Chance, Mr. Romance

How can you not love this face?

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Chance had a very sad, bad, horrible life for his first nine years.  Fortunately he was dumped at a shelter in Florida and his new, wonderful life began.  Chance was fortunate to meet Michael Honer at the shelter and Michael saved his life.  He got him into DARE, a Florida dachshund rescue.  DARE paid for Chance to have back surgery and one of his back legs amputated.  His little ears were all curled up and hard as cement from a severe ear infection.  He lost most of his teeth and his eyes were in bad shape.  He had wonderful caregivers and drivers.  It takes a lot of people to take care of everything required when a dog is in such bad shape.  Money needs to be raised, people have to step forward to drive him to and from appointments and he had foster families that loved him dearly.

Fast forward three years and I saw this angel.  He was at Judy and Tim’s house when we went to visit in Florida.  I still think I was set up, but can’t prove it!  The moment I saw him I said either he’s coming home with me or I’m staying.  I couldn’t bear the thought of not being his mom!  Since he had been in rescue for so long and because DARE knew I already had handicapped dogs, they let me HAVE him!  I hit the jackpot!  A free angel!!!

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We brought him home and he was immediately accepted by our other dogs.  They all seem to know when there is something wrong with another dog and they rally around and act like they’ve been here forever.  It seems like he has always been here though it’s only been about three years.  At this point he has no teeth at all, he’s blind in his right eye from glaucoma and he’s almost lost the sight in his left eye.  He goes to an eye specialist every six months so we can make sure he’s not in any pain.  You may tend to feel sorry for him but you should see him move when he hears that it’s time to eat!  He stands on his arms with his butt in the air while he eats or drinks and usually walks in the same position.  We have ramps around the house and yard and he backs up the ramps.  He is too adorable 🙂

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He loves to travel in the car or his stroller and I have a cuddle sack that I carry him around in when we are at pet expos or on vacation.  He races in special needs races and always brings tears to anyone watching and cheering him on.  He usually stands in one spot until his dad gets in front of him and then he runs to his dad.  His race video is on youtube and our channel is alowridermom if you want to see it.  Get your tissues ready!

He also competed in the Best Nose contest and he won!  He was the fastest at finding the hot dog.  His next trophy was for coming in third in the Crazy Ears contest.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!  Those ears came in handy.

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So that’s my baby Chance.  I thank God every day that I met him and that he’s mine.  He can’t see but when he hears my voice he comes running.  I pick him up and he tries to kiss me but can’t control his tongue because he is toothless.  He flings his head around so his tongue hits my face so he can “kiss” me.  It’s the best kiss in the world.

ImageChance sleeping on his brother Butch

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Butch

When I decided I needed another dog I began looking on petfinder for photos of dachshunds.   I found a cutie and was directed to the DRNA website.  I fell in love with Butch.  I still get teary eyed when I think about seeing him.  I wasn’t sure I could take care of him the way he needed to be taken care of so I emailed with Dona, his foster mom, several times just to make sure.  I didn’t want to adopt him and find out I couldn’t do him justice.  He required therapy and he was getting that where he was.  What if I brought him to Ohio and I couldn’t keep it up?  What if I failed him and he really needed me to step up?  Dona explained that he would need ongoing therapy but he would be one of a few at my house and he would get more attention.  She had several fosters and some of them needed therapy also.  He really does love attention and believe me he demands it!

How cute is he!

I met Butch and Dona in July at the North East Ohio Dachshund Picnic.  He was so cute and cuddly looking but he didn’t want to leave Dona.  She had to walk a little ways with us so he thought she was coming with us.  Eventually we broke away and walked around the park checking out the vendors.  At one point I took him out of his cart and couldn’t figure out how to get him back in!  I had to go back and find Dona so she could teach me how to put him in it.

As we were heading to the car a couple with a cart dog came up to me and we started talking about Butch and their dog Denny.   We exchanged emails and I am so grateful that we did.   Jay and Terie were so helpful to me with tips on taking care of him from baths to belly bands to expressing his bladder.  Without their input and Dona’s encouragement I really don’t know how I could have done it.  We all need help and I am so appreciative of the help I’ve received.   I’ve listed my information on DODGERSLIST so I can help others.  It really is easy to take care of a handicapped dog if you know where to find the information.

Butch is the easiest dog to travel with.  He loves to ride in the car in his basket and usually sleeps for hours on end.  When we stop at a hotel we don’t have to walk him in the middle of the night.  We express him in the bathroom!  The funny thing about traveling with Butch is that when we stop at rest areas he gets to “stretch his legs”.  He gets in his cart and we let him run around and sniff everything.

Stretching his legs at a rest area

Butch races in dachshund races and so far is the champ . . . at least in the races he’s entered.  We’ve met so many wonderful people because of this sweet weenie.  We met Tim, Judy and their cart dog Sam at the National Dachshund Races in Findlay three years ago and have become great friends.   We travel to Florida for races and stay with them and they stay with us in Ohio.  Last year when we were at their house they had a doxie picnic with all of their rescue friends from DARE.  We had games and races for the dogs and met some really fun people.

Party time!

Butch still goes for therapy occasionally.  He isn’t too thrilled with the water treadmill therapy or the acupuncture but he needs to go to keep his muscles strong.  He can stand but only takes one or two steps and then tips over.  His left leg just can’t support him.  But we don’t care and neither does he.  He doesn’t have a clue that he’s any different than any other dog.  But we know that he’s special.

My sweet Butch