Disability is in the Eye of the Beholder

One of my favorite quotes is “There is no greater disability in society than the inability to see a person as more” (Robert M. Hensel). This is pretty powerful when you think about it. Are people truly disabled if we don’t tell them they are? And is their differently-abled life just as happy as a typically-abled life? We are all pre-conditioned to think of someone, or some animal, that is differently-abled as flawed in some way. We often do this without ever having had a personal interaction with a differently-abled person or pet. Many people and animals with impairments have had them since birth and known no other way. To them, this is normal, the way it has always been. In many cases it is only when someone else tells them or treats them differently that they feel lesser as a result of their impairment. It is when they are told they won’t be able to do certain things that they become a disabled person. I have seen firsthand from my two-decade involvement with Canine Companions for Independence that disabled people are really just differently-abled people. It is the perceptions of others that put limitations on their abilities.

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Meet Otis, The Tri-pawd Boxer Puppy

Sometimes, when you agree to foster an animal, you have a hunch it won’t be hard to find an adopter. And it’s always easier to foster when you know you won’t accidentally end up as a foster failure. I imagine that was how Diana, one of our Territory Outreach Embracers, felt when she was fostering little Otis. A handsome Boxer puppy is sure to have a full dance card. But Otis had a little something extra to get the attention of possible adopters: he is missing a leg.

See, a vet clinic took Otis in from a local family after an incident caused extensive damage to his leg. Not able to afford his surgery and fearing he could be injured again, the family knew the best thing was to surrender him so he could be helped.

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Meet Brutus, the One-Eyed Labrador

Embracer Lindsey shares the story of how her Labrador, Brutus, lost his eye...

Brutus with 2 eyes"It’s not considered too crazy these days to have a majority of the pictures on your phone be of your pet. That’s what I tell myself, anyway. One day, four years ago, while scrolling through the many (many, many) pictures I’d taken of my dog Brutus, I noticed that in every single picture for the past year or so, no matter what the lighting or the angle, his left eye looked…. wonky (example to the right). There’s no better way to describe it. I mentioned it to my vet, who seemed concerned about how much of my life I spent taking pictures of my dog, but slightly less concerned about the wonky-eye-syndrome. She gave me a list of veterinary ophthalmologists (which is apparently a thing) I could go to if I wanted to get it checked out. I didn’t have Embrace at the time (shame on me!), so I just let it go.

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Podcast: Talking Training with Dr. Patrick Mahaney

The many theories on pet training can be confusing - even overwhelming. What’s the right (or wrong) way to train? What’s effective and what’s safe? The trainers all have their own opinions, and plenty of know-it-alls are willing to share their thoughts too, but have you ever thought to ask your vet about it?

Dr. Patrick Mahaney joins us for this month’s podcast on pet training, talking about:

  • Safe and effective training methods and what should be avoided
  • When more training or tools may be necessary
  • Board and train facilities
  • Cat training and when it might be useful

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Podcast: Winter Dangers

While the temperatures have been pretty warm for fall here, our weather people are calling for a La Nina for the 2016-2017 winter, bringing more snow and maybe cooler temps than average. With that on our minds, we got a few questions ready for Dr. Patrick Mahaney about what we might expect and how to best prepare for the coming holiday and winter months.

  • How does La Nina affect pets?
  • What does our vet want us to know about road tripping with pets?
  • How can we make holiday visits easier on our pets?
  • Are there any new trends in winter health issues in pets?
  • What cool new products or toys does our cat or dog want for Christmas?

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