This smiling girl started it all. Roxie came to live with me in January of 2013. She had been saved by a rescue in Southwest Virginia. At the age of two, she was malnourished to the point that her bones had never hardened. One jump off the foster mom's couch and her leg broke. Efforts to let it heal were unsuccessful and her leg had to be amputated. I saw her picture online in November of 2012, but it took me till January to make the decision to adopt a special needs dog, Little did I know that this one little three legged Min Pin would make such a huge difference in my life. Roxie taught me about a dog's resilience, about adapting to a handicap, and about trust. Roxie has so much courage that some of it spilled over on me. Thanks to Roxie I was introduced to the world of rescues, transports, fostering, and now a sanctuary.
Jake was my second special needs dog, another tri-paw. He was about one year old when I adopted him in December of 2013. He came to me from London, KY where he had been hit by a car and left abandoned on the road. Fortunately for Jake, a local rescue took him in and saw to it he got to a vet. His leg was so badly injured, it could not be saved, I saw him online and knew immediately he needed to join our family. Jake had no problems adjusting to three legs. He is a phenomenal squirrel chaser and his disability does not keep him from running around the yard at record speeds. Jake is pretty much a perfect little boy!
"Say hello to my little friend," all four and a half pounds of this sassy little seven year old Chihuahua, Latte. Latte spent the first part of her life in a very small cage with another dog, trapped in a hoarder situation. A rescue in Knoxville saved her from those horrible living conditions. She was never socialized and as a result she had a tendency to bite ..... everyone. That, added to the fact she is so small, made finding a suitable placement for her a real challenge. When I saw that little face I knew she needed to be in our family. She is our youngster. If anything startles her she will run to Jake or Roxie and snuggle up next to them. She still has problems with trusting people and will snip at them if given the chance. When Jake is attempting to stealthily chase squirrels in the yard, Latte will run right beside him yapping the whole way. Latte loses weight easily and has a tendency to get too distracted to eat. We have found that some homemade chicken topper on her food will do the trick. Latte is the little sister and all the fur family treat her that way.
Leesa came to us from a rescue in Knoxville, Tennessee. She too had been saved from deplorable conditions in a hoarder situation. She was about nine when rescued in 2015. Her hair was so matted it had to be shaved and she also had cataracts and was underweight. The Knoxville rescue had her groomed, treated by a vet and she received a much needed dental. Once Leesa got to me she was taken to a Veterinarian Ophthalmologist. I was excited to hear that Leesa’s cataracts were actually dissolving and some of her sight was returning. I have noticed a great deal of progress with her vision and now she hardly ever bumps into anything. Leesa has really blossomed since she arrived here and has gone from a shy little lady to an adventurous backyard explorer. She choreographed and performs her original dance, “The Pre-Poop Polka.” (Hopefully one day I can get this on video and share.)
Little Chi Chi is about eleven years old and has congestive heart failure (CHF) and cataracts. She came to us in 2016 from that wonderful rescue in Knoxville, Tennessee. Chi Chi requires three types of medications twice a day for her CHF. She is congested to some degree all of the time. She has varying amounts of coughing and sneezing. Despite all of this, she is a happy girl and can be quite stern with the others if they infringe on her space. Chi Chi's cataracts have gotten much worse in the last several months and her vision has decreased significantly. Because of that she is much more cautious when moving around the house or yard. Chi Chi knows when it is medicine time and all I have to do is tell her, "Chi Chi come on down. You are on the Dog is Right."
Pinto (bean) was one of thirty-four dogs that came to Louisville from the Louisiana floods in the fall of 2016. The dogs brought to Louisville were in the shelter before the flood and were scheduled to be euthanized to make room for the dogs displaced by the flood. He was one stressed out little boy. When I picked him up from the transport, the vets were wearing shoulder length padded gloves to handle him. That little seven year old, eight pound chihuahua had everyone hopping. It took four days before I could just quickly pat him on the head. A mobile vet came to my house and captured him and took him to his clinic to neuter him, remove a cyst, trim his nails, and bathe him. At Thanksgiving that year, he was so stressed at having two extra people in the house that he had a seizure. Fast forward to now, he curls up next to me to sleep and he loves to have his back rubbed. He still flips out if anything new comes up or if he is frightened, but overall that vicious little boy has become a real sweetheart.
I received a text one day from a lady that had volunteered in the rescue that saved Jake. It seems a vet in town had contacted her about a little chihuahua that had been dropped off at his clinic. He had been told that the chihuahua had been hit by a car and it was obvious that her eye was in trouble. The people left and the vet did surgery removing Stella's eye. The people never returned to pick her up and the vet wanted to find the right home for her. So, I go to London, KY and fetch this wonderful, timid, sweet little chihuahua that I named Stella. It was just a few days later that timid little Stella let us all know that she was where she wanted to be. She dropped the timid act and took charge of the house. I could imagine her saying, "OK, this is my bed and these are my toys. When I eat, back away from my bowl. OH, I will be sleeping in the human's bed at night!" She blossomed. Our vet said that both of her knee caps in the back legs are out of socket, but as long as she does not show any signs of pain, surgery can wait. That's Stella. She is the one-eye, one-eye, one I love. (That actually is a song)
I received a text from a rescue in Ohio asking if I would pick up a little five year old miniature pinscher at the shelter here in Louisville and foster her for a while. When I got there I found a scared little dog who had been dropped off at the shelter with a bottle of phenobarbital and no other information. My vet did some blood work and discovered Ellen was at almost toxic levels for phenobarbital so adjustments were made. Ellen wasn't having typical seizures, but was having more of a persistent twitch. She was also very manic and extremely clumsy. A video sent to the vet motivated him to add a second medicine and now she is on meds three times a day. I tracked down the vet that wrote the initial prescription and found out that she had most likely been used as a breeder dog. Her seizure history was vague as the owners had not revealed much. I knew it was going to be hard to find an adopter for her, plus we had become very attached to each other, so I adopted her. I have made every effort to find relief for her manic behavior and anxiety with natural and organic options, including CBD oil, but nothing seems to work. There are plans for her to undergo diagnostic testing in January 2018.
