tfl. Thumbelina: Overcoming Front Leg Deformity to Embark on an Adoption Journey

Meet Thumbelina, a beautiful husky/German shepherd mix in search of her forever family to accompany her on her incredible journey. Thumbelina’s life story is nothing short of inspiring.

Her adventure began in Texas and eventually led her to New York City. Heart and Bones, a foster-based rescue organization spanning Texas and New York City, took her in after she was surrendered to Stone Creek Vet, a veterinary practice just outside Dallas.

Upon her arrival at the vet’s office, the medical team noticed that Thumbelina had malformed front legs. These short limbs made it difficult for her to use them like a typical dog’s paws. Her unique condition was likely the result of irresponsible breeding practices, leading to a genetic deformity.

Her previous owner, unable to provide the care and support she needed, had to part ways with her. Heart and Bones stepped in, determined to find her a loving home.

At approximately a year old, Thumbelina had already developed her method of movement. She learned to use her back legs and the backs of her front legs to get around, almost resembling a meerkat. While she seemed content moving in this way, the vet team was concerned about the long-term impact on her health. Her makeshift walking style, involving fur instead of paw pads, and the unusual strain on her front body might lead to spinal issues.

Heart and Bones, in their unwavering commitment to her well-being, raised funds to provide Thumbelina with a custom bright pink wheelchair, which allowed her to use her hind legs for mobility. She received intensive training with her new wheels, becoming not just mobile but also incredibly social with other dogs. And so, in August, she journeyed from Texas to New York City, where the founder of Heart and Bones was convinced she could navigate the city with her wheelchair.

Currently in the care of Megan Penney, a pet fosterer on her 200th foster, Thumbelina continues to flourish. She’s comfortable with her wheelchair, enjoys outdoor adventures at the beach and park, and has won the hearts of everyone she meets on the streets of New York. She’s now eagerly awaiting her forever family.

Thumbelina’s future adopters should be patient, as she may be initially timid, but she’s more than capable of integrating into a loving household. Caring for her is not as challenging as one might think, and owning a special needs pet can be incredibly rewarding. With the ability to lift 42 pounds, an elevator, ramp, or level surface in the home, you can provide Thumbelina with the care and support she needs.

She recently visited NYC’s Squeaky Clean Dog Grooming for a makeover, with her spa day generously sponsored by Pride + Groom, a pet care company. The One Fur All conditioning shampoo used for her pampering session is intended to be donated to animal rescues and shelters, spreading the love even further.

Thumbelina is now fully prepared for the next chapter of her life with her forever family. If you think Thumbelina could be the furry companion you’ve been searching for, you can apply to adopt her through the Hearts and Bones website.

If you’re unable to adopt an animal at this time, consider fostering one. Even a short-term foster home can make a substantial difference in a dog’s life, alleviating the strain on shelters and increasing their chances of finding a permanent, loving home. Remember that your studio apartment is far cozier than a concrete cage in an animal shelter, as Megan Penney points out.

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