Every puppy is adorable, regardless of any special requirements, permanent scars, or strange characteristics. In a shelter, a dog named Walter was left behind. Potential adopters often ignored him, finding his unique genetic condition unappealing, despite his owner loving and caring for him.
Recently, a dog lover named Gabby was working to save another dog at the shelter when a volunteer welcomed her and said, “Hey, Gabby, you’ve got to see this dog.” The volunteer thought Gabby could help Walter find a permanent home.
Gabby saw that Walter was unlike any dog she had ever seen. He had a terrible underbite and was very small. His spine and legs were visibly misaligned. The room was silent as Gabby approached Walter.
Although Gabby could see that Walter was different, she was also aware of the dire circumstances. Walter would need a lot of time to find a permanent home due to his special needs and difficulty or be euthanized.
Most people passed by Walter’s kennel, frowning or disliking him for his appearance. But Gabby thought he was wonderful.
The kind woman knew she had to take Walter home and adopt him herself. Gabby immediately rejected Walter’s “defects.” She thought Walter was perfect. It didn’t matter that he didn’t look like other dogs or that he might not have a long life. What mattered was that he could love, and Gabby could ensure his happiness.
Walter has a rare genetic condition called Mucopolysaccharidosis VI (MPS VI), a deadly disease that worsens over time. Walter may not have a long life, but he can still have a good one.
When they arrived home, Gabby immediately noticed that Walter was special. He never stops grinning. He tries to sprint sporadically but is motivated to walk as much as possible. Walter moved despite the strain on his body. Gabby enjoyed that too!
Gabby began to notice Walter’s unusual abilities. Although Walter had trouble getting up and walking, he was very talented at moving in the snow. Gabby remembered a picture of her father on a ski tricycle and decided to give Walter a chance to play in the snow.
Walter loved skiing! He was so excited and happy that Gabby knew he would be playing in the snow regularly in the future. It was difficult for Gabby to stop him since he had so much energy and still wanted to run.
Walter’s unusual appearance has shown Gabby that sometimes it can be challenging to stand out from the crowd. Gabby has learned that sometimes all you need is one person to accept you as you are to be happy. She has also learned that it is essential to treat people and animals with respect and love, regardless of their appearance or abilities.
Although Walter does not have the typical “perfect” appearance of a dog, and his health is affected, he is a wonderful animal that deserves love and affection. Gabby is grateful that she found Walter and hopes that her story will raise awareness of the needs of animals with special needs.
She also hopes that people will change their perspective and learn to treat animals with more compassion and acceptance. Every animal, regardless of its characteristics or limitations, deserves to be loved and cared for.
Walter’s story shows that love for an animal knows no bounds and that sometimes those who are different are the ones who can enrich us the most.