“If we are able to show one person there is another option besides saying goodbye to their sick pet, then that’s what our goal is.”
Regrettably, special needs dogs are typically the toughest dogs to find homes for. Many dog enthusiasts are anxious that these dogs will cost them too much time and money. But, Tracy Fowler understands first-hand that caring for special needs dogs is such an interesting and gratifying experience.
As her German Shepherd named Hayden went away, Fowler had a tremendous drive to rescue additional dogs in need. Thus, she started adopting crippled dogs in his honor. Before she knew it, she had nine dogs living in her house at once!
For a period, Fowler only had three German Shepherds to care for. Amigo and George were healthy dogs, but Hayden had several health concerns. She owned him since he was a puppy, but when he was around 8 years old, he became paralyzed due to degenerative myelopathy. The experts informed Fowler that getting him a cart would probably be too much trouble, but Fowler refused to give up on her dog.
Thus, as soon as Fowler returned home from the vet, she phoned HandicappedPets.com. They were able to quickly procure him a wheelchair so he could still move on his own. When Fowler placed the wheelchair on him, she claimed he began running and playing straight away. It seemed like his wheels were a part of him.
Caring for a special needs dog was a learning curve, but Fowler ultimately got the hang of it. In fact, she relished it since she knew she had helped Hayden live his life to the fullest. Thus, when the time came to say goodbye to Hayden, she was distraught.
But, losing Hayden also inspired Fowler. She still had Amigo and George at her side, but she knew there were other dogs out there who needed her aid. Therefore, she began adopting special needs dogs to help give them a second shot at life. Several of the dogs only survived for a short length of time, but she still felt privileged to have cared for them.
“When I initially started, it was easy, but as you go on, you learn that it’s not for everybody. But the lives that you can save makes you a better person,” added Fowler.
The Fowler Herd
At the present, it appears that Fowler owns nine dogs. Two of them are the German Shepherds she had before Hayden passed, and the other seven are special needs rescues: Smurfette, Lacey, Hope, Merida, Heath, Nordic, and Otis. She nicknames them “The Fowler Herd”.
So many dogs might be a lot to handle, but Fowler works hard to make sure they all get equal attention and playing. The dogs all like going on walks together, but it can be a bit hectic at times. When it snows outdoors, Fowler even has skis that she can swap their wheels with.
Not only is Fowler making life better for her and the dogs, but she also hopes she may inspire others too. A lot of people neglect senior dogs and crippled dogs at shelters and rescues, yet they’re just as loving as any other dog. Fowler’s dogs are all so joyful and energetic that she frequently forgets they have special needs.
“If we are able to teach one [individual] that is another alternative besides saying goodbye to their ailing pet, then that’s what our purpose is,” added Fowler.
She even developed a lovely Facebook page for her herd of pups. She routinely publishes images and videos of the dogs’ fascinating life, and fans have quickly grown to know each and every dog. Follow “The Fowler Herd” to get more lovely updates on Fowler’s busy life with her rescue dogs.