It’s no secret that we love our canine friends. In the US alone, there are about 78 million pet dogs. We’re especially enamored with dogs that overcome daunting disabilities to lead happy, fulfilling lives and inspire the world with their resiliency and spunk. The five dogs on our list haven’t let life’s hard knocks stand in the way of stardom.
Marnie the Lopsided Shih Tzu
Marnie might be the most famous dog on the internet, with a host of celebrity friends and fans like Jonah Hill and Miley Cyrus. But life wasn’t always so rosy for the 12-year-old Shih Tzu. Marnie’s former name was Stinky, and she was living a life of dejection in a Connecticut shelter. Luckily, Marnie was adopted and moved on to a posh life in New York City. She had fourteen decaying teeth removed, and though she had previously been diagnosed as blind in one eye, her vision gradually improved with proper care. Her signature features are her head tilt, likely caused by Vestibular Syndrome, and her extra-long tongue, which protrudes most of the time. Her sweet spirit and grateful nature resonate with her nearly two million Instagram followers. Her book, Marnie the Dog: I’m a Book, launched in 2015.
Tuna the Chiweenie
You might recognize Tuna the Chiweenie from his internet alter-ego, “Phteven.” The Phteven meme went viral in 2011, featuring a profile view of Tuna with his severe overbite and recessed jaw line. The distinctive face of this Chihuahua-Dachshund crossbreed is likely a result of inbreeding due to a backyard breeding operation. He was abandoned on a San Diego highway by his original owner at just four months old, and his anxiety was so severe that he moved around by crawling on his belly. He was adopted by Courtney Dasher, and soon after, rocketed to internet super-stardom. He now has millions of followers on his various social media channels, and uses his fame to raise awareness about pet adoption, as well as to raise funds for rescue organizations. Tuna also has his own book, Tuna Melts My Heart: The Underdog with the Overbite.
Tumbles the Two-Legged Puppy
Tumbles is a beagle-terrier mix born without front legs. Due to his limitations, he had to be bottle fed as a newborn, and his family relinquished him to Friends of the Shelter Dogs in Ohio so he could receive specialized care. When the shelter shared photos of Tumbles on social media, a supporter was inspired to design a 3D-printed wheelchair for the pup. With help from the Ohio University Innovation Center, mobility for Tumbles became a reality. He continues to inspire others with his resilient spirit as he undergoes physical therapy.
Pooh the Tripod
When an ATV accident cost Georgia teen Sam Sartain part of his right leg, things were looking pretty grim. That is, until Sam found a kindred spirit in a Dachshund mix named Pooh. Pooh had lost his right rear leg in a car accident, and was living in a Florida rescue organization. Sam’s family sensed that the dog would be the perfect companion, and adopted him. Sam and Pooh became fast friends as they fought through the healing process together. With Pooh as his inspiration, Sam is working intensely with a physical therapist in the hopes of being able to return to baseball and other athletics.
Pig the Short-Spined Dog
Pig started life as a hero. She and her littermates were abandoned in the Georgia woods, and Pig barked until the pups were all rescued. Pig has an extremely rare condition, Short Spine Syndrome. She is missing several ribs and part of her spine, and her hips and the remainder of her spine are deformed, giving her a short, pig-like appearance. Animal rescue activist Kim Dillenbeck adopted the dog and set about giving her the best possible life. Pig requires special care, especially with feeding, as her organs are crowded due to her build. Pig enjoys life just like any other dog, and inspired her owner to create Pig’s Foundation to encourage animal foster care.
Your dog might not have his own entourage, but you can still treat him like a star. Feel good about pampering your pooch with all-natural Wapiti Labs products, like our Elk Antler Chews. Our dietary supplements provide health support for your dog through all stages of life.