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Lancaster, CA - Last Updated Dec 7th 2021

Before we continue with Birdie's story, we want to let you know that Birdie is happily adopted, and we are so grateful for her adopter! It's extremely hard to find placement for difficult cases, so we appreciate those who are just as dedicated to these animals as we are. 

Birdie came to us from out of state, at just a few weeks old. She had been diagnosed with Spina Bifida, which means a portion of her spine was protruding out of her back. This is a delicate situation and especially as a puppy, it was important to take extremely good care of the opening.

She was flown to our local airport in Lancaster, CA on March 12th, 2021. The pilot was part of a non profit group of licensed pilots that give free flights to dogs needing transportation across long distances. We couldn't be more excited to be apart of something this big, to give this dog a better life.

 The next few week were full of poop, pee and tons of sleepless nights for Tye. As you all know, or don't know, Tye cares for each special needs dog personally, on a 1-on-1 level for the absolute best care. But this is no easy feat, especially not with Birdie being incontinent and special needs.

It's a given that with special needs dogs come lots of vet visits, so we we're seeing our veterinarian on almost a weekly basis to learn more about Birdie's condition. The most concerning being her inability to use her back legs, or even feel them. 

After multiple vet visits, it had become apparent that Birdie was not only unable to use her back legs, at all. But, she couldn't even tell they were there. Which explains why she would bite at them, almost as if attempting to remove them. X-Rays revealed that the legs had not properly developed, and weren't positioned correctly in her skeleton, rendering them completely useless to her. Amputation of Birdie's legs was the only option at this point, since they were not able to be relocated to the correct position. 

Birdie was only a few weeks old still, so we couldn't just head into surgery right away, we needed to wait until her body could handle the dual amputation, which could take weeks or months. 

In the meantime, Tye treated Birdie as usual, keeping a close eye on her legs so she wouldn't cause any harm to herself. Bottle feeding every hour, and eventually she moved onto solid foods for the first time. Although the spina bifida was the cause of her disformed legs, it didn't really seem to bother her much. Birdie was still the happiest she could possibly be, constantly tap dancing away. 

Baths needed to be done by hand with a towel, to prevent moisture entering the spine, as that could be fatal. At this point it was a waiting game for her to outgrow the Spina Bifida, and become strong enough to undergo surgery. 

After a few months, we were able to get Birdie into the vet for her to undergo her surgery. It's unfortunate that this was the route we had to take, but Birdie remained optimistic and happy, and this was her best option to live a healthy life.

The operation was a complete success and Birdie continued on like nothing ever happened! This was the start of now being able to find a forever home for this amazing pup.

Wheelchairs are essential to dogs with mobility disabilities, so of course we looked far and wide to find one that fit Birdie's needs. Only one problem, Birdie could chew through any wheelchair we put her in, or launch it across the room like it was a frisbee. We just couldn't find one that she A) didn't want to chew up or 2) would stay in for more than 5 minutes. but that didn't bug Birdie one bit! She'd still scurry across the ground faster than even a 4 legged doggo. Birdie didn't need a wheelchair and she made sure we knew that!

The hunt for a forever home seemed impossible. It's always hard with a special needs dog, let alone a dog that has Spina Bifida, Dual amputations and incontinence. It's very important that people understand the sheer amount of attention that will need to be dedicated to their new family member. At first glance a lot of people will jump at the opportunity to adopt such an amazing dog, but as we've seen before, that light can begin to fade slowly as they realize the responsibility they've taken on. So we needed someone who knew what it was like, that had experience with something similar and wouldn't think about giving her up at the first sign of stress. 

It was nearly a year before Birdie would have any serious applications, and even then it wasn't a guarantee that the home would be a proper fit for her. Birdie continued to live her life here at the ranch house, surrounded by all of her doggy friends. Batman, Goliath, Bonsai, a new friend "Buns" and occasional visitors such as Rocky Kanaka, California State Congressman Mike Garcia, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, and more honorable animal advocates. 

Soon enough, Birdie grew and grew, and boy did she get big!

 It wasn't until about 9 months later, that we found an adopter that was a perfect match for this girl. She came highly recommended to us by a close rescue friend and had ALL of the experience we were looking for in an adopter. But just one problem, Birdie's potential adopter was nearly across the country, in Detroit, Michigan. There are few exceptions to our "no out of state adoptions" rule, and this was one of them because this home was an absolute perfect fit for Birdie. We didn't want to lose this opportunity for her, so our friend who made the recommendation put together a master plan.

The rescue community really is great, because the number of people that came together to drive Birdie across 5+ states was unbelievable. So many volunteers came together to make this dream come true for a dog they'd never met, just out of pure kindness. This was going to be a huge mission to accomplish, but it was all worth it!

Tye drove the first stretch all the way out to Pheonix, AZ. From there, he met with the first car of volunteers who would be taking her to the next volunteer and so forth. It was an amazing plan, and everything couldn't have gone better!

Birdie is now in Detroit, Michigan in her new forever home, and we are LOVING it! Congratulations big girl, you did it! 

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