Wednesday, September 1, 2010
A Dog Named Faith
Faith is a very famous dog, so you may have already seen her on the Oprah Show or on YouTube or someplace like that. And what makes Faith so famous is the fact that she walks on two legs, like a human, instead of on four legs, like a dog. Which is not such an easy thing to do.
In Faith's litter, which was born in December, 2002, there were some other puppies that had deformities, too. But none of those other puppies lived, and the only reason that Faith did is because a boy named Reuben saved her when she was 3 weeks old. Faith's doggy mother, Princess, belonged to a friend of Reuben named Johnny. Princess was mostly chow chow, but Faith's daddy might have been a lab.
When Reuben saw Princess and her puppies, Princess was trying to smother Faith. And the reason she was doing this was probably because she knew that a deformed puppy couldn't survive in the cold, cruel world. So Reuben brought Faith home to his family, and they took her to the vet, and he said maybe the best thing would be to put Faith to sleep. But the family decided to try to save Faith.
So they took care of her, and she got stronger and healthier. And in the beginning, she actually had three legs, but her one front leg was deformed, so it started wasting away, and it had to be cut off when Faith was 7 months old. So after that, Faith just had two back legs. And then she started sort of trying to stand up on her two legs, so her family put some peanut butter on a spoon and coaxed Faith into hopping. And pretty soon Faith decided, all on her own, to "walk" by putting one foot down and then the other one.
Now Faith is almost 8 years old -- which is the same age I will be in November! -- and she walks really well. And people who have studied her say that her joints and muscles have grown and changed so that they can support her when she walks in this way that is not like how other dogs walk.
If you have never seen Faith in action, you should look at a couple of videos. Here are some good ones, but there are other ones, too:
Not too long ago, Faith was made an honorary sergeant in the U.S. Army because she goes to hospitals and visits veterans who have been hurt in the war. And it inspires these veterans to see a dog who has learned to walk, even in spite of having bad stuff happen to her when she was born.
And now Faith's mom is trying to fix it so that Faith can go to the U.K. and visit wounded soldiers over there, too. So that is why Faith is such a cool dog and the kind of nice dog I'd like to meet in person someday. But I would not like to have to walk on my hind legs. I much prefer walking on all fours!