Special’ pet has not-so-special needs

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 7, 2000

Wobbles, a 1-year-old Chow mix, is looking for a new home. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)

Wobbles is looking for a home for the holidays.

Though a birth defect makes walking a challenge, the year-old Chow mix makes up for it with enthusiasm.

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“Sometimes when she walks, she will just fall down,” said Debbie Freeman, owner of Southern Paws, a boarding and grooming business where Wobbles was taken a few weeks ago. “But she gets right back up.”

The culprit, called Valgus deformity, forces the dog to walk on her tippy-toes, and doesn’t give her proper flexibility in her ankles and feet.

But it doesn’t stop her from playfully running circles around her foster owner and licking the shoes of passers-by.

The family who has raised Wobbles took her to Freeman because they were concerned about having a dog around their new baby, she said.

But Freeman, running a boarding facility she calls it a bed and breakfast for dogs and having a weak spot for furry companions, has already taken in all the animals she can handle, she said.

The number of animals adopted skyrockets around the holidays, with parents often surprising children with a new puppy or kitten. But with so many strays and so few good homes, “special” animals like Wobbles often get left out, Freeman said.

“This is not what most people would think of as a perfect pet, but really, she is,” she said. “She is smart, she adjusted really quick to the routine here, and she’s really sweet.”

While her problems might lead to arthritis later in life, for now Wobbles is perfectly healthy, and her strange gait doesn’t seem to bother her a bit.

Freeman said she hopes a family will fall in love with the 26-pound canine and give her a good home this Christmas.

But she had a word of caution for all those buying pets around the holidays: Make sure you know what you’re getting into.

Many people adopt pets at Christmas time and decide later that they can’t handle the responsibility, flooding shelters with unwanted animals after the holidays are over.