Finding forever homes for pets with special needs is hard. After all, they require more attention and care. Tracey Fowler from Mendon, Vermont, however, is up for the challenge. Since she lost Hayden, her beloved German Shepherd, a few years ago, Tracey has been adopting pups others walk past in shelters, and now her gang consists of eight dogs. She calls them The Fowler Herd, and with Tracey’s help, they’re living life to the fullest.
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“Hayden crossed the Rainbow Bridge after a battle against degenerative myelopathy,” she told Bored Panda. The dog fought the brutal disease long and hard, and eventually ended up needing a wheelchair. But the paralysis didn’t take away his spirit. Tracey said he kept playing until his last day.
Missing the rolling of Hayden’s wheels, she decided to honor his resilience and make a difference for other dogs like him. “I currently have eight dogs,” Tracey said. “Six being special needs and 2 being [German Shepherds I had before adopting the others.]” As you can imagine, Tracey warns her visitors not to get their feet rolled over.
Not only do The Fowler Herd constantly enjoy Tracey’s sincere love and affection, but they also have a blast with each other. Especially during the winter. When snow covers the areas surrounding her residence, Tracey swaps her pups’ wheelchairs for skis so they can continue their games outside.
The kind-hearted woman agreed that differently-abled pets aren’t for everyone, but she also said taking care of them isn’t that difficult. “If you are afraid of poop and pee, maybe adopting a special needs pet is not for you. If you’re OK with it, honestly, it’s no different than if they were walking.”
As for The Fowler Herd, they plan to just keep rolling and skiing. “If we are able to show one owner there is another option besides saying goodbye [to their sick pet], then that’s what our goal is.”