Dog Doesn’t Let Physical Challenges Dampen Her Spirit

Hildi doesn’t need to walk to run away with people’s hearts.

Gabby + Hildi

Rescued ‘n Ready Animal Foundation was boarding a young dog who couldn’t walk at the veterinary clinic where I worked. The moment I laid eyes on eight-week-old Hildi, she did her “bunny hop,” which soon became her signature greeting. She covered me in puppy breath and kisses. Her infectious, joyful spirit left no opportunity for me to consider her disability, and that is when she started teaching me.

"The moment I laid eyes on eight-week-old Hildi, she did her “bunny hop,” which soon became her signature greeting. "

I have gotten to know countless dogs through my work as a vet tech and as a rescue volunteer, but Hildi was genuinely the happiest dog I had ever seen. Humans had failed her in the past, but none of that seemed to faze her. I took her in as a foster dog to see if I could get her to walk again while searching for her perfect home.

Looking into her eyes, I knew she just wanted to be loved as Hildi the dog and not Hildi the pitiful, disabled dog. After a few months, I realized that the perfect home we were searching for was with me all along. Hildi became a permanent part of my family, and I never looked back.

With rehabilitation therapy, Hildi regained some use of her back legs and is able to stand on her own sometimes. She loves her wheelchair, plays with able-bodied dogs, and never lets her disability get in her way. People often comment on the burden of having a dog like Hildi, but I don’t see it that way at all. I feel there is a lot to learn from Hildi and her attitude toward life. Yes, I have a dog that cannot walk and wears a diaper, and she can’t do many of the things “normal” dogs do. But I also have a dog whose unbridled happiness is not dependent on what others think of her or what she can and cannot do. Hildi loves life! She has taught me to find joy in the simple things.

Hildi has inspired me to help educate the public on why special needs dogs are a gift to this world. She has her own Facebook page (Hildi: The Life Loving Pittie Puppy), where we have adopted the saying, “Different is not disposable.” Her page showcases the infectious spirit that makes her an ideal representative for dogs with special needs.

Hildi has changed my world in so many ways. She exudes happiness from every pore, showing me the value of a positive mindset. She has taught me to brush off the sometimes cruel and negative comments of others. Through Hildi, I see clearly that it’s ok to be different, and that those differences should be embraced rather than mocked or looked down upon. She has shown me that different is beautiful, and I am honored to be a mom to such a special dog. Hildi is my best friend and, hands down, the best decision I have ever made.

Each year, Petco Love invites adopters to share the story of how their adopted pet changed their lives during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign, giving the organization that they adopted from a chance to receive a grant award. This story by Gabby Moore won Rescued ‘n Ready Animal Foundation in Oklahoma a 2017 Holiday Wishes award.