During my morning walks in my New Jersey neighborhood, I regularly observe a woman pushing a baby carriage. This is Donna Scardelli walking her special needs dog Teddy, who cannot walk very far because he has Canine Cushing’s disease.
Canine Cushing’s disease is a painful and debilitating condition some dogs suffer. When Donna decided to adopt a dog from The Last Resort Animal Rescue in Hewitt, New Jersey, she was unaware of Teddy’s condition. When Teddy was diagnosed with Cushing’s, Donna became his nurturing caregiver.
I knew I had to speak with Donna Scardelli to learn more and capture the unique relationship she has with her little dog in a photoshoot.
A Conversation With Donna About Her Little Special Needs Dog Teddy
LF: Donna, tell me about yourself
DS: I have lived in Jefferson Township, New Jersey for 28 years. I was an art teacher. I have three children, four grandchildren and Teddy!
LF: Have you always owned a dog?
DS: Yes. My other dogs were Bee Gee and Mugsy. Bee Gee was a Border Collie who hated being in the house. Mugsy was a Affenpinsher /Pug mix I rescued from a hoarding situation. They were complete opposites! One with lots of energy and the other with a cat like personality. They were both very precious and dear to our family.
LF: What breed of dog is Teddy and how old is he? How did you come to own him?
LF: Has Teddy always been ill?
DS: I think yes. He never had the stamina to walk far or even to pick himself up. His stomach would bloat.
Cushing’s disease affects the liver. At times he is very uncomfortable and bloated.
LF: Why did you decide to start walking Teddy in a baby stroller?
DS: The baby stroller is ideal because Teddy cannot walk very far.
Also, by the time I got him at three years old, he was not leashed trained yet very stubborn. He loves going in the stroller!
LF: What advice do you have for someone with a special needs dog?
DS: Be patient and pay the vet bills off slowly so they don’t take a big chunk out of your monthly expenses.
It’s so worth it though. Teddy has come a long way since I adopted him and he is doing very well!
“Be patient with your special needs dog. It is so rewarding“
LF: How did you feel about the photo shoot with Your Best Friend Pet Photography?
DS: Oh, I think it was great! I had a lot of fun and I couldn’t wait to see what the final pictures looked like!
Teddy is a very important part of my life and I love having beautiful photos that capture our unique relationship.
LF: How did you like the images that were taken? Which did you chose and why?
DS: i chose the image of Teddy and I together on the patio lounge chair. I love how Lisa captured the relationship between Teddy and I in the images. Going for a daily walk is both our favorite things!
LF: Is there anything else you’d like to add to conclude our interview today?
DS: I would say having adopted an adult dog that it has taken him a long time to adapt to everything. At first, Teddy would not let me touch him let alone pick him up.
Be patient with your animals. They will come around and it will be so rewarding.
” I Love how Lisa captured the relationship between Teddy and I”
Do You Know a Special Needs Dog in Your Neighborhood?
Have you discovered what the story is between that dog and the person who nurtures that pet? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading this blog article!