Nicknames: The Gizz; Gizz; Gizzy; Gizzer; l'il Giz, L'il Man, Gizzman, Gizzy moo; Gizzer the Wizzer the Wiz; the Mighty Gizzer; Whiz-bang Man; & the kids in the neighborhood call me the "Gizmonaut!" When I'm crabby at my furbrother, mom calls me "Hey, Hector!"
Birthday: July 3rd 2000
Likes: Children! Food! (You gonna eat that?) And anything with wheels! Bikes, wheelchairs, you name it! Also...belly rubs, belly blurps, and walks and rides in the car and treats and kisses on my head! And when people say, "Oh look what that dog can DO!"
Pet-Peeves: Mom brushing my teeth! AAAAARGH! And clipping my nails! Don't mess with my feet! Also, taking medicine....and baths are just plain NOT fun! Bleh! But especially when people say, "Oh, that poor dog!" Huh? ::looking around:: WHAT poor dog?
Favorite Toy: My mommy's toes and my tail! And the vacuum cleaner is fun to chase. Grrrr! heheheh
Favorite Food: I hafta pick? Um...hmmmmn This is a hard question. Next?
Favorite Walk: I got a go-cart on Feb. 23, 2007, so I can ZOOOOOM! Just watch me GO!
Best Tricks: I can sit, even in my cart! And everyone wuvs me! And try balancing a full doggy body on 2 1/2 legs...that's my best trick. I've had lots of practice. But most of all, my best trick is inspiring people to be their best.
Arrival Story: A note from Gizzy's mom: We searched online for a rescue dog for six months (Petfinder.com), looking for the perfect "special" dog. We looked at both blind dogs and mobility impaired dogs. The search stopped at Gizmo the Great! He is our dream dog, and we know we can make his life as spectacular as he can make ours! He is the most awesome guy with an indomitable spirit!
Gizzy is an ambassador now for "better than perfect dogs"! On April 20, 2008, Gizz passed his test to become a Certified Therapy Dog! So now he's a working dog like his sister, Lucy! Yay, Gizz!
You can always access Gizz's Dogster page easily by just going to www.MyWheelieDog.com. It'll take you right here to his personal home away from home!
Bio: Gizzy has the opportunity to really walk (rather than hobble and hop) and run for the first time in his 6.5 years. He was a fast learner -- what a smart guy! He has a brand new front wheel cart from Eddie's Wheels in Massachusetts . He had multiple custom measurements taken to be sure it is a PERFECT fit. He has chubby wheels so he can get over grass and packed beach sand and whatever else might come his way! And boy can he ever go! Look out world! The Gizz is where it IS!
It's front-wheel drive, has a 1 dog-power engine, and is powered by 100% indomitable spirit! Be sure to toot your horn and wave when you go by! Aaaa-OO-gah! Lots of pictures to come!
THE GIZZMAN SAYS: Click here to see the cool music video my mom made for my 1 year Gotcha Day Celebration! Fun!
Gizz has now been in 2 published books, several magazines and newspapers, and had a quick stint on The Today Show. He's an ambassador for "Better than Perfect Dogs" and proved to the world that front wheel carts can work.
Forums Motto: Ambassador for better than perfect dogs!
Hi! I'm the Gizzer! I just moved into my new home here in CT on Feb. 6th, 2007, at the mighty age of 6 1/2 years old. Lots of good things are happening in my little ole life! Check this out!
So let's start from the beginning. I have an interesting history, you see. When I was born, my momma dog would not nurse me. I was a little runt in a puppy mill where they didn't want to take care of me or any other sick dogs, but a nice lady named Kathie knew about this sad and yucky puppy mill and came by and tried really hard to get my mom to let me nurse so I wouldn't die. But try as Kathie might, my momma dog just would not let me near her. I think momma dog knew I was different than her other dogs. So this nice lady, Kathie, rescued me. She swept me away and took me home because the puppy mill lady was going to "let nature take its course." That can be a really bad thing. The puppy mill lady kinda does that to all her dogs. Not nice! It is really upsetting to see. Kathie was mad at the puppy mill lady and did the right thing by me. I would be in heaven right now if it weren't for my hero, Kathie. And I have lots of living to do before I head to heaven someday. And I got out of that yucky, dirty, dark puppy mill trailer full of poops and smelling of ammonia so bad you could faint. You won't believe how good the rest of the world smells! Pawsome!
