Generally speaking, animals don’t let their disabilities get them down.

There’s a itty bitty (2 pounds) black  puppy (2 months old) at the shelter where I volunteer. He’s very cute–and blind. It doesn’t seem to bother him, though. He stepped into his food–but so did the other puppies.

Food is to be eaten and worn, and smudged all over the cage.

He seemed perfectly happy walking around, sniffing at the floor and any obstacles. (Like my feet. Feet are clearly very interesting.) You can hardly even tell he’s blind–his nose leads him well enough that he walks fearlessly and rarely bumps into anything. He’ll cuddle with anyone who picks him up for a while, and then start squirming, eager to explore again. Typical puppy energy.

Like most puppies, he’s a little hard to hold still.

Also, there’s a gray and white three-legged kitten (also 2 months old. These numbers are real approximations, I promise. Just a coincidence.) at the shelter. Judging from his shave, his surgery to remove his back leg happened the day before I first saw him. Presumably, he came in with a badly damaged leg, as he was a rescued stray. Bad things happen out there in the world, which is why it’s so sad people don’t spay/neuter their pets.

He was wobbly then, but hopping around in his cage a bit the next day. I’m sure he’ll get used to it, and start walking around as fearlessly as the puppy. He’ll always have a distinctive hitch in his step, but I’ve seen three-legged dogs and cats, and they throw themselves at life just like four-legged ones.

I was worried they’d stay at the shelter for a while, because they’ll need understanding people to take them home. But puppy and kitten were adopted before they’d been at the shelter a week. So perhaps they’re right to have their fuzzy optimism. Life isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good most days.

Have you ever owned a special animal like these two? How did they cope with their differences?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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