Rejected because he was different, Nimby the Jack Russell Terrier is hoping to find a forever home that’s just as special as he is. He was born without front legs, and the first people he ever knew deemed the adorable pup imperfect and unsellable.
“They said nobody wanted him,” recalls Sheila Choi, founder and CEO of The Fuzzy Pet Foundation (TFPF) in Santa Monica, California. The organization advocates against the kind of breeding practices that led Nimby’s first family to contact it 10 months ago, when the two-legged pooch was just a tiny puppy.
“They were not very responsible with making sure that their animals were spayed and neutered. They’d had litters and litters of puppies that they were selling for profit, and Nimby was the only one who was born without his front legs,” Choi recalls.
While the backyard breeders saw Nimby’s physical differences as insurmountable, the folks at TFPF were unfazed and took him into foster care right away. Once settled into a temporary home, Nimby excelled.
“We quickly had him trained to do his business on potty pads, and now he’s completely trained,” says Choi, who adds that although Nimby is known for being nimble on his hind legs, he is not your typical high-energy Jack Russell.
“He is quite the opposite. He’s very calm, he’s mellow, he’s not very loud. He’s just incredibly well-behaved and friendly, and he gets along with just about any and every dog.”
According to Choi, Nimby also adores people, doesn’t mind cats, and is generally loving life on hind legs. This California dog’s laid-back attitude and resilient nature was captured on video during a happy day at the beach.
It’s no surprise that Nimby has done so well in his foster home, as he’s hardly the first special-needs pet to end up in the care of TFPF. Since 2005, the organization has rescued, rehabbed, and re-homed more than a thousand pets, including plenty of dogs with missing limbs. TFPF was very well equipped to deal with Nimby’s physical challenges in foster care, but finding a forever home that was as equally prepared has proved to be its own challenge.
“We knew when we took him in we were in this for the long haul,” explains Choi, who wants Nimby to end up in a home that’s perfectly matched to his needs, no matter how long it takes.
Nimby’s ideal family includes a human who is home a lot and who can give Nimby plenty of hands-on attention and a lift when the 10-pound pooch needs one. Because Nimby loves other dogs, TFPF is looking for a family with another pup — but since Nimby needs a lot of one-on-one care, he can’t be among a whole pack of dog siblings. The recipe for Nimby’s ideal home is a mix of specific qualities that will maximize his quality of life. Potential adopters have come forward, but so far, none have been the right fit.
“We are still kind of hoping to find a family who’s had a dog with some sort of special needs, and we haven’t found that yet,” says Choi.
Because TFPF is looking for such a specific home for Nimby, the organization isn’t limiting its search to southern California.
“We are willing to travel anywhere to make sure we find him a good home. Even if it’s out of state, we’re willing to make that drive or make that flight happen,” says Choi, who adds that TFPF will be raising money for travel expenses if Nimby’s forever family is found.
“We would be more than happy to do that if we do come up with the right match for this dog.”
In the meantime, Nimby continues to thrive in his Los Angeles foster home, where all his special needs are being met. TFPF ordered Nimby a customized wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels, but so far Nimby hasn’t really taken to his new ride.
“It’s much harder for dogs missing their front legs to adapt to a wheelchair than a dog who needs a back cart,” explains Choi. “He actually prefers to be free. He doesn’t like to be restrained.”
Choi is hoping to connect with 3-D printing companies who might be able to help create a customized set of wheels or a prosthetic that would fit closer to Nimby’s body, so that he would feel more comfortable in it. The search for a new wheelchair device for Nimby continues alongside the search for his forever family. Choi may not know who they are just yet, but she does now they’ll be getting plenty of two-legged puppy love when Nimby finally finds them.
“He loves to be right next to your side. He always has to be touching you, and he loves to cuddle when it’s time to go to sleep.”
To inquire about adopting Nimby or to donate to his care, visit The Fuzzy Pet Foundation.
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About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.