Special Needs Dogs

Special Needs Dogs

Different is Beautiful!

Guest blogger: Lauren Kramer-Theuerkauf

Hope Theuerkauf_002

My husband, Matt, knows that I have a huge heart when it comes to animals.  What he did not know was that we were both about to fall in love with adopting special needs dogs.

I discovered Penny on petfinder.com.  She is a gorgeous Chiweenie that was born with a severe overbite and a deformed front paw causing her to be a tripawd.  We were very nervous on the day of Penny’s home visit.  Questions swirled in our minds.  Would we be able to care for a three-legged dog?  Would she need any special accommodations?  But, as soon as Penny hopped into the room, she stole my heart.

After meeting the rest of the pack, Penny did a grand leap right onto our couch.  We were stunned and embarrassed for having such silly preconceived notions about Penny’s “special needs.”  A few weeks later, she managed to scale our three foot pet gate…twice!  Penny is also starring in her first children’s book, Priceless Penny, that chronicles her amazing adoption journey from a solo stray in California to a pampered pooch in Illinois  (www.pricelesspennyp.com).

Two years later, I came across the Dachshund Rescue North America website and was completely smitten by Hope.  She is a double dapple miniature Dachshund that was the product of backyard breeding.  Hope was born without eyes and is completely deaf.  Her former “owner” surrendered her to DRNA with a choke chain around her neck. Matt was extremely hesitant about adopting Hope.  “How in the world can she function if she can’t see or hear?” he asked.  We were about to find out.

When Hope arrived, we watched in amazement as she followed her nose to get her bearings.  She then navigated her way over to Matt and stood on his shoe.  We discovered that this is her special signal that she wants to be picked up and given kisses. I will admit the first week was very rough.  Watching Hope run into the walls and furniture was simply heartbreaking.  Yet, she never made a sound.  She simply took a step back and tried again.

One week was all it took and Hope was running down the hall, racing to beat her fur siblings to the water bowl in the kitchen.  She can now climb stairs, open the bedroom closet doors with her nose and jump onto the furniture!  Hope has even garnered almost 2,000 followers on Instagram (@havinghopealways) and has been called an inspiration by all who meet her.  Even after all that she has been through; she loves to meet new people and cover them in kisses.

Matt and I love to attend pet events and often have Penny and Hope in tow.  We wish to show the world that special needs dogs are truly amazing creatures that deserve to be adopted, loved and treasured.  To quote Penny’s moto:  Different is beautiful! 


Guest blogger: Lauren Kramer-Theuerkauf lives in Freeburg, Illinois with her husband, Matthew and their beautiful fur babies.  She has a passion for rescuing animals in need and giving them the second chance they deserve. Lauren is the proud owner of Theuerkauf’s Tails, LLC http://www.theuerkaufstails.com/.

This entry was posted in Anxiety, Chondrodystrophic, Dog Back Pain, Exercise your dog, Featured Post, handicapped pets, health and wellbeing, IVDD Information, paralyzed dog, STRESS, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Diane Fancett
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    So glad you can share the awesomeness of special needs pups

  2. Jan Grzywacz
    Posted February 7, 2016 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Would you ever consider traveling to Ontario CA (Woodstock) to share your story at a one day Weinerfest. Linda Collier organizes this event every June. This year it’s June 25th. She is on FB at Weinerfest county home or by her name. I know it’s far but you have such a great cause to talk about and we would love to meet Penny and Hope. I live in northern MI and really enjoyed my 1st visit last year. We stay at a nice pet friendly hotel and make friend also. If it’s not to far please check it out. You will have your own shaded area. Thank you. Love your FB page.

    • Posted February 7, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jan,

      I have been to Wienerfest in Toronto a few years ago! It was the very first and the only Weinerfest I have been to. I know Linda Collier.
      She is offering a great service to the world of dachshunds and their owners. I will consider it again in the future when the timing works
      well. It’s such a fun day and there is so much information and education available!!! Thank you for writing in! Lisa Luckenbach

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.