So Cute It Almost Hurts, This Special Needs Pup Refuses to Let Misfortunes Slow Her Down

This little pipsqueak entered DuPage County Animal Care and Control last summer when she was found as a stray along a road way. Weighing in at just four pounds she was adorable as all get out. She was also deaf.

Shelters are no place for little munchkins like her, special needs or not, because young puppies and kittens simply don't have the immune systems strong enough to endure them. Arrangements were made for her to go to rescue via PACT Humane Society in Bloomingdale where she could be cared for in a foster home until an adopter could be found. And that would have happened if she and her foster mom didn't bond like crazy glue, leading to what is known in the biz as a "foster failure." Little Miss Ella, as she is know known, was adopted by her foster mom, Stephanie, when she found herself tearing up at the pup's first adoption event at the thought of seeing her go home with someone else. The puppy's looking at Stephanie and crying the whole time seemed to mean the feeling was mutual!

Life with a special needs dog requires a family willing to dedicate themselves to training with those special needs in mind. That would have been challenge enough. (Ella now knows 14 different signs!)  But when that little puppy is then mauled at only 18 weeks old by another dog (a lab!) and almost loses her leg, that family gets extended. (That's when I became an honorary Auntie.)  This little girl sure went through it, as did everyone who cares about her, but watching her Puppy Nature rise above every setback has been a lesson in buoyancy that has kept us laughing and marveling at her resilience (okay, sometimes maybe swearing a little, too, because...puppy).

As full of personality as she is of cute...I now give you Ella. And those casts?  Seriously. The good folks at Lake Street Animal Hospital gave her stellar care (following her emergency surgery at Blue Pearl) and somehow upped her adorability factor in the process! (You may need to scroll a tad for captions beneath vertical shots.)

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