After Hope and I had been living together for about a year, I began to research what types of assisting devices might be available to help her. As it turns out, there is really nothing much out there for dogs missing an entire front leg. I did find something I thought might be helpful to her. It was a two-wheeled cart with supportive fabric that fit around her chest. Her one front leg rested off the ground while the wheels supported her.
I was very excited on the day we went to try out this device -- Hope, however, not so much. She gave me withering looks during the fitting. I kept thinking "But wait until you see how much fun you will have with this!" Oh, was I wrong. Cart in place, Hope tried to walk toward me. But instead she began to circle. The harder she tried, the faster she went in a full circle. As it turned out, because of the imbalance the device caused, it was impossible for her to propel herself forward. I actually think the whole episode embarrassed her. That was the last time I went in search of a "fix." Hope doesn't see herself as needing fixing -- I was the one who did.
So we have now been together almost five years. Hope is thriving. In my next and last post, I'll give you a sense of our daily routines. I do believe one way or another Hope had a vision of this good life when she was struggling to survive on the streets of Miami. If she thought her entire life would be days full of pain and suffering I doubt she would have lasted. Along with the seven Hope-inspired life and work lessons I listed in Part 2, here are seven more. We'll conclude the list in Part 4.
- Rest when you need to
- A good howl every now and then is very cathartic
- A little dance before heading out the door for a nice walk puts you in a great mood
- A good head to toe stretch before your walk is also helpful
- A great attitude goes a long way in assuring a fun day
- Keep your ears clean and listen more than you talk
- Always be making friends