I came across this little guy during my time taking pictures at Humane Society of Indianapolis' Mutt Strut yesterday (The Greatest Spectacle in Dog Walking). He was one of over 3,000 pups that made it around a 2.5 mile course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. If you look closely you will notice he is strapped into a wheeled harness that allows him to move without the use of his two back legs. And move he does - a never stopping ball of black and grey fur.
I don’t know how he lost the use of his legs, his owner, or anything about him. Until I had the chance to think about him on my ride home he was just another dog whose picture I was lucky enough to take. And the fact that, to me, he was ‘just another dog’ is what makes him so remarkable. He didn’t know he was any different from the 3,000 other dogs with working back legs around him. He was happy to be out in the sun, running and barking without worrying how he got the short end of life’s stick. His owners gave him the chance to live a life not knowing he wasn’t a normal dog. He was their dog, their pet, an animal that they would do anything for.
That dog with only two working legs is still alive in a world where many, if not most, owners would have ‘mercifully’ taken away his chance to live a happy life. It can’t be easy, strapping a feisty little dog in a harness every morning, dealing with medical concerns, worrying about stairs and curbs. I am fortunate never to have been put into the position where I was forced to decide where the line between easy-to-justify and love really lies.
That dog’s owner made a decision that I may have failed at making; where many of us may have failed. Lucky dog to have found one of the good people in our world.