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Dog with weak legs finds joy and wags his tail in his new place!

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Ward, a brave dog, got hit by a car and couldn’t use his back legs. Yet, with some help and a loving mom, he’s getting better.  

Kellyn Murphy’s family from Chattanooga, Tenn., wanted another dog. Maybe an older one or one waiting a while at the shelter. At the McKamey Animal Center, they saw Ward. He was a brown dog who couldn’t move his back legs because of a car accident. 

They had seen Ward earlier at an event and thought, “Let’s say hello.” 

“We met him first and didn’t meet any other dogs,” Murphy tells Daily Paws. “We fell in love with him pretty much right away.” 

After a night to think, they knew: Ward was part of their family. Amazingly, not long after going home with them, Ward began moving his tail and even stood up without his special wheels! This was a big deal because earlier in the year, he was found hurt under a car. 

In January, someone told the animal center about a dog under a car. The team from McKamey went and found Ward. It looked like he got hit and then hid under a parked car.  

” When they got on the scene, it was pretty, pretty clear very quickly that he couldn’t move his back legs or his tail,” said Lauren Mann from the McKamey Animal Center. 

The vet team found out Ward had hurt his spine and couldn’t move his back half. But that didn’t stop him from being the happiest dog around. 

Ward started physical therapy, like water exercises and stretching. At the shelter, the people kept helping him stretch. Mann saw Ward trying to kick his back legs, even in his wheels.  

” It’s just incredible, so physical therapy has definitely changed his life, and I think long-term he’ll be up and walking fully again,” Mann shared. 

On July 11, the Murphy family welcomed Ward. It took him a bit to settle in, but now he’s having a blast with his dog brothers and sisters, Sage, Lilly, and Bucket.  

He loves meal times, playing with Bucket, and snoozing on the sofa with his human family. 

Ward’s new mom, Murphy, who works in physical therapy, has been a big help. She made a frame for him to stand and even uses a special sling to help him walk a bit. Together, they had a special moment: Ward wagged his tail and even stood up and walked a few steps! 

” I think he’s got a lot of potential to keep improving,” Murphy said with hope. 

Taking care of Ward is pretty easy for Murphy. Sure, she helps him with some cleanup since he can’t go to the bathroom on his own, but he makes it worth it with his sweet kisses. 

“He’s a bundle of joy,” Murphy added, smiling. “Taking care of him feels less like work and more like love.” 

Thinking of adopting a dog with special needs? It might take longer for them to find homes. Ward, for example, waited three months. But when he finally found his family, it was a tearful moment for everyone at the shelter. He was one of the 32,000 pets who got adopted during a big event in July. 

Murphy just wanted to make a difference. “We just love dogs, simple as that,” she shared. 

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