In the town of Kordaan, Iran, Shadi was found living in the snow nursing her puppies. She appeared to have a missing leg and another that did not work properly. Volunteers from the dog shelter Vafa, brought Shadi and her pups to the indoors where they received food and veterinary care.
After an examination, it was determined that Shadi’s leg deformities were from a birth defect. Her left rear leg was a short stump with a malformed foot pad, and her right leg was nothing more than a long stiff bone without a working knee.
Shadi and her litter of puppies were spayed and neutered. The younger dogs quickly found homes, but Shadi remained unadopted, as “tripod” dogs have a far more difficult time finding someone who can see past their disabilities.
But because Shadi did not seem to want to give up on life, instead smiling, giving away free kisses, and wiggling her crooked body with joy, the volunteers at Vafa knew they would have to send her away to find the home she deserved.
Farah Ravon, a San Jose resident and Vafa volunteer, helped with arrangements for Shadi to fly from Tehran to Toronto, Canada, and from there to a foster home in Virginia.
Sherri Franklin, founder and director of San Francisco’s Muttville, remembers hearing about Shadi: “Farah told me about this older, sweet Shepherd mix girl who had spent her life in an animal shelter in Iran with deformed and missing legs. We knew we could help.”
A Chipin fund was created. People from all over the world learned of Shadi’s story, and their donations made it possible for Shadi to be flown to San Francisco.
When Franklin finally met Shadi she was struck by the dog’s personality: “She is an awesome dog, very sweet and so resilient. The sweetest dog ever, she gets along with everyone and is so joyous despite her disabilities.”
Franklin quickly realized that although Shadi was housetrained, and healthy, movement for her was very difficult. She asked Shelah Barr, founder of Happy Hounds Massage, specializing in rehabilitative and therapeutic massage for small animals, to evaluate Shadi.
With Barr’s help (and a generous donation from a Muttville supporter) a wheeled cart was ordered that was specially designed and built for Shadi. When it arrived, Shadi was gently placed into the cart.
Barr says, “Shadi has deformities where she is not symmetrical. The cart forced her to become aligned and that was a challenge. Her whole life was spent adjusting to her deformities and suddenly she is asked to move like a normal dog.”
Because the cart was weighing too much on one shoulder, it was sent back for revisions which according to Barr, is normal in the process of fitting such a specialized piece of equipment for dogs.
Barr says that Shadi is not a candidate for surgery. She believes that the cart will help Shadi rebuild lost muscle mass which will help prevent further problems as Shadi ages.
Today, Shadi lives with her foster mom Charlotte Petri, in Burlingame. Shadi’s days are spent enjoying short walks with plenty of rest stops; playing with Petri’s 15 year old dog Lucy; and taking long sunbaths on the outside deck.
Petri says, “Shadi loves everyone, dogs and children. She is doing great, a totally sweet and smart dog who is so well behaved, just a wonderful dog.”
Petri says that the perfect home for Shadi would be one with no stairs and lots of carpeting which helps Shadi get traction when walking. Petri adds, “A home with a grassy lawn would be perfect since Shadi loves laying in grass.”
For more information on how you can adopt Shadi contact Muttville at firstname.lastname@example.org.