Dogs are special.
There’s no denying that.
The bond we build with our canine companions is often indescribable, simply beyond words.
(The rescue dog stories I’ve been sharing with you have touched my heart in ways this jaded ink-stained wretch struggles to comprehend some days.)
Then there are special dogs.
Or more appropriately, specially abled dogs.
Special humans for specially abled dogs
Specially abled dogs require extra patience and compassion.
The humans who care for them are on another level of those emotions.
Take Cheyeanne, for example.
She hasn’t fallen in love with one specially abled dog.
Oh no, she’s bonded with two: Notorious and Shady, to go along with her grumpy old man, Kash.
Cheyeanne celebrated her 13-year gotcha anniversary with Kash in January, a period she says has been one obstacle after another.
“I’ve lost three family members since I got Kash,” she says. “He’s been through hell with me but he always just seems to know, just seems to be there for me.”
Kash followed her home one day. Cheyeanne tried to find his owners, considering she already had three dogs in her house, but no one was found.
“Besides,” she says with a shrug, “he just seemed to fit where he was, with my crew.”
Shady is her blind girl and the most recent addition to Cheyeanne’s special needs family.
Shady was struck by a car near Othello, WA, and left at the Adams County Pet Rescue by an owner who couldn’t afford to pay for her veterinary care.
She lost one eye entirely, a little zipper in the place where the orb once sat.
“You would never know Shady is blind,” Cheyeanne says. “Every once in a while, she runs into my legs but she sure knows where she’s going and why.”
And then there’s Notorious, a.k.a. Hell on Wheels.
Some human abandoned the little paralyzed Corgi in Southern California. Heath’s Haven Rescue, an Idaho animal organization that specializes in spinal cord injuries for dogs, saved her.
When Cheyeanne saw Notorious on their website, she fell in love.
With the rescue’s support and guidance on caring for a wheelie dog, Cheyeanne expanded her special needs family.
Cheyeanne maintains one of the most fun Instagram accounts I’ve seen in this area.
@notoriousandfriends chronicles her hiking and trail-based adventures with Kash and her specially abled dogs, Shady and Notorious.
With a wheelie dog.
“You know, Notorious has so much energy and life,” Cheyeanne says. “It took us a year to find our groove but she just fits in, like everyone else in our bunch.”
And that’s why Cheyeanne’s heart and appreciation for life grows a tiny bit more every day she has with her special crew.
“We humans, we wake up and our back is sore, and we whine and complain about it,” she says. “Notorious can’t use her back legs but nothing, absolutely nothing stops her.
“We climb Mt. Spokane. We hike. She swims. She doesn’t know she’s different.”
Adventure girl or glamor girl?
Cheyeanne spends so much time out in the woods with Shady, Kash and Notorious that she wanted to take a real left turn for her portrait session.
She donned a sassy set of high heels and we hit the Garland District of Spokane for an urban shoot.
The graffiti in the alleys and dotted along shop walls on Garland Avenue are the perfect colorful backdrop for a dog portrait session with an edge.
And the light Mother Nature gave us for her Marilyn Monroe image?
Check it out.
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All around the circle
Once a month, I’m participating in a smaller-than-usual blog circle that I hope will soon grow!
For May, I’m so happy to be sending you to my adopted hometown Calgary, Alberta, where Holly Montgomery is a pet lifestyle blogger and pet photographer.
I found Holly because she wrote a book called The Introvert Dog Tog and runs a Facebook group around it. Yeah, I know exactly what you’re thinking.
“You aren’t an introvert.”
Not always. I’m pretty extroverted but I think we all have our introverted tendencies and parts of this business bring them out in me!
This month, Holly wrote about Stevie’s Rescue Tale. Stevie is another specially abled dog with super abilities.
Then go around our little circle by clicking the link at the bottom of each blog post.
And when you find yourself back here, you’re home!
Right where you belong.