Animal shelters struggle to find homes for even the most adorable dogs in their care. But sadly for those with physical deformities, it can be nearly impossible to find people to look past their unique exterior and see their beautiful personalities.
When the American Maltese Association Rescue (AMAR) saved a dog that has a row of teeth growing from her snout and bad kidney issues, they knew it was going to be difficult to find a forever home for the unique yet loving dog. The team decided to try and find a foster home while taking care of the dog’s medical issues and reached out to a woman who had previously cared for dogs with special needs.
“My last dog Petey had dementia,” said Alison O’Connor. “He required a lot of care. It was really heartbreaking and sad, but it sort of became my daily routine.” After Petey passed away, O’Connor desperately wanted to help care for an animal again, and immediately said yes after the rescue team asked her if she wanted to look after a dog with kidney issues.
“I hadn’t even seen her yet,” O’Connor said. “[The dog] needed to have surgery in a specialized hospital, which was only about 20 minutes from my house. The intention was to get her medically taken care of, then adopt her out. But I think I always knew I was going to keep her.”
Yet when O’Connor first laid eyes on the dog, who she named Pez, she realized the pup had a unique smile. “It’s sort of like a cleft palate, but the palate is actually closed,” O’Connor said. “Literally every time I look at her, my heart explodes.” While Pez’s face is unusual, it causes her no harm. Her main health concern is her kidneys, which aren’t connected to her bladder properly, and has to wear diapers because of her incontinence.
“It’s just like a quirk,” O’Connor said. “I don’t know what else to say besides that she’s charming. I know that’s a weird way to describe a dog, but she has a lot of spunk. She’s constantly glued to you the whole time, and wants to be having a good time.”
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[Featured image: Alison O’Connor]