A disability, injury or health condition can leave someone feeling alienated, alone or misunderstood. Fortunately, the bond between a human and his dog is unbreakable, and when you factor in something as deep as a shared disability, it can make a world of difference to the both of them.
Here are five incredible stories of humans and their dogs that have something in common that changed their lives forever.
1. A man and his pup both are both amputees.
A man in India broke down when he found his puppy’s hind leg had been crushed by a speeding motorcycle.
The rescue group Animal Aid Unlimited came to the young puppy’s rescue, but they found his bleeding leg was unrecoverable and had to amputate it. When they returned the pup to the man, he sobbed uncontrollably. They understood why when he showed them: he also had an amputated leg.
2. A woman and her puppy who both lost an eye
Maria Williamson lost her right eye after being shot in the face by a carjacker who approached her at a red light in Mobile, Alabama. Two months later, Maria’s boyfriend saw a listing online for the rescue pup named Bear who had also tragically lost an eye – his left one – after being attacked by another dog.
Maria instantly felt a connection with Bear, and they went down to the Animal Rescue Foundation in Theodore, Alabama on the same day to adopt him.
“I immediately thought, ‘He’s so perfect! I know his struggles and I know what he is going through,'” Maria told The Huffington Post. “We both see life through one lens.” She renamed him Yogi, and they’ve helped each other heal.
3. A girl and her Chihuahua who were both burn victims
12-year-old Chloe Levenson in Alameda, California had scalding hot tea poured on her when she was a baby. She’s had seven surgeries to repair the damage.
Seven months ago, she met Buddy the Chihuahua, who was found outside an Antioch, California animal shelter with chemical burns on his ears and throughout his belly. Buddy had had $5,000 worth of surgeries and medical work done, and he was still suffering from PTSD and intense fear. But it was time for him to find a home, and he and Chloe fell in love when they met, San Jose Mercury News reported.
Chloe and Buddy are now helping each other through the physical and emotional pain. Chloe said Buddy still experiences fear of humans touching his head, and he hates leashes, so she pushes him around in a stroller. Now that’s true puppy love.
4. A man and his dog, both in a wheelchair
We dare you not to cry when you see this video about the bond between Michael – who uses a wheelchair – and his dog Chance – who also uses a wheelchair.
Chance was hit by a car and left on the side of the road for dead, Michael said. But San Antonio Pets Alive rescue rescued him, and Michael adopted him, calling him Chance because he’d never been given the chance at life he deserved. “I knew his struggles as well as mine, and I knew that we could overcome those obstacles together,” Michael said. “The difference Chance makes in my life is the happiness and the courage to know that there isn’t anything that anybody can’t do.”
The video was run as part of an ad campaign for Kleenex, probably because they knew they’d sell a lot of them after everyone started bawling from this video.
5. A boy and his Dachshund who both lost a leg
“It’s a weird feeling,’ teenager Sam Sartain told The Daily Mail, “because he looked at me and he realized I guess that we had the same situation and he immediately ran over towards me.”
Sam was talking about his three-legged Dachshund Pooh, whom he adopted from Dachshund Rescue South Florida after the little dog was hit by a car and had to have a leg amputated. Sam lost part of his right leg after he flipped his ATV and it landed on his leg. Now he has a Pooh bear to understand his suffering.
Featured image via Animal Rescue Foundation