Guelph woman advocates for all dogs deserving homes

A woman from Guelph with three senior dogs and one in a wheelchair is hoping to spread the message that all canines deserve a home.

Molly, a 12-year-old dachshund, uses a very special set of wheels to get around ever since losing the use of her back legs six years ago. This was due to a common condition in the breed called intervertebral disc disease.

“She was fitted with a wheelcart and she’s been wheeling around ever since,” said Dr. Tiffany Durzi, a veterinarian at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Through Molly’s medical journey, her owner Susan Freeman has become an advocate for senior and special needs dogs.

Freeman’s other dogs are Izzy, 10, and Luis who is deaf, mostly blind, and turning 17 in the fall.

“The love that they give and the happiness just fills your heart,” she said.

Freeman adds that, while adopting any pet is a lot of work, taking in senior and special needs dogs comes with additional challenges owners should be ready to commit to helping with.

“You have a lot of vet visits, and she’s had two surgeries,” she said. “If you know what you’re getting when you walk in you won’t be surprised.”

One of the biggest things Freeman says she has learned since bring Molly home is patience.

She adds that she’s also found a great deal of support online from other dog owners, and is often stopped by people with questions when out for a walk with the pets.

“Just because an animal has a condition or a disease does not mean that they are not desirable,” said Dr. Durzi. “They can have fantastic lives.”

Freeman says that, no matter the season, Molly has always bene able to adapt keep moving forward.