By Katy Cable. TWR
A 3 min. Read
I just LOVE a "feel-good" story! Something truly uplifting that renews your spirit. I hope this melts your heart as much as it did mine. Get out your tissues...
Meet Lady Bug, a 6 1/2 year old Dachshund who resides in Redondo Beach, California. Lady Bug realized an impossible dream nobody ever saw coming when she was selected to compete with 90 other Dachshunds in the Annual Weinerschnitzel National Weiner races.
HAPPY NEW YEAR…
What's the big deal? Well, life wasn't always a fun day at the races for Lady Bug. On New Year's Eve 2014, Lady Bug, just a tiny, 6 month old puppy was abandoned at the front door of the Riverside Animal Shelter. This little pup was unable to walk properly, dragging her useless hind legs. It was determined she was severely handicapped and was scheduled to be euthanized. Fortunately, Dachshund Rescue of Los Angeles came to her aid. They placed Lady Bug in a loving foster home where she got the love and care she so desperately needed.
Lady Bug was taken to CARE (California Animal Rehabilitation Center where Deanna O'Neil, DVM saw potential. Dr. O'Neil worked tirelessly to help Lady Bug try to regain some use of her hind legs. Using underwater treadmills, weight resistance and a plethora of other exercises, slowly Lady Bug began to gain strength. First it was a few small steps, (think Bambi on the ice) and eventually Lady Bug had full use of her hind legs. Not only could she walk again but she was barreling up and down ramps, stairs and even chasing tennis balls.
All the hard work and dedication paid off. Not only could Lady Bug walk, run, chase balls, play and lead a carefree normal dog's life, she fulfilled a dream that once seemed FAR-FETCHED indeed. Lady Bug was selected out of nearly a thousand entries, to run alongside the "fastest Weiners in the west" and compete for the championship title of SoCal's Top Dog.
Prior to her racing debut, Lady Bug was already a winner! For, not only could she walk again, but she was also adopted. And not by just anyone. Dr. O'Neil, the vet who believed in her all along, made Lady Bug part of her family.
THE MOST ANTICIPATED EVENT ON FOUR STUBBY LEGS…
Every July the Wienerschnitzel Wiener National festivities take place in front of a packed house at the Los Alamitos Race Track. 90 Dachshunds compete in 10 trial heats (50 yards) throughout the evening with winners advancing to the championship race. The winning Dachshund not only takes home the coveted title but $1,000 in cash and a custom Weinerschnitzel dog house.
From the bugler’s call to the post to an official starting gate, the Wienerschnitzel Weiner Nationals features heart-pounding excitement from beginning to end. Throughout this fun family night, dog lovers have plenty of time to meet and greet the evening's stars. The mighty wiener dogs, outfitted in their colorful, numbered racing silks, are on-hand between races in the grandstand area. And they are more than happy to pose for selfies.
The Weiner Nationals is an annual fundraiser benefitting the Seal Beach Animal Care Center, a non-profit group dedicated to finding homes for stray animals in the Orange County area. Since 1996, the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals has helped raised over $240,000 for the Center.
YOU CAN BET ON THIS
It’s been a long time since I was this moved at a race, of any kind! I had tears streaming down my cheeks (more like ugly-cry raccoon eyes!) when Lady Bug came out to the track for a simple practice run. You see, it didn’t matter whether Lady Bug took home the championship title, or finished dead last in her qualifying heat. You can bet on this, watching that little Doxie race across the course full of joy and excitement proved she was already the winning “Top-Dog!” At least she was my book.
There are a few important takeaways that can be learned from this story. First, never underestimate the resilience of a dog! With some love and attention, they can bounce back from incredible hardships and ills. I hope more people take a chance and adopt an older pet or one with a disability. If you can open your heart to one of these special needs dogs, I'm sure you'll be loved and rewarded in ways you never could have imagined.
Dog or no dog, we should all try to take on life with the determination, resilience and "can-do" attitude of Lady Bug. Forget the excuses, the critics, the self-doubt and GO FOR IT! If it seems impossible, just remember little Lady Bug! It doesn’t matter whether or not she holds the title of the "Fastest-Weiner-in-the-West.” One thing's certain, she's come a long, LONG way and she's "The little Doxie with lots of moxie!"
Pugs and Kisses! 😘🐾
About Der Wienerschnitzel: Founded by John Galardi in 1961 with a single hot dog stand in Wilmington, Calif., Der Wienerschnitzel (www.wienerschnitzel.com) is a bona fide pioneer of the quick-service food industry. The world’s largest hot dog chain serves more than 120 million hot dogs annually and is famous for its delicious proprietary chili recipe. Based in Irvine, Calif., Wienerschnitzel operates or franchises 350 stores in 10 states and Guam. It is part of Galardi Group, which is also the parent company of The Hamburger Stand and Tastee Freez LLC