Paralyzed Dog Thrown From Car As A Puppy Has The Best Life Now
“I've raised a lot of dogs in my life but he is really the smartest, happiest dog I've ever known."
Driving down a road in the northern part of Israel, a woman spotted something unexpected flying out of the window of the car ahead of her: a tiny, brown puppy.
In the ongoing flow of traffic, the puppy was hit multiple times by several cars before the woman could get to him and call for help. She called the emergency hotline of Let the Animals Live, a no-kill rescue based in Tel Aviv, which took the injured puppy in.
“When he came to us he was terrified and scared,” Shevach Appel, spokesperson for the shelter, told The Dodo. “He'd flinch whenever anyone held out their hand to pet him. He was very sore and sad.”
Later named Ben-Ben by rescuers, the puppy was examined by veterinarians who determined his back legs were fully paralyzed from being hit by the cars. When he tried to walk, his back legs would drag behind him, so he was fitted for a wheelchair to help him get around — and let him finally run with the other dogs.
While he was now fully mobile after getting the wheelchair, Ben-Ben faced another big challenge as a special needs dog in a shelter. Because the lower half of his body was paralyzed, Ben-Ben couldn’t control when or where he went to the bathroom, which made it hard to find someone to adopt him.
After he spent two years living at the shelter and being passed up by potential families, Noya Nardimon, one of the workers who had looked after Ben-Ben throughout his time there, decided to give him a home for good.
“I remember falling in love with Ben-Ben the minute I saw him and he looked at me with those clever eyes of his,” Nardimon told The Dodo. “Deciding to adopt Ben-Ben was not easy, mainly because of the fact that I have a very close connection with many of the dogs that have been waiting far longer than him. But I knew no one else would be willing to take him home because of his incontinence.”
Nardimon adopted Ben-Ben in 2013, and brought him to a specialist to make sure he was living the most comfortable life. The doctor eventually suggested amputating Ben-Ben’s back legs, in hopes it could allow him to move more freely without the extra weight. He went in for surgery a month later, and has been able to move about much more easily ever since — both in and out of the wheelchair.
Now 6 years old, Ben-Ben is happiest when he’s making a new friend or exploring new places with his rescue mom; they go on walks around their city for hours, and he loves to greet everyone he sees. He also has a 10-year-old dog sister, adopted like him, whom he’s formed an inseparable bond with — he also loves the many special needs cats Nardimon has rescued over the years.
And despite the trauma Ben-Ben experienced as a baby, he doesn’t let anything slow him down — not even stairs, which he’s taught himself to climb in his own special way.
“I've raised a lot of dogs in my life but he is really the smartest, happiest dog I've ever known,” Nardimon said. “He has an endless joy for life, and when you think of everything he's been through, it's truly admirable. No traces of the trauma, no self-pity — he's simply living the moment, being himself and enjoying it all. It's a real life lesson.”