*No one wants to be discarded like trash. Not even an animal. So when a puppy named Zeus was dropped off at a shelter because his previous owners said, “we don’t want a damaged dog,” he was no doubt, depressed.
Zeus was almost completely paralyzed when he was taken in as a foster by Lynda Kuether, shortly after he was rescued from a high-kill shelter in Oklahoma.
“He was terribly emaciated and only able to lift his head and wag his tail,” Kuether says. “He had to be fed and given water by syringe.”
Kuether, who lives in Carbondale, Illinois, with her wife Jennifer LeDuc and a bunch of cats and dogs, had been told by a veterinarian that Zeus’ paralysis was probably due to a virus. But the vet didn’t recommend dispositive diagnostic tests because the treatment would be the same: antibiotics, steroids and lots of physical therapy, and there was no guarantee the dog’s mobility would improve.
So Kuether set goals for Zeus that didn’t seem so modest at the time.
“My deepest hope was that he would eventually be ‘normal,'” says Kuether. “That he would be able to walk and run, climb stairs, climb on and off furniture, get in and out of the car, learn basic obedience commands and have a family that would love him forever.”
Zeus still needs steroids and therapy, but thanks to the two devoted women who had the patience to work with him each day – by teaching him to use his legs via swimming, and training him on a specially made wheelchair, he has learned to do everything Lynda set goals for him to do.
Kuether even marveled at the dog’s first time standing up to pee!
One of her great joys, now, is watching Zeus demand snacks!
“He sits in the living room waiting for one of his mothers to finish her breakfast cereal so he can have his cereal milk,” says Kuether. “Then he usually begs to go back down to bed.”
When local media wrote last year about Zeus’ progress — he became something of a celebrity in southern Illinois — he was still on the market for just the right forever family who’d appreciate his stubborn, determined, goofy, resilient and loving canine character.
But earlier this year, it finally became clear that Kuether, LeDuc, and their expanded menagerie of animals are that family.
“My wife and I have officially adopted him,” she says. “We worried he’d never walk. But never did we worry that we had made a mistake in giving him a second chance.”
Watch the loving story of Zeus’ rehabilitation directly below. And visit Huffington Post to read the true end to this wonderful story.