Christie knew that the puppies’ condition would make them unadoptable – so she knew she had to bring them home to make them part of her own family.
And she says it was the best decision she has ever made.
‘We rescued them after a neighbor called about the barking,’ Christie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘The mom and pups were full of parasites and had to be treated for these.’She says CH causes motor control issues and proprioception problems. So, Christie’s new pups were going to have a hard time walking and knowing where to put their feet.
CH doesn’t involve any pain and dogs with the condition have normal life spans.
‘In short, they are just wobbly normal dogs ,’ says Christie. ‘The reality is that it is difficult to get these types or any special needs dog adopted.
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‘It isn’t that it is hard work to care for them, it is just more work. Because of this we (our family) adopted them.’
She says it was a learning curve figuring out how to care for the new canine additions to her family.
‘It was like bringing home two aliens and trying to figure out how to give them the best lives,’ says Christie. ‘We had to adapt everything from drinking water and eating to how to walk.‘Twitch was doing OK in the walking department, but Trimble had much more difficulty.
‘We built him wheelchairs as he grew to begin physical therapy that would strengthen his muscles and give him the maximum coordination.
‘As he grew, he began to have a little more control over his muscles and would take a few steps at a time.‘Now, Twitch runs— which we never thought was possible and Trimble walks… which is, in short, a miracle.’
Christie says she has found incredible support in the special needs dogs community, and they network together regularly and help each other out as much as they can.
Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”
‘The reason you see more special needs dogs living their best lives is because people are not euthanizing them anymore,’ she says. ‘They see that they can live amazing lives with just a little bit of love.
‘I am their service human. I provide all the accommodations to make their lives absolutely wonderful. In return, they make me a better person.’
Christie says that having Trimble and Twitch in her life has taught her some incredible lessons.
‘They never get sad, mad, angry, or spiteful, they are just a joy to have. They have taught me that no matter what you have going on in your life, it is absolutely up to you how deal with it.
‘They spread happiness and smiles where ever they go – it’s infectious.’
Trimble and Twitch just love being around people, so much so that Christie often takes them to visit children in her community who also have special needs.
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‘We want to spread our “be intentional” message. Be Intentional in your life – live with purpose,’ says Christie.
‘Even though my life has turned upside down taking care of them, I wouldn’t change it for the world.’In January this year, Christie and her family opened the Be Intentional Dog Rescue centre, a non-profit rescue that saves the lives of local dogs, as well as other special needs dogs. ‘It is honestly a dream come true,’ says Christie. ‘We can transport dogs out of Texas where there is a huge dog problem, to other states and Canada to amazing homes.
‘Special needs dogs are amazing. They prove that life always finds a way to shine.
‘We don’t view them as handicapped, we view them as little beacons of hope that let everyone know that each life is worth living.’