Meet little Miss Sophie. She came on Dec. 20, 2017. She is a scruffy little white poodle mix about 6 years old. She was rescued from an abusive, horrible puppy mill. She weighs about six pounds and needs to gain a little weight. Because of past abuse, Sophie is extremely scared of humans. To pick her up I either have to chase her, which I choose not to do, or slowly pick her up when she is laying next to one of the fur family. She loves the other dogs and you will always find her snuggled up next to one or more of them, especially Stella. Outside is an adventure for her since she had never been outside until about a month before I adopted her. Sophie watches me and will get excited about something I am doing and come near me, but never near enough for me to touch her. She has started barking when the others bark and prancing around at meal time. Seeing her bond with the other dogs is wonderful and I hope before long she will give me a chance also.
Small Paws welcomed Shadow on January 29, 2018. Like so many of our furry ones, Shadow's human had to go into an assisted living and could not bring him with her. Shadow found his way into a rescue that realized he needed some medical attention. At 8 years old, Shadow is blind and was found to have untreated diabetes. He was quickly put on insulin and a special dog food for diabetic dogs.
We are just getting to know this little gentleman. One thing we do know is it took several people to drive Shadow to Louisville from Corbin, KY and even after all that traveling he was calm and sweet when he arrived. Once here he quickly started learning his way around. He soon found one of the numerous water bowls and he picked out a doggie bed for sleeping. He is slowly coming up the 3 steps from the patio to the deck, but we are still learning the way down. He has been quick to join the others in the pre-meal frenzy and he is eating all his diabetic food. He is good as gold when I give him his insulin shots twice a day. Stay tuned for updates on little Shadow.
Meet Bonny. Bonny came to Small Paws from Georgetown, KY. She is our youngest family member at six months. Bonny does not have use of her back legs as a result of an aggressive large dog. But, she is working to turn that situation around. Thanks to some wonderful supporters, Bonnie has a cart, specifically built for her. Everyday we do physical therapy and at her last Vet appointment, she moved her legs and actually held some weight on them for 15 seconds or so. Bonny is lightening fast and if you are not careful, she will slip out the door with the others. She loves to play and is just a happy little girl. Be sure and check in on our Facebook page for updates on Bonny and all the fur family.
Chloe came to us from Elizabethtown, KY. She is the sweetest little brown chihuahua you would ever want to meet. Chloe had an accident and was dropped on her back. As a result, she has some problems with her back legs at times. And, like me, Chloe needs to drop a little weight, so we are working on that. This girl is really smart and can push open a baby gate. If she cannot get it open, she will shake it with her paw, making quite a noise, until someone comes and opens it for her. Chloe has fit right in with the Small Paws crew and is a welcomed addition.
Meet Cookie and her brother, Banjo (below). These two sweethearts joined the Small Paws Family on January 28th, 2019. Their human had to go into an Assisted Living and could not take them. No one could care for them and they were going to be placed in the area Shelter. But, a rescue stepped up and took them. They contacted us and well.....welcome home guys. Cookie is 14 years old and mostly blind. She has some skin issues and we are currently treating that and we are treating an eye infection. She is reportedly a Chihuahua/Chinese Crested mix. One thing for sure, her tail works overtime!
Banjo is 17 years young. He has no teeth, but who needs teeth? He eats kibble like a champion. He also has a bum leg that has limited use. Our Vet thinks it is an old disability and does not cause him an discomfort. He gets around great and is very sweet. So, welcome home Cookie and Banjo!
Meet scrappy little 4.5 lb Dolly. Dolly came to us from a great rescue in Elizabethtown, KY. She is a real tough little girl. She was found wandering the streets, covered in fleas with very little hair. She weighed 3 lbs. She does not have many teeth so her little tongue will often hang out of her mouth. With a lot of love from her rescue, vet care, good food, and getting rid of fleas, little Dolly gained weigh, started re-growing hair and started feeling much, much better. Once she was strong enough for vaccinations, that little girl came to Small Paws to live. At first it was believed she is about six, but the thought now is that she may be closer to 10. Regardless of her age, Dolly, or as we like to call her, Dolly Wood, can let out a screech that will make the hair stand up on your head. That, we have learned, is what she does if she is not getting her way. She has continued to blossom and is a wonderful addition to our family.
Midge came to us in September of 2019.
Bo came to us in September of 2019.
Pickles came to us in August 25, 2019.