Short-Spine Dog Finds His Loving Family Who Loves Him Just The Way He Is
In 2017, a tiny 2-month-old puppy was discovered abandoned near Halifax, Virginia. Animal control stepped in, and the dog found refuge at Secondhand Hounds, a shelter in Minnesota.
He's one of the very few dogs worldwide who live with a health condition known as short spine syndrome. This genetic condition severely compresses and sometimes fuses the vertebrae and is often linked to inbreeding.
Cooper was then fortunate to find his foster parents, Elly and Andy Keegan, who wanted to help him improve his quality of life despite his limited ability to walk.
Upon his arrival at the Keegans' home, Cooper badly suffered a fall, resulting in multiple neck fractures. But this didn't dampen Cooper's spirit. And even when a bone infection that hit a few months later couldn't dim his enthusiasm.
After six months of devoted care, the Keegans decided to put Cooper up for adoption. Elly was convinced that this "happiest dog" would have a flood of applications.
Elly shared, "He also had a surgery that helps him go to the bathroom more easily, making him quite low-maintenance now, capable of managing things on his own."
But surprisingly, no one wanted to adopt Cooper, leaving Elly heartbroken. She recalled, "Nobody wanted to adopt Cooper. And then we got an applicant. I think I broke down every other hour. I was like, 'Andy, I don't know what we're going to do!' I couldn't imagine just handing him over and saying, 'Ok, now be Cooper's family.'"
So they made the wonderful decision to adopt Cooper themselves. Despite the initial struggles and occasional challenges, Cooper now lives life to the fullest, bringing joy and fulfillment to his forever home.
Elly shared, "With our other rescues, there was no getting-to-know-you period. It was a family from the beginning."