Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Special Needs Pets are the Best

At the beginning of last month our little princess turned four!  It is hard to believe that Maddie has been in our home for a little over two years.  As you may remember from previous posts, her adjustment to our home and her brothers only took a few hours.  Since then we have moved into a new home where Maddie has plenty of room to run and play.  She rules the house now. Link and Seven have accepted the fact that their sister is here to stay.

Being born without eyes certain makes Maddie unique.  However, it is her love for life and the animals and humans around her that makes her special.  She is the first face you see when you walk through the door after work, she is never far away, and she is always willing to snuggle or play.  Maddie warms up quickly to strangers and enjoys being the center of attention at our parties.

Maddie's blindness makes her acutely aware of her surroundings and she often hears bugs or noises before anyone else in the house.  Additionally, physical touch is her dominate love language and she is happiest when sitting on your lap or wrestling with your arm.  In the evenings, Maddie begs to climb up unto the couch while you watch TV, where she will remain until you move her.

Surprisingly, Maddie has discovered several hiding places around the house where she retreats to during overwhelming parties or when she just wants to be alone.  She has also been seen utilizing these hiding places to sneak-up on her brothers when she feels extra feisty.  When Link's bullying becomes too much for her, Maddie hides behind the litterbox, waiting to attack him and exact her revenge.

Earlier this year we babysat my father's cat for a week while he was away.  Zoe and Maddie had met only once before, and Maddie remembered her aunt immediately.  Because the two ladies have dominant personalities and are each used to ruling their respective homes, friendship did not come easy.  However, Maddie's loving personality encouraged her to get to know Zoe and a love-hate relationship developed.

Since Maddie first entered our home, she has loved playing with the crinkle balls sold in Target's pet section.  She has hidden them around our house for easy access.  Because our kitchen is the only room with a hard floor in our house, Maddie often will carry her balls in her mouth from carpeted rooms into the kitchen.  From there, she will bat the ball around until she is too tired to move.

Special needs animals like Maddie do require more work and attention than other pets.  Vet visits can be more traumatic as she cannot see the other animals she is smelling.  We have to be more aware of our home's layout so Maddie can easily navigate.  During holidays with fireworks, her anxiety spikes with each loud sound that she is unable to identify.  However, her blindness also makes her more trusting of us.  She knows that her parents will never put her in harm's way and she can count on us to save her from scary situations.  Maddie has taught me that no matter what life throws at me, it is your attitude that makes the difference.  

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