Pani Q & A

Last month marked one year since I officially adopted Pani! In honor of her one year adoptaversary I asked my followers on Instagram to submit their Pani related questions, so here they are with all the answers.

What supplements does Pani take to help her condition? There are some supplements Pani takes occasionally like turmeric (to lower inflammation) and glucosamine (for good joint health), but the only supplements she takes everyday are VegeYeast and VegeDog from Compassion Circle. She also gets MaryRuth’s Organics Probiotics for Dogs in her breakfast every morning. Those are general supplements for good nutrition, and not specific to her condition. We tried lots of other supplements in the beginning to find what worked best for her and luckily she’s in such great health that she doesn’t need much of anything now!

What kinds of medications does Pani take? I am so happy to say – none!! She has some homeopathic remedies she takes (but not actually any at the moment) and the supplements listed above. It’s amazing to see what a healthy diet can do, she used to be on so many medications before I started making her food for her.

What do you feed Pani when traveling or unable to cook for her? Luckily when we travel I’ve been able to still make her food for her. If I’m going somewhere where I’m not sure I’ll have easy access to ingredients for her I’ll pack simple things like oatmeal and canned beans, and then I’ll add any fruits and veggies I have access to once I’m there. Oatmeal is great as a base because it’s easy to make. I often just soak it for her when I don’t have time to cook it and then add the beans and fruits/veggies!

Where do you find recipes to make for her to make sure you’re covering all her nutritional needs? I get all the recipes for Pani’s food from Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Cat’s & Dogs. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen me mention this book before – it is my absolute bible for being a foster mom and now Pani’s mom. It also added years to my dog Cody’s life (you can read more about that here). I truly cannot recommend it enough!!

How did you find out about her? Also what kind of breed is she? At the time Pani came to the US I had already been very involved in fostering with Animal Haven Shelter here in New York City. Since I’d already fostered over 20 dogs I’d worked my way up to fostering some of the more complex cases like senior dogs, super young puppies, blind dogs, deaf dogs, etc. The foster coordinator at the time reached out to me to ask if I was interested in fostering a paralyzed dog who was on her way to Animal Haven from Iran. I said I would so the day after she arrived I went and picked her up at the shelter to foster her. She was my foster dog for several months before I ended up adopting her myself with the help of all my amazing followers and readers who sent in donations for her care and lots of items from her Amazon wish list.

Interesting fact – about a year before I got Pani, Animal Haven had asked me to foster a special needs dog who needed to have her bowels expressed (like Pani does now), and I actually said no because I didn’t think I could handle that. Well look how much can change in a year!! Now I do that for Pani multiple times a day and it’s no big thing!

I’m not sure what breed she is! Maybe a Maltese mix? Lots of people say she looks like a Coton de Tulear too. What do you guys think she is?

Is there a chance that with therapy she may regain the use of her back legs? It’s unlikely that she will regain enough use of her lower body to be able to walk independently again. The main goal of therapy is to prevent muscle wastage/atrophy and to keep her body overall healthy and functioning the best it possibly can given her impairments. However, all that said, there’s always a chance for a miracle! The good thing is that she loves her wheels and is so happy despite her limitations.

Is it more or less of a struggle than what you had imagined? Good question! I’d say now that we’ve got a good routine and I really understand her needs, it’s easier for me than most people would think. Caring for her rarely stresses me out (although I do get a little stressed when we’re traveling and I’m caring for her plus adjusting to a new environment). Overall it’s just so routine now that it feels easy. I will say though, it takes me so much longer to get ready in the morning than it used too!

Favorite snack? Pani looooves food! Everyone gets a kick out of her love for greens, which she really enjoys. If you haven’t seen her eating greens before you can check out some videos here or here. She honestly loves pretty much anything!

Thoughts on attempting fostering again with Pani? I tried fostering once since adopting Pani and unfortunately it did not go well. Pani is so sweet and full of love, but she can also be territorial and she was not ok sharing her new home and new mom with another dog. But I hope that someday when she’s a little older and calmer, we could try another calm dog!

Was it an accident that affected Pani or was she born that way? I don’t know the exact details of what happened to her but she was not born this way, it was definitely an accident. It sounds like she was abused and the abuse left her paralyzed.

Tips on travel? She’s so good on planes and I’d love to travel with our pup. Also, can I hug her? I really lucked out with her when it comes to traveling. She is so, so calm on planes. Probably more calm than anywhere else! Luckily she wears diapers (always, not just for travel) so that makes that aspect of flying easier. I still always express her (that’s how she goes to the bathroom) before getting on the flight so her bladder/bowels are empty. Lots of airports these days now have pet relief areas that you can take your dog to use to go to the bathroom, so that’s very helpful. Also it’s good to take your dog on a longggg walk before so they’re tired and chill on the plane. I always try to do this with Pani before we fly. And then if we have time in the airport we walk around (her in her wheels) to get even more exercise. I also used to give her this Rescue Remedy Natural Stress Relief for Pets before we would travel, but now she’s done it so many times she doesn’t even need it anymore.

