Ken Pope

A friend in another state contacted us about an old blind and deaf Lab mix who had been left tied outside a shelter, and was scheduled to be put down.

She sounded like a wonderful dog, and on the day before Easter, 2011, we drove to the shelter and brought Ursa to join the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home.

She was our first large animal--none of the other dogs (or cats!) has been over 20 pounds--and we wondered if her 85 pounds might be a little intimidating to the others, but she was such an unfailingly gentle and friendly presence that all welcomed her as family.

Ursa explores the ground outside her new home for the first time:

a large brown lab explore a green field

Here she is nuzzling her friend Persephone, a cognitively impaired cat with a severe seizure disorder:

A large brown dog is nuzzling a little brown cat


Here's a photo of Ursa and Maggie, a Dachshund with a spinal injury, taking a nap together:

A large brown dog is sleeping next to a black Dachshund

Aurora, a cat whose back legs are paralyzed, joins Ursa and Maggie for a snooze:

a large brown dog, a medium black Dachshund, & a small Callico cat sleep nuzzled together

Dharma, a dog with an atypical seizure disorder, and Ursa resting together:

A large brown lab and a little white dog sleep with their heads together

Ursa and her friend, Willow, a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia, nuzzled each other:

A large brown lab and a callico cat nuzzle each other


She was an unexpected 85-pound Easter gift we fell in love with.  Her time with us was short, just a little over 2 and a half years, but she left us with a lifetime's worth of treasured memories.

Here's a link to the family of special needs dogs & cats who live in our home


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