Pacificmelody's Blog

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The Least Of Our Brethren


I was considering what approach to take in writing about empowering people with disabilities, and it occurred to me that there is another group which also suffers with many of the disabilities inherent to mankind. Companion animals, in particular dogs and cats, do indeed experience many of the same health challenges to which we are prone. In looking into the devices and aids available to our animal friends, I found quite a number of helpful and informative sites. Wheelchairs and carts for dogs are available in many designs, and there’s a wealth of information available about getting help for your disabled pets. More and more sophisticated treatments, drugs and surgeries are available for ill or injured pets.

Is there anyone alive who has not seen the videos of Faith, the courageous dog born with no front legs. She was given very little chance of survival, but Faith is now five years old, and her story has moved many a heart, mine among them. We Americans love an underdog, especially one who triumphs over tremendous odds, and Faith is a winner indeed.

I watched a video about “Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary”, recently moved from its original home in Montana to the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. The couple who operate this charitable home for disabled animals take in only cats, dogs and horses, usually from animal shelters. Erase from your mind those pictures of pitiful little kitties with dark glasses, selling apples on a street corner. Three-legged dogs hobbling painfully around? Heck no, three-legged dogs running around like mad, canines on carts, Weimaraners on wheels! Life’s a party at RDR! Blind? Deaf? Crippled? Missing a Limb? These lucky animals have a forever home to live out the rest of their days. Here, the “least of our brethren”, most of whom have no idea they’re handicapped, will have plentiful food, fresh water, freedom, shelter, safety and unconditional love. It’s a case of humans doing the empowering for their animal friends.

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Author: Melody J Haislip

I'm either a transplanted East Coaster or a born again West Coaster. My heart kept pulling me toward Oregon, and when I followed it I found my dream, which I am living daily. My dream of becoming a writer has come true as well. I am in the company of people who speak my language, and the sense of community is healing hurts I didn't know were there. I am very grateful for my enormous good fortune.

15 thoughts on “The Least Of Our Brethren

  1. She inspires me. great article for !


  2. This is a wonderful post for Bloggers Unite, Melody. You are a creative talent with a kind and generous heart.


  3. Hi There:
    Great post.
    We have just returned from a holiday in our touring caravan. we had our 2 dogs with us. the people on the next pitch to us has their dog – a 3-legged boxer. As a puppy he had been knocked down by a van. the owners had his leg amputated rather than have hime euthanised. he is now four years old and gave my Jack Russells a real run for their money.


  4. Thank you so much for thinking of our needy furry friends for this topic. It does my heart good to learn of this wonderful ranch! I support “The Blind Cat Rescue” as much as possible. I will remember “Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary” when I make contributions.
    On a side note, thanks SO much for your very kind review. It’s people like you that make me want to keep going.
    Keep up your fantastic work 🙂


  5. Ladies, thank you, one and all. It was Faith who was my inspiration for this article. Having conquered a disability which would have defeated many humans, Faith spends her days helping others, visiting and cheering those who are facing similar challenges. Some of us simply are born to greatness, and Faith is one of those. I celebrate her here.


  6. You have a lovely blog Melody,sensitive ,heartfelt
    humorous and informative…congrat’s!

    Thank you so much for the visit.

    Cheers eddie


  7. Yes, I have seen this courageous dog. Anytime we humans whine about something she should come to mind. Most of us are so blessed to have all our limbs and senses.

    Thank you so much for your kind review, it’s greatly appreciated.

    All the best – Maxi


  8. Melody, you are one lady with a big heart. It accommodates even the innocent animals with handicaps. Faith is luckier than people left on their own with their disabilities. This reminds me to be more loving to domestic animals like the dogs and cats. God bless your heart!


  9. Melody, What a wonderful spin on the topic. I remember Faith. Your post is funny, charming, and yet very profound. There aren’t only well written; you have a distinctive voice. That’s why I always remember your posts.
    I wanted to ask you about joining the “make noise for the Millennium Development Goals. I have a post on it, although nothing is due until the days of Sept. 17-19. There are eight goals, and you can write about one of them, or pick two or three.
    It’s critical we get our voices heard. Read what is written under the day, and take a look at my initial post: It’s just the facts, ma’am.
    I would have contacted you more discreetly, but frankly, I’m burnt out. I have the feed from your blog on mine, showing your last 5 posts, so I’m keeping up with you there. Just a bad time, lousy birthday, I didn’t plan to do anything, and the errands–nothing worked, including my body. Maybe I should get a skateboard instead of a scooter.
    I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think it’s really critical. The U.N. will be meeting around that time….you are better off reading the description; my post has the video outlining the 8 goals.
    take a look, and if there are questions, you have my email. And the organizer is available. I’m only asking people that I know well enough to know you would be a great asset.
    Well, I’m cooked for now. Lots of drs. app’ts, my medical cabal, and it’s exhausting. I think I’m repeating myself, so good night, and in your dreams, swim in clean, sweet tides, Linda


    • Linda, you’re so kind, thank you. Sorry your b/d wasn’t a happier day. I’ll be in touch about “making noise”.


  10. Thank you for shedding a positive light on animals with disabilities- and as you said, they truly don’t see it as a disability. Having a disabled dachshund, I know first hand the many blessings that she is, the many lessons she has taught not only me, but many others. Sadly so often yet, dachshunds and many other animals are being put to sleep when they have a “handicap.” I’ve often said (since my doxie has trouble using her back legs) “You wouldn’t put a human to sleep if they couldn’t use their legs, so why would we an animal?”
    My doxie’s life is happy and full- quality life- and take no pity on this little one who has a shining spirit. So many beautiful lessons they teach us!

    Proud mom of Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll Dog,
    Barbara Techel


    • Thank you, Barbara, I feel exactly the same way. Frankie is no less a joy, nor does he feel less joy, than he would if he had four sound legs. Love comes from the heart not the legs! Please give Frankie a hug from me.


  11. What a wonderful post, Melodie.

    Ruby, my last dog, lost the use of her hind legs at age 11 due to a neurological disease, but she lost nothing from her immense spirit. Her pure joy despite disability inspired an essay testament to her, which is included in the anthology Almost Perfect: Disabled Pets and the People Who Love Them. Ruby graces the cover, smile on face, giant stick in mouth as she prances in canine wheels.

    You captured that spirit beautifully in your description of tripod dogs “running around like mad” and “life’s a party” at Rolling Dog Ranch (an extraordinary place!)

    We can learn so much from our critter friends. Thank you for putting it into words so well.


  12. Vicki, Ruby sounds like my kind of dog (from a person who has only ever had cats). I’m currently renting and not allowed a dog, but more and more I think I would like to have one. A golden or a lab, perhaps. I’m drawn to them.

    I love looking into the eyes of animals, especially cats and dogs. One needn’t look at the stars to feel humble. Simply look deeply into the eyes of a dog.


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