I adopted my sweet little boy from Toronto Humane Society in May 2021.
Casper is my 10-year-old bichon mix who had to have his right hind leg amputated when he was surrendered. I got him just over a week after he had the surgery done. After being surrendered, having his leg amputated, and living in the shelter, I thought he would have some serious trust issues and be very timid with us. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! As soon as he saw me in the parking lot, he immediately ran up to me and he hasn’t left my side since. We drove 5 hours home together that day and he wanted my hand on him at all times. He immediately took to both myself and my partner and had absolutely no fear or trust issues at all, he knew he was home!
His recovery after his amputation went really well, and it amazes me everyday how resilient he is despite the loss of his leg. At first, we did more frequent but shorter duration walks, about 10-15 mins 3-4 times a day, and he would be absolutely pooped after each one. But as the days and weeks went on, he would be less tired after each one, so we started doing longer walks to build up his stamina. Now, 8 months later, we can go on 2 hour long walks and he has no issues.
Everyday I watch him, and I am in absolute awe of everything he has gone through and everything he has overcome. We don’t know his story or what has happened to him in his past, but I know he has every reason to be mad, irritated, untrusting, and scared, but he isn’t. He chooses to be so vulnerable, trusting, and loving to us and everyone he meets. It’s the most magical thing.
Casper loves hugs more than anything – he will sit in front of you and bow his head when he wants a hug. He struggles with anxiety, specifically separation anxiety when myself or my partner are not around. He has gotten much better with a daily anti-anxiety medication, some training, and the occasional use of a thunder shirt. He is always SO excited when we come home.
A lot of people warned me before getting him because he’s a senior, special needs dog that will need a lot of time commitment. These are valid points, but I knew I was ready because I knew he was worth it. Senior dogs, especially special needs senior dogs, get so overlooked and often never find homes because of it. In reality, Casper has brought more light and happiness into our home than I could have ever imagined. I reassure myself everyday that not only did I help change his story in a positive way, but he is the one that impacted me in a such a profound way. I know he’s older and we may not have as much time as if I were to have gotten a puppy, but whether I have him for 1 week, 1 year, or 10 years, my love for him would be the same and my heart would break just as much, so it isn’t that different.
Throughout our time together thus far, Casper has met and played with so many other dogs and has loved them all. He has gone on camping trips, canoe rides, and hikes. He swam in the river, he has been on so many car rides, he has explored new places and met many new people. Most recently, we celebrated our first Christmas together and he was so spoiled (as he should be)! He is the happiest little guy around and he is the absolute light of our lives.
Casper has stolen our hearts. I hope that other people can be enlightened by his story and maybe open their lives and hearts up to a senior or special needs animal, because the gratitude they have is unmatched. Adopting him was the best and most rewarding thing I have ever done. Yes, I rescued him, be truly, he rescued me.
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