The Courage of Disabled Pets
What happens if your well-trained, and usually well-behaved, family dog forgets himself, runs into the road, gets hit by a car and loses a leg? Or, your mild mannered cat is involved in a fight with the local bullying Tom and loses an eye?
Does this mean that the quality of life for your pet will be so low that euthanasia would be kindness?
Use your favorite search engine and enter "animals with disabilities" "disabled pets" or a similar phrase and you will find story after story, report after report about courageous pets that have all sorts of disabilities - and yet are living a happy contented life and are bringing joy to their owners.
Proud Owners tell of their disabled pets such as a deaf cat being 'called' in for the night by switching a light on and off. Dogs that have lost their rear legs getting around and enjoying playing using a special cart (also known as a pet wheelchair.) A story of a blind horse whose bravery was the inspiration for a whole new animal rescue center. These and other stories show that with a little assistance from their owners, pets that have disabilities can carry on enjoying a happy quality filled life.
My own experience of caring for a disabled pet was richly rewarding. I'd shared my life with a tabby cat named Basil since he was a kitten. He met with a traffic accident resulting in the little fellow having one of his rear legs amputated.
I really did not know what to expect. How would this impact upon Basil's life? Would he still be the same cat that I loved so much?
I need not have worried. Basil's personality had not changed one bit. He just got on with life, and there was very little that he could not do after his accident that he could do before. Maybe he wasn't able to climb a tree but fences did not seem to present a problem. He'd walk along the very narrow fence top too, and with so much ease that it was if he was saying "Hey! Who needs four legs?"
I'm convinced that my cat did not realize that he had a so called disability. I would say that the missing limb did not lessen the quality of the cat's life in any way at all.
Perhaps some pets suffer injury or illness that leaves them with such a low quality of life that a vet would recommend that permanent sleep would be a kindness. But, after browsing around the Internet it seems that, like my Basil, often pets with disabilities will get on with their life and enjoy themselves, giving you a whole lot of love on the way.
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