Dogs are one of the most popular domestic animals around. They are lovable, loyal, and so much fun. When people think about adding a new furry member to the family, they usually dream about a cute, little puppy that will slowly grow into a strong, healthy pooch.
While more people are making an effort to adopt dogs from animal shelters, there is still one category of dogs that still make people hesitant about adopting: disabled or special needs dogs. These animals can offer so much love and joy to a household, and the Frame family could not agree more.
At the tender age of one, Bear the dog was hit by a car and had to be immediately rushed to the animal hospital. Unfortunately, the accident left him with lasting damages to his face - including blindness.
On top of the tragedy, Bear's owner couldn't pay for his surgery or subsequent treatments, so the pup was handed over to the veterinarian who was taking care of him. But there was a glimmer of hope: a local rescue was happy to pay for Bear's surgery bill if he was able to go to a good home.
One of the staff at the animal hospital decided to bring him home with her. "When I first saw him, it looked like something out of a horror movie," Katie Frame, the daughter of that staff member, told The Dodo. "So my mother and I decided to open our home and hearts for him."
Unfortunately, the damage to Bear's eyes was irreparable, and he had to undergo a series of surgeries to have his eyes removed. You would think that this series of tragic events would leave this young pooch traumatized, but in fact, it hasn't.
"Due to his lack of eyes, he is obviously blind," Katie said. "But, in all honesty, it does not seem to bother him one bit. He runs around like a mad dog when he's playing with his ball (the ball makes noises when it's moving and he just loves it so much)."
Speaking of her experience of caring for a blind dog, Katie commented that it wasn't really all that different from a regular dog. "He bumps into things sometimes, but he eventually mapped out the house in his head and he gets around easier than I thought he would," she added.
Aside from having a loving new home, Bear also had a new friend: Reese, the golden retriever. Initially, they were unsure whether the two would get along, but after a while, they started to warm up to each other. "When he first met Reese, it didn't go too well," Katie said. "Bear went a little crazy. But we decided to give it another shot."
One day, she took them to the beach. "This day was one of the greatest days," she said. "He played with her in the water, he walked next to her, and not once did he freak out. This was a total breakthrough for him. Now they play all the time. They are best friends."
Now, Bear is friendly to everyone he encounters. He will jump into strangers' laps and lick their faces as a friendly greeting.
While Katie and her family saved Bear's life and gave him a loving, caring home, Bear has also given back to them. "Before he came into my life, I was so worried that I was wasting my life," Katie said. "I felt like time was moving faster than I was. But now I feel like I have purpose. He has significantly improved my life."
"He motivates me to get up and actually participate in life," she added. "He makes me smile when I'm feeling gloomy, and he gave me a reason to enjoy life."
Bear has also taught Katie so much about dogs, including those with special needs. Thanks to him, she has a new appreciation for these special, lovable animals. "Bear is an amazing dog. Nothing holds him back from leading a normal, happy life," Katie said. "Not his blindness and not his breed. He has taught me that love is not what you see, but what you feel."
"I love him despite his flaws and despite my doubts I had about a blind dog," she added. "Special needs dogs are just like any other dog. A special needs dog is only an adjustment, not a life-shattering event." No matter what obstacles they face, Katie is ready to overcome them with Bear. "Every obstacle is doable. And every doubt will surely be overcome by their love for the dog." To keep up with Katie and Bear's adventures, be sure to check out their Instagram here.
Don't forget to SHARE this inspiring story with your friends and family.