Kathie kept me close to her body for months so I'd stay warm (betcha never knew sports bras could save lives! I lived in there for months for life-saving warmth!). She said I was 3 months old before I was bigger than her hand. When I was a few months old, Kathie taught me to walk. It took me 2 or 3 days, but I figured out how to balance, thanks to Kathie. Yep, she TAUGHT me! She used dishtowel with holes for my legs and rope to hold to teach me balance. You see, I'm not like other dogs. Nope, I am SpEcIaL! Yep! I have two pretty good back legs, but my front legs are not so helpful when I need to get around. My right leg only has a little piece, like a little chicken wing -- I have no foot on that side and hardly any leg. I call that my "lucky fin" -- just like in Finding Nemo. Nemo had one on his right side, too! And Nemo was pretty famous and stuff!
My left front leg kind of twists outward kinda funny, so it can't really hold my front end up so great after awhile, and I wobble a lot. Sometimes it gets sore. The doctor said some of my bones are fused together in that leg, and some just have arthritis from doing so much work holding up 65% of my body weight. But I do manage to hop around. Lately, though, my only "good" front leg has been bothering me. So it's been harder for me to get around. I have spine problems, too, from hopping around, and I can't always feel my back end, and my back legs kind of hop instead of alternate.
In February, 2007, I learned about the miracle of Petfinder.com. Kathie loved me very, very much, but came upon some very hard times and wanted to be sure I had the best of care. She made a very difficult decision out of love for me. She brought me to a special rescue, RetroDoggy Rescue/Michigan Yorkshire Terrier and Maltese Rescue
, and she wanted to be sure that from there I went to a home that would love me lots and give me the additional medical care I now needed. I was nurtured very lovingly there by a nice foster mom named Colette until I found my forever home, and they cleaned my teeth up nice and shiney, too! Kathie had nightmares about what would happen to me -- would anyone wuff me as much as they did? She was so worried about me.
And now this where my new mom came in! I just moved from Michigan allllll the way to Connecticut to be with my new forever family! Thirteen dedicated volunteer drivers helped to get me here! Whew! What a long trip! It took 2 days! I rode with 3 other cool dogs, though. We learned that they all found good homes within a week! Isn't that great?! Life is good! It was a happy ride for us all.
Okay, now here is the really **cool** news. I wuz fit with a custom hot rod! Uh-huh! Yes! My own GiZzMoBiLe! Front wheel drive! That's because mom brought me to get fit for a special doggy cart for special dogs! She says it will take the pressure off my body while still using my front leg and I can push myself along and RUN LIKE THE WIND! Like, FAST! And it will still allow me to exercise my front leg. That leg is pretty important to me. Plus I can get more exercise because the doctor said I was chubby. Chubby! Pffffft! Me! The runt! Well now! I guess I've moved up in the world! But the doc said I have to work on that. Jeeez. Okay, doc. I promise. I'll exercise. All this protects my spine, and the orthopedic surgeon said that with this special cart, I may never need to go through spinal surgery! THAT is way cool. All the dogs like to sniff my cart, and I know they wish they could have one, too. After all, it IS pretty cool! I can even do wheelies!
I love exercising in my hot rod! Yippeeee! Look out world! I hope mom puts a horn on it! Beep! Beep!...no ... wait... "aaa OOO gah!" heheheh It gets a lot of attention out in the world, which helps me make lots of new friends.
I went to doggie school and on April 20, 2008, I passed my therapy dog certification test, and now I'm a CERTIFIED THERAPY DOG! I get to go into hospitals, schools, nursing homes and more to help people smile! Isn't that just PAWmazing!?
I am now the coolest dude on the sidewalk! My dogster friend, Tucker -- the cute disabled pug -- he has a cart and he tells me it will make me cool with the ladies. How about that! Um...Mom just looked worried when I told her that. Maybe that should be our little secret. Just kidding, mom!
Mom is going to keep taking lots of pictures and we'll have updates and videos as I learn to do new stuff and have new adventures. I get to go to the beach, and mom says she'll take me back lots of times. Mom says I am her "inn-spur-ay-shun." Is that like calling me her baby? Or her honey? I dunno. But it sure sounds good the way she says it. In the meantime, I have 3 furry new brothers and sisters who really like me! I am one lucky dogger! And mom keeps giving me kisses all over my head. She says she's "over the moon" about me.
My new mom and Kathie keep in touch all the time now. My new mom loves to brag about all the cool stuff I do and Kathie loves to hear about me. I am SO lucky so many people love me. And guess what? Kathie stopped having nightmares because now she knows how much I am loved and spoiled...er....blessed. How many dogs can say they have two moms? I sure am special. Life is good! Woof!
