Day 26: Skipper

I love scruffy pups and not just because they're fun to paint :) Help raise money for THS so they can save more scruffy puppies.  

CLICK HERE to purchase this painting. Proceeds to benefit the Tunica Humane Society.

Here is Skipper's story as told by his mom, Gail  "I will always remember that freezing cold morning in November 2008. We arrived at our shelter to find a shoe box sitting at our gate. Inside the box were 3 tiny puppies, huddled together to stay warm. At first glance, they appeared to be perfect little puppies all different, a precious little scruffy one, a yellow one and a tan one. They couldn't have been more than 5 weeks old. As we took them in our arms, we were devastated to discover that the little scruffy puppy and the tan one, both had deformed front legs. We were new to rescue at that time and our hearts were shattered instantly. We were used to getting starved, mangy, sick dogs but this was our first experience with tiny helpless puppies. We actually talked about having them put to sleep because we could not imagine them having any quality of life. But our hearts would not allow us to let them go so I bundled them up and took them home with me.

Over the next few weeks, I watched these precious little puppies struggle to get their food bowls. They were slipping and sliding all over the place. I decided to fill their pen with lots of hay to make it easier for them to get around and it made a huge difference. They were so happy that they could move about so quickly. As they grew, relying on our vet's advice, we made the decision to amputate the deformed legs to help them with their balance. The little scruffy pup did great and suddenly, he was running around like crazy. We named him Skipper. The little tan pup did not do so well. His shoulder did not hold up under his weight so when he ran, his upper body dipped almost to the ground. We fondly named him Dipper. 

Skipper and Dipper were extremely bonded. We spent hours watching them run and play together. They never knew they were any different than all the other dogs at the our shelter. They had 5 glorious years playing together, sleeping together, always together. And then suddenly, we lost Dipper to kidney failure. We were so worried about Skipper for the longest time but he finally returned to his happy carefree self. Skipper is with us still. He comes out of his kennel each morning and jumps straight into our arms. He loves to give kisses and he loves to be petted and pampered.   

I will always cherish Skipper. He taught me a very valuable lesson early on in my rescue career. He taught me that is ok to be different, that all animals deserve a chance at life, regardless of their handicaps. There are a world of tripods out there who live wonderful lives because  people took the time to see the beauty within. I can't imagine my world without Skipper."                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 .