leash and is the envy of the neighborhood. She loves snuggling and retrieving. Car rides are the greatest and squeaky ball toys are the best! WOOF!!

Helen has impeccable house manners! No worries about food disappearing off the counter, or leaving your shoes on the floor, or holes in the backyard. She’s a very well-behaved girl!

Diabetic? Insulin? She is pawsitively pawfect for her shots and is a very well-regulated diabetic.

Contact Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc., www.lab-rescue.org, call (301) 299-6756, email [email protected].

Lab Rescue LRCP rescues and places dogs in Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and northeast North Carolina (30 miles east of I-95 and north of the Pamlico Sound). Adopters must travel to Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, with their family – human and canine – to meet the dog they want to adopt.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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