Mikayla Reed pets Pinkie at the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society shelter Thursday afternoon. Pinkie is a feist mix born without eyes. She gets around using sound and smell. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff
February 5, 2018 11:33:56 AM
Pinkie is just like most puppies. She wags her tail, pricks up her ears and loves walks with her humans.
She has no idea she's blind, said Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society director Karen Johnwick, so she doesn't let it slow her down.
"She's just like what a puppy would be like," Johnwick said. "She's just playful and sweet. (She) doesn't realize that she doesn't have eyes."
When Pinkie first arrived at the humane society shelter last month, the little feist mix with a pink nose -- hence her name -- was small, underfed and apparently the only puppy in her litter to have survived. She had been born without eyes.
"It was really sad at first," said Mikayla Reed, who has worked at the shelter about three years. "Because she was sick from being so skinny. But she was just so sweet and still so happy."
Surrendered with several other dogs, Pinkie seemed to get along with them and people. Shelter workers soon learned she got around easily by following sounds. About two weeks after she was surrendered, Johnwick posted pictures of Pinkie on the shelter's Facebook page, along with a short paragraph about the puppy and a hope that she would soon find a happy ending with a good family.
The next day, three people had already filled out applications hoping to adopt her.
"The second that Karen posted her on Facebook, everybody wanted her," Reed said.
It's not uncommon for animals with disabilities to wind up at the humane society shelter, Johnwick said.
"It comes in spurts," she said. "We'll go a year or so and nothing. And then we'll get (a) three-legged and her."
Out of more than 100 dogs at the humane society right now, Pinkie is one of only two with disabilities, along with a senior hound named Hoover who has only three legs. Johnwick said she's had other blind dogs, other dogs missing limbs and dogs that are deaf.
As common as it is for those animals to end up in the humane society, people commonly want to adopt them, Johnwick and Reed both agreed.
"People like a good story," Johnwick said. "... Since I put (Pinkie's story) on Facebook, you saw how many people responded."
Sure enough, within four days, Pinkie's post has more than 250 reactions, and has been shared more than 450 times, as dog lovers tagged one another and other Facebook users asked questions about how she was doing and what her life had been like so far.
Anyone who wants to adopt an animal from the humane society has to fill out an application and be approved. For disabled animals like Pinkie, the process is a little more involved.
"We would want a proper fit, especially since she has a disability," Johnwick said. "We would want her to be an inside dog. It would be great if someone was home most of the time and could spend time with her."
Though the shelter is currently full, Johnwick said she's not going to let Pinkie -- or other dogs with disabilities or special circumstances that mean they require certain types of care -- go home with someone who won't be able to take care of them.
"We're not in a rush," Johnwick said. "We're not trying to just get her out. We'll get her that right fit so that she'll have a forever home. We just want her having that happy ending."
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