Since working at Emerald City Pet Rescue, I have met many inspiring animals. Despite various adversities, these animals manage to still go through life with enthusiasm and joy. Rufus is definitely one of these inspiring animals. He lost the use of his back legs, which would be a difficult thing for anyone, but especially for a little pooch who is so obviously full of energy. Rufus loves to frolic, it is how he expresses his exuberance for life. So to have his movement stifled was a very sad thing. Luckily, Rufus just got a brand new wheelchair.
Rufus has a very ‘go-with-the-flow’ personality, so as staff fussed with him and fitted him for his new chair, he went along with it, not knowing the freedom he was about to enjoy. As soon as he was properly sized for his chair, he was off like a rocket ship, wheeling himself though the playroom, ready to explore and investigate everything!
We had some concerns about how he would do in the playroom. Would the other dogs accept him? But the other dogs did not bat an eye as Rufus rolled around with them. He was easily accepted as a member of the ECPR doggy crew. It helps that many of our dogs have already met a dog in a wheelchair. Little hero Tanner was an ECPR dog before wooing the heart of staff member and foster failure Lucy. Sometimes, Tanner still comes to work with Lucy, so many of the dogs know Tanner even though he was adopted a while ago. Tanner and Rufus have not yet met, but when they do it will be exciting day! It is not just the wheelchair that these two dogs have in common. They share their resilience, their love for people friends, their sweetness, and their absolutely charismatic personalities. Little Tanner even has his own Instagram. Follow him here: @wieneronwheels
One of the many things that I love about Rufus, is that he always seems to be smiling. There are few things more charming then a doggy smile. Rufus loves to greet new friends. Whenever someone walks into the playroom, Rufus speedily rolls toward them and politely asks for cuddles. Little Rufus is very playful, and now that he has his snazzy new wheels, he can get out and play with the best of them.
Rufus likes to take walks too. I was very excited to take him on a walk after he got his brand new wheelchair. I just knew he would have an absolute blast!
Well, I was wrong. One of the few things Rufus does not like is rain. Rufus and I ventured out on a cool and rainy day and even with his stylish raincoat, Rufus was not having it. He stared into the distance with a troubled look on his face. There was an expression of anxious resistance in his normally cheer filled eyes. He stayed as close to the sides of buildings as possible during the walk, trying to avoid the rain as it plummeted down. Well, all the ECPR dogs have me wrapped around their cute little paws especially Rufus whose paws are especially cute. I gave in and we turned around after only a very short distance. Rufus would have all the time in the world to take sunny day walks in his new wheelchair.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the animals at ECPR are constantly inspiring me.
We use to have an itty-bitty Chihuahua named Binty who would sometimes get picked on by a much larger dog. Instead of cowering, Binty would snap at the big dog, confidently telling him to back off! Little Binty didn’t let his vulnerable size get in the way of standing up for himself.
We had a beautiful Siamese cat named Asia who was so frightened when she arrived she refused to let any of us touch her. I can’t say she was a lap cat by the end of her time at ECPR, but she took many brave steps. She slowly began to trust us, even coming to us for cuddles. I know it took a lot of courage for Asia to let us pet her. The first time Asia let me scratch her head, it felt like the ultimate compliment.
We had a 13 year old bichon named Bentley who came to us with his bonded pair. But his bonded pair passed away. Everyone was sad by her passing, but it was obvious that Bentley was the saddest of us all. But eventually, he began to find cheer in life again. One way he did this was by befriending other ECPR dogs. He seemed to have a talent for befriending dogs who needed his friendship the most. We had a very tentative, fearful dog named Doodles who got picked on. Bentley befriended him even though Doodles was a bit of an outcast. Soon, Doodles gained more confidence with his buddy Bentley by his side. Eventually, the other dogs began to accept Doodles too. Doodles transformation to a more confident and happy dog all started with Bentley’s generous and loving spirit
Our ECPR animals are always showing us humans that you can overcome limitations, that you can gain the bravery needed to triumph over fears and that you can find beauty in the world even after hardship. Rufus will always be one of those dogs I will think of when I am having a bad day and need a little encouragement. Rufus with his shinning personality, his adorable bushy-eyebrowed face and his love for movement can make any day brighter.
If you are interested in adopting wonderful Rufus, check out his petfinder profile here and call Emerald City Pet Rescue at (206) 557-4661 to set up a meet and greet.