Life alone on the streets can be hard for a paralyzed dog, but all you need to do is look at her sweet face to see the years of pain and suffering etched across it. And yet, she still smiles.
Picked up as a stray on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas with a small puppy by her side, the white Canaan dog desperately needed a second chance.
Her rescuers immediately noticed her odd lopsided expression, making the young dog appear perpetually quizzical, along with a scar reaching down the right side of her face. At Fort Worth Animal Care and Control, shelter staffers discovered that not only was half of Sid’s face paralyzed from a traumatic injury, but she was deaf, too — something fairly common in white dogs.
Despite her injuries, Sid proved to be an incredibly loving mom, doting on her puppy though she couldn’t hear his yips.
With Sid’s health issues, her chance of finding a family was slim. Most likely, she would languish away in a city shelter until her time ran out.
But shelter employees refused to let Sid slip through the cracks. A rescue coordinator at Fort Worth Animal Control contacted Animal Hope, a rescue and rehabilitation center specializing in animals with behavioral or medical care needs.
On October 2, Sid arrived at Animal Hope, and has finally been able to relax for the first time in her life.
In her first few days, she’s already revealed herself to be quite the little love bug. “She gets along great with other dogs. She also enjoys the company of people,” Benjamin Morris, director of Animal Hope, tells The Dodo. “Her favorite activity is eating. She LOVES to eat.”
How Sid managed to survive her facial injury is still a mystery. “Unfortunately, stray dogs and cats can’t tell us much about their past. She’s no longer able to control the muscles on that side of her face, and the muscles have atrophied and ‘drawn up,’ which gives her a dramatically different appearance between the two sides of her face,” Morris explains. “While we can’t state definitively what happened to her, these types of injuries sometimes happen when a dog is attacked by another dog.”
Remarkably, Sid refuses to let her past get in the way of a good time. “It’s hard to get pictures of her because her head is always moving,” Morris says.
After overcoming incredible odds, Sid deserves a loving family who can care for her.
“The ideal home for Sid would be one that recognizes the needs of a deaf dog,” Morris adds. “Training can be a challenge because verbal signaling doesn’t work. They can also startle easily and are at risk off-leash because they can’t hear approaching people, animals or vehicles.”
As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Sid’s can’t help but shine through.
“People often come into our shelter looking for specific types of dogs, but dogs are companions … they’re not handbags and they’re not shoes,” Morris says. “The way that a dog looks is for us, not for them. What matters is what they are like, not what they look like.”
“If more people would walk into shelters and ask the shelter staff which dogs are their favorites,” he says, “rather than asking for specific breeds, they would have much better adoption experiences.”
SEE ALSO: 7 Dangerous Dogs Behind “Beware Of Dog” Signs