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Carl, the paralyzed dog we fell in love with…
We were introduced to Carl when SOCA-FBC took him from Fort Bend County Animal Services and placed him in his first foster home. They loved Carl, even though he was paralyzed in his hind legs and needed extra care. Carl roamed their home and yard using his front paws. He didn’t let his condition stop him from being a happy dog, playing with other family pets and seeking cuddles. Then one day, Carl miraculously got up and walked, albeit very staggering.
SOCA created a Facebook page for Carl to help him find a special family to adopt him.
SOCA asked if we would take over as Carl’s foster family. We had lost our three beloved dogs over the past few years and thought we might have another. We wanted to help Carl, but we were reluctant to commit to adoption because of his condition. Although he was learning to walk, he still had no control over BMs or urine and wore diapers all the time.
With the help of a local veterinarian, SOCA arranged laser treatments and acupuncture. We took him on dates twice a week for a few months, and walked him twice a day. He started to regain strength in his hind legs. Over time, he was able to control his BM/urine and no longer needed diapers, and he learned to run and fetch by jumping on his hind legs. He loves to play fetch! Throughout this process, we were falling in love with Carl, and so were our cats. Our female cat sleeps with him/cares for his face, and they all like to play chase with him.
Carl changed our lives because we discovered that it didn’t matter that he had special needs. He was happy, kind and friendly, gentle and intelligent. It especially changed my life because I was/still am a bit overweight. Ever since I retired a few years ago, I had been waking up late in the morning, sometimes wasting a big chunk of the day and not accomplishing much. Our vet insisted that Carl exercise regularly.
When Carl joined our family, because of his special needs, I started to lose weight. Now I get up between 6:30 and 7:00 a.m. every morning — partly to make sure Carl doesn’t have a BM accident in the house, and also to stick to the walking schedule he loves so much. We walk for an hour and my day starts early, which allows me to accomplish much more than before. We walk before dinner for a shorter period.
I’m healthier and accomplishing more – all thanks to the commitment I made to Carl when we adopted him to make sure he gets regular exercise and keeps his strong hind legs