Every dog has their own specific needs, but some are in need of a little extra help, love and attention on a daily basis. Oftentimes these dogs join the family through adoption. Maybe they came from a puppy mill and have been over-bred, or they were a bait dog and now can’t be near other dogs. Some have physical limitations, such as missing limbs or facial features. Much like yourself, they are all in need of a little patience. Unfortunately, when you bring a special needs animal into your house their limitations are what become immediately apparent. What comes next, however, is a unique, unconditional relationship.
You saw something in that dog that made you welcome them into your family. Maybe they were discarded by a breeder and tore at your heartstrings. Or you walked by them every Saturday for 2 years while you volunteered at the local shelter and couldn’t bear to do it one more week. Now, they get to show you how grateful they are. They get to thank you for the hours you spent petting them while they cowered under the coffee table. They get to thank you for listening to them when they growl, and learning when to give them space. They get to thank you for helping them up and down the stairs every morning and every night. These are not things your dog will ever forget. You have given them a second chance at life.
This reciprocal relationship will only continue to grow. The longer the two of you know each other the more dependent you will become on each other. That is the ultimate “Thank You.” Sure, things will continue to be tough sometimes. They may have to go to the vet more frequently, or be gawked at by new friends, or need a lot of after-work-hours attention. They will, however, develop their own ways of helping you out. The dog with a serious brain injury will welcome you every time you need to lay with them. The dog who can’t walk on his own will bring you renewed energy through your own increased physical activity. These are the things that are not readily apparent when you choose to bring home a special needs dog.
They are the things you will begin to value more than anything else. This codependent relationship is what makes all of your hard work, sweat, and tears worth it. All dogs will love you as completely as you love them in their own way; special needs animals just allow for and open up new areas for that relationship to develop. You will find yourself thinking less about you, and more about others in every capacity of your life. This is your reminder that it is worth it. Every day. Every obnoxious bark, growl or whine. They are your best companion, and you are their only support system in this world. If they could write a blog for #BullyFamBam this would be it: “Thank You” x250.