For one little Cocker Spaniel, life has truly been a series of ups and downs – but this resilient little pup never stops getting up.
Zooey has a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia.
Cats and dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia (CH) have a disorder where the cerebellum of the brain has not fully formed. CH has various causes, including bacterial or viral infections, poisoning, injury, or malnutrition.
Some common symptoms of CH are jerky movement, wobbly or uncoordinated walking, and head bobbing.
While there is no cure for CH, it neither gets better nor worse. A kitten or puppy will learn to compensate for his or her condition and will have a normal lifespan.
Zooey is happy and otherwise healthy. While she is loved, her owner can no longer keep her and Zooey can’t wait to find her forever home.
“Zooey has such strength, courage, and determination,” stated Zooey’s owner, Hae-Jin Kim.
“She’s determined to live the best life that she can, despite her challenges.
She’s so smart and she’s such a little fighter. I like to say that she ‘floats like a Zooeybear and sings like a Zooeybee’!”
Hae-Jin Kim adopted Zooey from a rescue in April 2012. Hae-Jin is no longer able to care for the little dog and the rescue does not currently have any fosters to take Zooey back.
Kim is searching for an experienced home to take care of Zooey and her special needs. She’s hoping beyond hope that someone will read this article and decide to give this resilient dog the home that she deserves.
“I’ve contacted 30 or more rescues and sanctuaries across the nation, either Cocker Spaniel or special needs, to help in her re-homing,” Kim stated.
“I’ve received compassionate responses and many did courtesy postings, but Zooey is still looking for a home.”
Kim thought that she had found a possible home for Zooey at one point. Instead, the resilient little dog was found in critical condition in an animal shelter.
“I found a possible new home for Zooey and let her stay for a trial sleepover of 3 nights,” Kim explained.
“I provided the person with all of Zooey’s belongings and her wheelchair. Then Zooey was found at the animal shelter. The woman claimed that thieves had broken into her car and stolen Zooey , her wheelchair, and her belongings.
Once I found Zooey, I rushed to be with her. The shelter had transported her to a local vet who stabilized her. I then rushed Zooey to the ER. She remained there on 24-hour watch under the loving eye of the overnight staff.”
Minus one tooth that was lost in her trauma, Zooey quickly recovered.
Zooey now has her own Facebook page which includes a chipin page.
“Eddie's Wheels, where I got her the wheelchair, helped fundraise immediately for a new one,” Kim stated.
“I started a chipin to ask friends for help with her ER medical expenses,” Kim explained.
People from across the world responded to help Zooey.
“The Cerebellar Hypoplasia animal community and special needs community have been amazing!” Kim enthused.
“This has been an incredibly emotional time and I couldn't have asked for anything more. They are a very special group with kind hearts.”
Zooey’s incredible spirit has been an inspiration to so many – and Kim hopes that her story will inspire someone to adopt her.
“She is a really special, inspiring, and brave little girl,” Kim stated.
“Every day, she works hard at standing up, but because of her CH, she has little coordination and balance and she wobbles and falls over.
She cannot stand on her own. Yet, she’s determined to not give up. It’s inspirational. Physically, Zooey is completely healthy.
In a nurturing home, she will continue to live a long, healthy life.”
During the first five months that Kim had Zooey, the little Cocker Spaniel was hand-fed. Her ears were held back with a hair tie and Zooey even had her own bib. Zooey’s diet consisted of oatmeal, vita powder, blueberries, pumpkin puree, plain yogurt, and ground turkey.
“For the past three months, Zooey has learned to feed and drink herself,” Kim enthused.
“She worked very hard at it. I’d enrolled her in physical therapy at a SAGE veterinary and rehab center. They taught me various exercises to help her with weight-bearing and coordination. We even used the underwater treadmill.”
Kim used various methods to help Zooey learn how to navigate the world with CH.
“I came stuck peanut butter to glass doors to show her how to control her head better and without tremors," Kim stated.
Zooey's wheelchair also increased her quality of life.
“In her wheelchair, Zooey is still learning to turn and zoom about. But she’ll master it very soon," Kim stated.
Zooey has a custom quad cart with a headrest that Kim calls “Zooey’s Cadillac.”
“It was pricey, but worth its weight in gold, because she became mobile.
“She loves her wheelchair so much that she prefers to take naps in it instead of lying on her side. If she comes to a bump, she just keeps ramming into it until her wheels finally fly over it.”
“She is so very special – anybody who meets her falls in love with her,” Kim stated.
Kim only hopes that one special someone will fall in love with Zooey to give her a forever home.
Are you the person for Zooey?
If you think that Zooey sounds like she would be a good fit for your family, please e-mail Hae-Jin Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you can't open your heart and home to this special CH dog, please help share the word about this commonly misunderstood condition.
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