Destined for service, dog overcomes own disability
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (WHDH) -- A puppy destined to help others now needs some help of his own.
The little dog was bred to be a service dog, helping people with disabilities, but because of his own problems he's now doing a different job: teaching children *not* to judge others, based on their looks.
They are just four days old and their destiny is already determined: the dogs at canine assistants transform lives.
These highly trained, huge-hearted canines help physically and emotionally, enabling the disabled to have independence, confidence, and happiness.
So imagine when one of these sibling puppies, perfectly suited for a life of service, is born less than perfect.
That’s where Pirelli comes in.
"He was born without a foot,” Canine Assistants Veterinarian Dr. Kent Bruner says. “What we think happened is the umbilical cord got wrapped around his foot and caused that foot to not have a normal blood supply."
A congenital defect like this is a death sentence for many dogs.
"Do you know there are people out there who would put this puppy to sleep because of his paw, and that's ridiculous," Jennifer Arnold said.
But at a place that's all about overcoming disabilities, Pirelli’s going to get some help to overcome his own: a prosthetic foot.
"If we were to say 'no, we reject this puppy based on a physical issue,' we would be horrible hypocrites," Arnold said.
"He doesn't know that his foot doesn't work right,” Dr. Bruner says. “We need to get him to about seven months of age before we can get him his new prosthesis."
For now, a cushioned boot protects Pirelli’s tender limb.
He may have a bit further to go than his brothers and sisters, but his destiny remains unchanged. He will be a service dog who travels to schools.
“I want Pirelli to go into schools and say when you judge whether or not you want someone to be your friend, don't look at their bodies,” Arnold said. “That's not where you need to look."
What Pirelli lacks physically does not take away from who he is and what he will do. Assistants believe he will send a message that the same can be said for every person.
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