The 2021 Walkin' Pet Calendar Contest March winner is Blitz from California. It is with heavy hearts that we share Blitz crossed the rainbow bridge in January but are thankful we are able to share his story!
We asked our all of our calendar contest winner's to answer some questions about their FURbabys and why they decided to adopt and help disabled animals, here are Blitz's mom’s answers!
Blitz is around 11-12 years old and is a tan and black German Shepherd. He was adopted from the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County in June of 2012. He was a found on the streets and we adopted him as a full grown adult dog so his background is a bit of a mystery. On his adoption page Blitz was called a gentle giant and he definitely lived up to his name!
Blitz had the personality of a therapy dog and with no aggression in him whatsoever. He was a curious and friendly dog and he loved to socialize, hug and kiss, he loved little puppies and acted like one his entire life. He was very gentle with little dogs and liked to watch over them like a concerned parent. He was a true watch dog and would escort the elderly dogs that can't walk very well. He walked side by side with the older dog and made sure they were ok. Blitz was known as the "neighborhood icon" and "mayor of the city" in our area as everyone saw us walking to the park every day.
Blitz loved to travel, we went to Sedona, San Francisco, San Diego, Huntington Beach, Monterey, Big Sur, Salt Lake City Utah, Yosemite, Hollywood, and much more. Blitz was such a smart dog and learned how to communicate with me so I could care for his needs, he answered questions by barking yes and looking away for no.
As a peace keeper in the dog park he would break up a dog fight while in his wheelchair by stepping right in the middle of a couple of quarreling dogs and the dogs would just stopped fighting. His calm demeanor calmed the other dogs down. I'm so lucky to have gotten to experience so many special moments, his arthritis was catching up to him at the end of his life and we added the front attachment to his wheelchair and it greatly improved his quality of life.
He's a very special dog and I love him to the moon and back.
How have your dog's wheels helped their life?
With Blitz's IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) diagnosis, he dog wheels allowed him to go on his daily walks to the park, play and socialize, as well as helping him go out to the bathroom. His Walkin' Wheels wheelchair has helped him run and chase other dogs and I hang on to his leash and run with him so it's a workout for 4 legs and 2 legs!
His wheels allowed the family to go camping in Yosemite during the first year of Blitz's paralysis. The photo for the calendar is from that Yosemite camping trip. We went on 4th of July weekend and my friend tied a handkerchief of the American Flag around him for the 4th of July Holiday. I wanted to capture a dog standing proudly outdoors amongst nature in a wheelchair, showing that you can triumph over anything you really put your mind and heart into.
What have you learned, living with a special needs pet?
Taking care of a special needs dog is very difficult. If you want to take care of a special needs dog, make sure you know what you are getting into. They are still lovable and capable dogs but you have to understand that you have to think outside of the box. Because Blitz was unable to walk, I invented new games to play with him. I play catch with him where I toss the ball at him and he catches the ball. I also taught him to roll the ball away and then I go fetch the ball - basically reverse fetch or human fetch, where the dog throws the ball and the human fetches. Blitz absolutely loved it.
Blitz has taught me to be accepting life's challenges and the ability to put the needs of others before my own wants. In the end, it is so rewarding because the bond you have becomes even stronger. Your love is stronger. You understand each other more than anyone will ever understand you or him.
With a paralyzed pet you overcome your fears and learn to make decisions in high stress uncertain situations. Blitz worked hard to stay strong for me. He trusted me and he believed in me and I did the same for him. It's such a beautiful relationship.