My friend Rhea said this about me: "Believe it or not, Gizzy is an encouragement and inspiration to me. I have a ton of medical things I've been diagnosed with and live with and they tell me it'll just get worse. Seeing this little one being so happy and doing so well really lifts my spirits more than you know. Thank you SO much for sharing with me. " Wow. I am so honored!.
Please Sign My Guestbook:
Earning his driver's license: It isn't easy learning to drive when you're six years old! This was his first day getting his Gizmobile.
First, here he is running up the steps to driving school....Eddie's Wheels! They custom made his hot rod!
Amanda at Eddie's Wheels shows us how to open and use the cart, and Gizzy gets in it for the first time. He was pretty nervous about the whole thing. "I CAN HOP JUST FINE, MOM!"
Below, you'll see the results a few minutes later. Amanda cajoles him into the cart with a little help from a treat. He doesn't realize he is even in it at this point. When he does, he struggles briefly to get out, but Amanda is quick and distracts him enough with the treats to keep him moving forward. We kept this session brief and successful.
Okay, now he is starting to train to use it. This little fella is very food motivated, so that made our jobs a lot easier! His indomitable spirit helps, too! :)
Okay, so he takes a break from learning to drive and ... whoa.... he finds a BIG cart that he REALLY likes!
Okay, now it's been two days. I realize my big mistake is trying to load him into the cart on a floor, which doesn't allow him to "get a grip." We put him on the rug, and look out! Sorry about the old rug...this is getting replaced this Spring with a nice new one, but how embarrassing that the world has to see it! Check out the Gizz making turns! I'm so PROUD!
And look what happens after 5 days of practice and praise! I can weally, weally fwy! Zooooooooooom! Okay, corners are a wittle challenging, but I'm smart, I'll get it!
Below, Gizzy is at Eddie's Wheels, learning to rebalance after some cart adjustments were made. He is a fast learner! He meets some friends, figures out how to get out of some basic predicaments, and tips over! (This is why a dog in a cart must never be left unsupervised). He gets back up, none the worse for the wear, and loves his freedom! We learned later that moving the wheels forward just a half inch stabilized his balance and he hasn't tipped again since.
And here we are....living the dream. We brought Gizz to the beach in May '07 for the first time and were blissful! He did great! I say "whoops" in the video...not because he is tripping but because *I* am tripping (over our other dog, lol).
And in this one, you can see how Gizz has really learned to navigate. He turns, backs up, has a wonderful level of comfort with getting around. He is now "one" with the cart. When we take it out, he does happy circles and dances. He now knows how it benefits him.
Here I am on The Today Show on May 19, 2008! Don't sneeze! You might miss me! Watch for the white flash that zips by twice! You'll want to turn off my Dogster Page music before viewing...
World famous driver AND author?:
Dog of the Week!: Feb. 21, 2007, Gizz had the amazing opportunity of being chosen as Dog of the Week on Dogster. We were amazed, awestruck, honored. At the time, we didn't even know how to get into our emails through Dogster, we were so new!
How much is that doggie in the window?: Those puppies look very cute in the pet store window. But what is life really like for the dogs who are forced to breed these puppies. Take a quick look behind the scenes as we work to bring an end to the pet trade.
Yaaaaaaaaaaahoodles! Check it out!! Mom sent in my picture to Petfinder so that I might possibly be chosen as one of the dogs on the Animal Rescue Site's cover page one day. Instead, check out what happened!
Gizmo's fame spreads! His photo is among those that we featured in our new Petfinder book: The Adopted Dog Bible. It's coming out soon. In the preliminary galley proofs, his picture was on p.383, although that might have changed. Here's a URL to a Web site announcing the book.
If y'all were as swept away as my mom was with the funny and heartwarming story of "Marley & Me" by the talented author, John Grogan, you will be happy to hear that he has a new puppy that was adopted from the set of the movie. Unbenownst to him, this dog was a special needs dog, sorta like me! Yep, it's his legs!
We know that Mr. Grogan and his family are is about to embark on the most remarkable journey of their lives and that Woodson (this beautiful dog's name) will teach him more lessons than any human ever possibly could have. We hope someday there will be a book about the amazing Woodson as well. The sky is the limit with Woodson!
See Mr. Grogan's blog here with a picture of his sweet new addition:
Hugs to little Woodson (um, who is bigger than me already), across the miles.