Ward is an unfortunate dog whose life has been filled with struggles. As a stray dog, he already faced challenges, but his situation worsened when a hit-and-run accident left him paralyzed. The incident left him with severe injuries, particularly to his back legs, rendering him unable to move. Thankfully, kind-hearted individuals arrived just in time to rescue the injured dog, providing him with a chance at a better life. This second opportunity in life has made a remarkable difference in Ward’s life. He now loves wagging his tail, and his presence brings so much joy to those who interact with him.
The story began in early January at the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. They received a call about an injured dog found beneath a vehicle. Ward, a breed of unknown origin, was discovered in a distressed state under a car, covered in dirt and motor oil.Despite his rough condition, Ward’s spirits remained high. The sweet-natured dog, estimated to be around 6 years old, had lost the use of his back legs and tail, as well as bladder control, due to the trauma. His upbeat attitude was admired by the staff at the center, who frequently wished he could wag his tail. “He just had the sweetest demeanor, just wants to be everyone’s friend,” said Lauren Mann, the organization’s director of advancement. “So we always said here that if he could wag his tail, it would be going nonstop.”
With the help of DallasDogRRR, an organization specializing in challenging rescue cases, Ward’s rehabilitation journey began. Quickly, his bright personality won the hearts of those caring for him, and he started getting used to using a wheelchair to move around.
“He has a really sweet face, and it didn’t matter what was going on with him, he just always was happy to see you,” Mann said. “When he could start to pull himself up, he would do little happy taps with his front feet and always was giving kisses and just would verbally become super excited whenever he saw his favorite people.”
Ward’s progress continued as he received physical therapy sessions, including underwater exercises in a hydrotherapy tank. He went from being unable to stand to briefly standing on his own and attempting to use his back legs while in his wheelchair.
In July, Ward found his forever family during an adoption event. Kellyn and Matt Murphy, a Chattanooga couple, instantly connected with him. Ward’s joyful presence and compatibility with their other dogs convinced them that he was the right addition to their family.
“He looked so happy to be out in the lobby and meeting people and moving around, and I mean, he really is just the sweetest dog,” she says. “He came right over to us to let us pet him, and he gets along great with other dogs and fits right in with ours.”
Kellyn is a physical therapy assistant, and she has been actively aiding Ward’s recovery. She created a standing frame for him to practice supporting his hind legs and used a sling to assist his mobility. It can be said that the couple’s dedication to his recovery has resulted in touching achievements, like seeing Ward wag his tail for the first time.
“He’ll do it every now and then, but it’s getting more frequent, and I’ve noticed since his legs are getting a little stronger and he’s wagging his tail a little more often, we’re not having to express his bladder as much either,” Kellyn says. “So he just overall, I think, is getting stronger.”
The tail-wagging moment brought tears of joy to both the Murphys and the McKamey staff. Ward’s progress also became evident through his increased strength and bladder control. As he grows more comfortable in his new home, Ward’s attachment to his family and their dogs continues to deepen.
If you love Ward, like and share his story. For more amazing stories about the animal kingdom, visit our homepage now!