There are some things that come into your heart and never leave you. There are some things that show you, that against all odds – love prevails and miracles are real. Kanga and Roo are two of those things.
Kanga and Roo are unique. Unique in their physical appearance, yes – but more importantly: Unique in their happiness. Unique in their enormous personalities. Unique in their unrelenting joy.
Kanga and Roo are biological brother and sister – born to the same litter. Tragically, as a result of imbreeding and overbreeding, these two were born without front legs. After about a year of their breeder attempting to care for these special needs angels, the process proved to be too difficult and eventually, Kanga and Roo were surrendered to a Georgia based rescue called Angels Among Us. For several months, Kanga and Roo sat patiently – quietly waiting for a new family to come and change their fate forever. Someone would surely come, right? But no one was interested. The rescue and their foster parents tried everything, including adoption events, but still, no applications ever came through.
Just when your heart begins to break – two of the kindest, warmest people I’ve ever had the privilege to meet are going to put it back together. Enter Therese and Duc – a pair of once-in-a-lifetime sort of people with hearts bigger than the physical limitations of the human body traditionally tend to hold – who had just recently lost their beloved dogs of 16 years. They discovered Kanga and Roo after finding a post about them online, and saw the sparkle in those sweet, shining eyes. They just knew they had to call them theirs. Therese and Duc had never had special needs dogs before, but they knew they could step up and do whatever it took to give Kanga and Roo the fairytale life that they’d always deserved. After much devoted research on adapting to life with differently abled dogs, they padded all the floors throughout their home so that the two Chihuahuas could wiggle and scoot their way across the soft surfaces to get from place to place. For all of Kanga and Roo’s outdoor adventuring needs, they had special all-terrain wheelchairs custom made. And the coolest part of all? Thanks to a friend of Therese and Duc’s who happened to work with human prosthetics, they had special sweaters made for their bouncy pups out of the same material that amputee patients wear before putting on a prosthetic limb. And remember when I told you that Therese and Duc are some of the most special people I’ve ever met? Well there’s always good reason for a statement of that magnitude: Since then, they’ve begun to offer these special sweaters to dog parents all around the world who might also have two-legged pups with similar needs. They do this completely free of charge.
Therese and Duc traveled up to Boston from Georgia with gorgeous Kanga and Roo for a special Dog Breath photo shoot at the very beginning of Summer. It was almost a year in the planning to organize our schedules and pull it all off, and I had been over the moon with excitement looking forward to our big adventure together. I’ve never felt so honored as I was when that day finally came – to know that I was chosen to capture the enormous legacies of these two incredible little dogs. It was a privilege so absolutely legendary that I find it hard to put into words, but despite that – I will try:
Kanga and Roo showed me their hearts that day. We played and explored through Boston’s gorgeous Public Gardens – treats, peanut butter and laughter flying every which way from our general direction. Kanga and Roo colored the park with joy everywhere they went – brilliant stripes of yellow sunshine being left in their paths as they meandered this way and that in their special wheelchairs. I heard some ‘squees’ to rival my own in volume and expression (which is quite a feat, let me tell you!) as we passed by smiling strangers throughout the afternoon.
Kanga and Roo taught me a lot that day. And in this very moment, as they stood there in that Wonderland of flowers – springing up like technicolor dreams above these two tiny heroes – I realized something:
Love and light know no predetermined shape and size. Happiness doesn’t fit inside a box, andjoy doesn’t discriminate based on physical limitation.
No matter how small. No matter how different. No matter how much extra bravery you feel you need to muster up – Your impact on this world is only measured by the size of your heart.
Because no matter how your journey started, the ending can be anything you dream it to be.