The "happiest little dog" doesn't let her health get in her way.
Sassy wasn't expected to live past her third birthday. She's a pure bred pit bull, but because of inbreeding, she suffers from canine dwarfism. At about a quarter of the size of a healthy adult pit bull, she's had to learn to live with twisted forelegs, hip dysplasia, and flipper-like feet. To add to her health issues, her tongue is also too big for her mouth which makes breathing difficult.
But that long list of ailments hasn't kept her from living a full life. She was dropped off at an animal shelter by a "backyard breeder" that couldn't care for her or sell her. It's likely she would have been euthanized, as many "hard to adopt" shelter animals are, but someone from animal control stepped in to save her life. Forgotten Friends of Long Island is an animal rescue group that frequently takes in animals who need extra attention and care. They refused to give up on Sassy.
No one expected Sassy to live long, but they did everything they could to find her the perfect home. They set up a Facebook page, and people from all over expressed interest in adopting her. But the lucky adopter ended up being Ernie Altamirano, a resident of Long Island who already had two rescue dogs with special needs. He told The Dodo:
"She's so sweet. You can't not love this dog. She's just the happiest little girl."
Now settled into her new home, Sassy is enjoying life with her new dad and siblings. She faces daily challenges, but Altamirano is committed to her care. He often has to carry her from place to place or push her in a stroller because her twisted limbs make moving painful.
"They were going to try and straighten her legs, but she has flipper feet. She kind of walks on her forearms, and her feet are really just 'there.' They're underdeveloped. So if they straighten her legs, she's just going to be walking on the ends of bone because these feet don't do anything."
But the dog that wasn't expected to live past three yeas old just celebrated her fourth birthday. According to Altamirano, she's still fast when she wants to be and loves playing with the big dogs at the dog park. He says;
"She's got a lot of problems. But she's totally smart, and she has no idea any of these things are going on."
You can keep up with Sassy's life by following her Facebook page.
What do you think about Sassy? Let us know in the comments.
All images via Facebook/ Sassy-The Small Wonder
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