Dogs are incredible characters. Almost without exception, they have this amazingly upbeat spirit that lights up any room, brings smiles to our faces, and can turn our whole lives around. Even some of those that suffer the most horrific abuse and neglect come out of it ready to forgive with little hesitation. Dogs are pure love. And when given love, they can accomplish big, big things.
Kardi is one such dog who has taken the love she is given and made miracles happen with it. Her life had a sad start, but her story really began when she met Kelsey. That was the moment Kardi experienced real love for the first time and her life completely changed. Dog mom Kelsey R. tells iHeartDogs:
“Kardi came into my life on 10/11/2012. I rescued her from a breeder who no longer had use for her and had spayed her at 2 years old. She had spent the majority of her first 2 years of life in a cage.
“Kardi was very fearful and shy at first but quickly warmed up to her new life. She went everywhere with me and since I was a college student at the time, she made many new friends. Kardi is a typical ‘clown’ French bulldog. She loves to make people smile and has the silliest personality. She absolutely LOVES toys and is rarely seen without one in her mouth.
“When she’s not playing with her toys, she loves napping. She’s also extremely attached to me (her mom) so wherever I am you can bet she’s right there. She’s often referred to as my shadow and very much a mommas girl.”
During college, a friend’s brother passed unexpectedly, and he was really suffering from the sudden loss. Kardi understood that he needed support, and was there for him in a very tough time.
“Kardi would sit with him for hours and bring him toys to try and brighten his day. She knew he was going through a tough time and was a natural at being a therapy dog.”
Kelsey saw that Kardi had the natural disposition for therapy work, and in 2015, the two became a registered therapy team.
“She loves people of all ages but her specialty was the Alzheimer’s patients. Kardi would always nudge their hands to remind them to keep petting her. She brought so many smiles to people in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, classrooms, and summer camps.”
But that year brought some hardship Kelsey and Kardi’s way, too.
“Kardi became paralyzed in 2015 at the age of 4 due to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). It is a disease that prematurely ages and hardens the discs of the spine causing them to rupture into the spinal column. Kardi had a couple discs rupture in her lumbar spine and was unfortunately not a surgical candidate due to other medical issues. Kardi never regained the use of her hind legs and was permanently urinary and bowel incontinent.
Even without the use of her legs and the loss of bowel control, Kelsey says that Kardi remained happy and upbeat.
“Kardi was so strong through all of it and never once felt bad for herself. Each day she became stronger and happier. Kardi learned how to pull herself around on her front legs and can actually run faster than I can walk. A couple months after becoming paralyzed, a secret fund was put together at the vet clinic that my sister and I worked at and a pink Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair was given to Kardi.
“Kardi was strapped into the wheelchair and literally took off running and has not stopped running since. She prefers to scoot around the house and use her wheelchair for outdoor activities. Kardi has learned to go down a couple steps in her wheelchair, how to lay down in it, how to turn wide corners to avoid hitting things, and how to backup.”