This Thanksgiving, I witnessed a miracle: my dog, Baxter, took some clumsy first steps with his paralyzed back legs.
I had adopted Baxter about a month ago from the local SPCA. Since he has little musculature on his back end, doctors assumed that he had suffered a spinal injury some time ago and that the damage was irreversible. He was originally scheduled to be euthanized because of his paralysis. No one wanted him. Concerned friends who had visited the SPCA sent me texts about him. They knew I already had a house full of misfit animals (a 3-legged dog, a 2-legged dog and a cat with 23 toes) and they figured: what’s one more? I visited him and, of course, I ended up adopting him. After a few weeks, he came out of his shell and started to feel safe and at home. And then, last week, I noticed movement in his back legs.
I took a video of him just as he was starting to take his first steps. The neurologist we visited this week tells me that he may continue to improve and, with some luck, he will be ambulatory for years to come. He may never walk normally. We just can’t be sure. But his outlook is so much brighter than when I first adopted him. I thought he would never walk and so many people thought he would never make it. But he has endured. He is truly an inspiration.
And he is something that I am truly thankful for this holiday season. –Domenick Scudera