by Heather Marcoux
He arrived on Black Friday, but Prince Kiddo sure didn’t get a good deal. That day, his family surrendered the teenage Miniature Pinscher to a California shelter, looking to have the paralyzed dog euthanized because he couldn’t interact with their kids.
“He has a neurological disorder, and he couldn’t walk with his back legs,” explains Lary Schuette, who—along with his wife, Susan Nelson—would eventually adopt the special needs Min Pin.
Lary and Susan don’t know exactly when or how Prince Kiddo became paralyzed, but his docked ears and tail indicate he likely wasn’t born that way. When he arrived at the shelter, his front legs were very stiff, suggesting he’d been kenneled for some time. By the time FurFriends Animal Rescue in Oregon saved Kiddo from the shelter, it was clear he had very little mobility.
The rescue got him comfortable in foster care—and in a wheelchair—and posted his photo online, seeking a very special home. Across the country in Minnesota, Lary and Susan could see Prince Kiddo would fit right into their family.
The couple know exactly what it takes to care for a paralyzed Min Pin, because they’ve been doing it since December 2015, when they adopted their first Min Pin, Tia Marie, from Midwest Animal Rescue Services.
As Sniff & Barkens previously reported, Tia was paralyzed after she was thrown from a moving car when she was six years old. She was taken in by a couple, but ended up back in rescue when they divorced. Eventually, as a paralyzed senior, Tia found her forever home with Lary and Susan.
The couple have committed themselves to ensuring Tia Marie lives as comfortably as possible, and they take her everywhere with them. The little dog even accompanies Susan into her office during the workweek. When they saw Prince Kiddo online, both Lary and Susan knew they could give him the kind of 24-hour-a-day care most adopters can’t, but getting him out to Minnesota wouldn’t be easy.
“It was a lengthy process,” Lary explains.
“They had to find a connection in Minnesota who could come to our home—” says Susan.
“For the home visit,” Lary adds, finishing his partner’s sentence.
Once FurFriends Animal Rescue was satisfied Susan and Lary would be a good fit for Prince Kiddo, the couple began coordinating with the Min Pin’s foster mom out west. According to Susan, Kiddo’s foster mom loved him dearly, but had to kennel him during her work day and felt he’d be better off in Minnesota.
“She took his favorite blanket and sent it to us, and we took Tia’s favorite blanket and sent it to them,” Lary recalls.
Soon, the couple were flying to Denver—the halfway point between Prince Kiddo’s foster home and forever home—to take custody of their newest family member.
Prince Kiddo fell in love with Lary right away, but didn’t know what to make of his new Min Pin sister, Tia, or the Minnesota weather.
“The first time he saw snow he was trying to lick the snowflakes with such an expression on his face,” Lary recalls.
Over the last several months, Prince Kiddo has gotten used to the climate and his new sibling. Tia Marie’s Facebook page is filled with photos of her new little brother, and Susan and Lary say adding a second paralyzed dog to the household has been worth all the effort.
“He actually requires a little bit more care than she does,” Susan explains, adding that her experience with Tia was invaluable when it came to caring for Kiddo. She’s not surprised that paralyzed Kiddo wasn’t a good fit for a family with active children, but says that should never be a reason for euthanizing a dog.
“He’s still worthy.”
Lary agrees with Susan, and is working hard on Kiddo’s physical therapy, modifying a wheelchair that can be pushed while still providing Kiddo with much needed exercise. According to Lary, what Prince Kiddo lacks in mobility he more than makes up for in personality and perseverance.
“He’s a very compassionate, loyal dog,” he says.
Finally, the dog who was ditched on Black Friday has the compassionate, loyal family he deserves.