Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Disabled dog rushes to greet airman owner upon his return from Afghanistan

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 1st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A video that has gone viral online shows how devotion can overcome disability. Pit bull Emma suffers from a bone-wasting disease that has greatly impacted her legs and mobility. That didn't stop her from jumping up to greet her airman owner, back from his tour of duty in Afghanistan. It's sure to bring a tear or two.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Emma is one of three dogs that belong to Melissa Swanson and her husband, an airman recently finished with his six-month stretch in Afghanistan.

In the video, the two other dogs Mikey and Jesse, race to greet their owner. Emma is left trailing in third place. This doesn't prevent her from moving as quickly as she can with only her front paws to propel her.

Emma's front legs are bowed out and her hind legs are essentially useless. Suffering from a congenital vertebrae anomaly called hemivertebrae, the condition is similar to cerebral palsy.

Emma at first struggles to get a look-in as the other able-bodied dogs muscle her out of the way for their owner's attention. She still makes it to the front door and is determined not to be left out of the welcome home celebrations. She even earns a lift and a cuddle from her owners for all her hard work.

"Emma and her daddy were very close! It broke her heart when he left," Melissa writes. "When I come in the door, she normally sits at the end of the hallway and waits for me to pick her up. This time, when her daddy came in, she went to him! Mikey (the tan dog) was so happy he cried! Gotta love homecomings!"

The couple are long-term foster parents for SNARR, which stands for Special Needs Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Emma hasn't yet found a doggy wheelchair that she is comfortable with due to her front legs not being powerful enough to help carry her weight. The couple are hopeful that will change in the near future.

Under the terms of Emma's adoption, Melissa and her husband can keep her for life with SNARR promising to pay for her ongoing medical bills which can be expensive.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)