One very special reason for making the trip to Taiwan was to meet a very special little girl. Tango is a 2 year old Taiwanese street dog who was rescued by Animals Taiwan and lives with a very dedicated foster carer, and we recently started sponsoring her. Tango was born with a defect in her back legs which meant she could never stand, in fact she dragged great big wounds in her legs and tail and was found on the side of the road in Taoyuan. Initially there was hope that her legs could be saved, but she ultimately had them amputated and uses a wheelchair now. Despite everything, she is always smiling. I was already in love with Tango just from seeing photos and video of her online, but it was nothing compared to meeting her. She is so smart and curious, and she just had to say hello to every other dog at the park. She could drag herself around on the soft grass, but she was zooming when she had her wheels on. She seemed a little shy with me, but that is understandable. We brought her three toys from Australia – a goldfish, a kangaroo, and a pink cupcake that is the same as Posie’s blue one – though she seemed more interested in the lens cap for my camera. Of course, I took a billion photos, but she was so busy that I could barely get one of her smiley little face.
Her foster carer Liza said we were the only ones who had ever taken an interest in Tango, which broke my heart. It kills me that so many people would just see a ‘broken’ dog that was worth giving up on, rather than a gorgeous little creature who is happy and spunky and inquisitive but just happens to have no back legs. I am so grateful that people like Liza and organizations like Animals Taiwan exist at all to help these little creatures. When Rupert got sick and originally had to be hand-fed every night and kept getting pneumonia, lots of people said we should just put him down and get a new dog. Forget all the value and happiness he still has in his little life, his challenges made him disposable in their eyes. Looking after Tango would be harder than a regular dog, but the level of care that I give to P+R already makes both of them ‘harder’ than regular dogs, because I put so much love into them. That doesn’t mean that I don’t yell at them for barking at the mailman or accidentally trip over them at least once a day, but I really do love them… and I am starting to love Tango too, even though I’ve only just met her.
I’m so glad I got to meet her, it really cemented how much I care about her. There is a small but real hope that she might one day get to come and live with us – prospects for her adoption are practically zero, and although it would be hard and expensive, I would love so much to bring her here and give her the pampered life of a treasured companion that P+R get. Looking after (another) disabled dog would be tremendously hard work, but I think we are up for it. We still have so much research to do, about the process, the costs, whether quarantine could care for a disabled dog, what our new daily schedule would look like catering to her needs, whether we could get pet insurance for a dog with no back legs, et cetera. But I really, really, really hope that sometime soon – maybe not this year, maybe not even next year – that she can find her forever home with us.