Something Special Pets – The Delight of Duncan Lou
In this installment, we take a look at Duncan Lou, the amazing two-legged Boxer.
If you’re one of the millions of people who watched Duncan Lou’s first trip to the beach, you know just how special this special needs dog is! If you missed it, then your day is about to get a whole lot better!
Amanda Giese of Panda Paws Rescue focuses mostly on special needs and hospice cases. In fact, she’s had 10 two-legged dogs over the past year! But it’s little Boxer named Duncan Lou who has captured hearts and minds worldwide. “People write to us they’re going through a hard time in life or they’ve lost a loved one and that DL has helped them,” says Giese. It’s easy to see why. Nine-month-old Duncan Lou simply embodies joie de vivre. And bringing a smile into people’s lives can make a huge difference. “I’ve been in touch with some of the military vet programs around here and think it would be good to get him in the physical therapy rooms. Have him running around to inspire people. If he can do it, you can do it! But we need to get him as healthy as possible first,” she explains.
With Duncan Lou’s enthusiasm, it’s easy to fall in love. Giese has received many requests from people wanting him, (she’s keeping him!) But, as with any ‘celebrity’, the reality is often not so glamorous. It takes time and hard work to care for him. “I clean all the time, sweeping, scrubbing, bathing. His body stopped growing at four months, but his organs continue to grow so there are lots of medical issues and expenses involved. And accidents. He has an undersized bladder.” Giese carries Duncan Lou 50% of the time since he can’t constantly walk on two legs. He also requires daily physical therapy – including heat therapy and hydrotherapy. Thankfully, Panda Paws has its own hydrotherapy pool just for the dogs. (Former rescue, Fluffy Shark helped raise money for the pool.)
Giese was prompted to start Panda Paws a decade ago, after becoming disillusioned with being a vet tech. She didn’t like that the hospital she worked at treated stray animals as second-class citizens when they needed more than a pain killer. Her training is still a huge asset to her though – from tube-feeding puppies, to helping in surgeries – including the amputation of Duncan’s deformed back legs. The usual route for a double amputee would be to give them a wheelchair. They tried twice but each time Duncan rejected it. “Walking on his front paws he would pick up his wheelchair and hold it above his head – which is even worse for his body. We decided to just let him live the way he wanted.”
More Duncan Lou
While some may describe Duncan as one in a million, Giese prefers to think that he’s one of the millions of homeless dogs that need homes. You don’t need to adopt a Youtube hit to bring a star into your home – they can be found at your local shelters and rescues! And if you can’t adopt, concludes Amanda, “Use Duncan’s story to move you – help in any capacity that you can. Walk dogs at the shelter, Think outside the box.”
Please share this story and help spread the word of just how special special needs pets can be!
You’ll find more inspiring stories in TPM’s Something Special Pets.
Originally published on April 14, 2014.