And yes she loves hugs! Although if you come up to her on the street (she gets recognized a lot!) she often barks at first when new people approach, but after a few minutes she’s normally ready for a hug.

What company built Pani’s wheelchair? And what was the cost? The company is called Eddie’s Wheels. They are amazing and can make wheels for any kind of animal in need of them. They custom make the wheelchairs to fit the animal’s body perfectly. I don’t know the exact cost of her chair because the shelter bought it for her, but I believe it was around $500.

Where does she get groomed? She gets groomed in my bathroom…by me!! It’s easier than taking her somewhere to be groomed, especially with her special needs, so when I first got her I YouTubed “How to Groom Your Dog” and copied what they do in the videos.

How has Pani adapted to her new life in the US with you? How has she coped with all the changes and new things? Pani loves life here! It took her about 3 weeks to get over the jet lag. Dog jet lag is a real thing! Her sleep schedule was all messed up when she first came here. But now she totally loves city life. She’s coped awesome with all the new changes and really adapted so well. It’s like she was born for life in the big city. You know the common advice you get when you’re first visiting a big city to act confident when you’re walking or else you look like a tourist and people will prey on you? Well I always joke that before she moved here someone must have told her that because Pani walks these streets with SO much confidence and like she always knows where she’s going. She always looks like she knows exactly where she’s headed.

How do you learn proper bladder expression? I’d be interested in adopting a dog with a wheelchair some day but still need to learn that. Aw that’s so awesome! The staff at the rehab facility taught me their techniques for doing it. You can also learn how to do it on YouTube too. It does take a little while to learn the best techniques for you and your dog and to make sure you are able to help them void completely, instead of just partially. Also, anyone with a special needs dog can always feel free to reach out to me about how to do it and I’d be happy to share what works best for Pani and me.

Does Pani realize how adorable she is? 100%!

Is Pani home alone when you go to work? Is she ok totally by herself? Yes she hangs out at home in her crate and she’s totally ok. I work part-time at the hospital, so it’s not too many days a week that she’s alone. And my shifts are weird since it’s a hospital so I still get to spend most daytimes with her.

Love seeing you traveling with her, what are the airline requirements? It’s great to be able to bring her with me when I travel, especially because her care is so involved. Each airline has different requirements so each time I fly an airline I just go on their site and search “traveling with a dog” and follow their instructions. She’s an emotional support dog so that’s how she gets to sit on my lap instead of under the seat in front of me. Each airline also has their own specific instructions and paperwork for emotional support dogs, so you can find that by going to the airline’s website and searching “emotional support dog”.

How has Pani changed you and how has she made your life better? That is such a great question! Well besides all the amazing love and purpose she has brought to my life, one of the biggest changes that I’m really grateful for is being more relaxed about things and accepting life as it comes. This might sound silly, but a great example is with accidents. Having a special needs dog that can’t control when she goes to the bathroom can lead to lots of accidents.

We’ve got it down pretty well now, so the accidents are far and few between, but back in the day it would be super common to wake up to her going to bathroom on herself on my bed (I try to have her sleep on top of these special blankets for incontinent dogs when she’s on my bed), or the couch or rug or wherever you wouldn’t want your dog going to the bathroom. Before I had her I would have been so uptight about this and really gotten stressed out. But now I’m so much more relaxed about it. In having her I really realized that getting mad doesn’t serve me, or anyone else, in these situations. It doesn’t help me, doesn’t help her, and doesn’t change the situation. She may have just sh*t on the bed, but she’s happy and healthy and that’s all that matters. And I’ve learned I can always figure out how to clean everything haha! I feel like I’m a way more relaxed person in this life, and in big part thanks to her.

And then of course she’s taught me so much about perseverance and just living in the moment and finding joy, despite our challenges.

What are those pink boots she wears and why does she need them? Those boots are such a lifesaver! They’re actually dog socks with a coated bottom. She’s made so much progress, and as you can see in videos, her back legs really move in line with her front legs now when she’s in her wheels. But she still can’t quite lift up her back legs enough or properly place them on the ground, so that causes her back legs to drag a bit and they get bloody from the dragging if they aren’t covered. Her socks are called Pawks Dog Socks and I get them here on Amazon.

Her coat always looks so clean and white! What shampoo do you use? She gets that comment a lot! Especially in person people always comment on how soft she is. A big part of that is her super clean diet, but we also love our all natural shampoo. Our current favorite is Earthbath All Natural Pet Shampoo in Lavender. It smells amazing and is gentle on her skin/coat.




Leave a Comment

  1. adri wrote:

    thank you so much for this post and for answering my 2 questions, this blog post was well worth the wait it’s so interesting to get a glimpse into Pani’s and your life together and i believe it will encourage others too to adopt or foster an animal with special needs. i always get a kick out of how much she loves munching on healthy green stuff LOL. Pani is by far the sweetest, cutest, luckiest pup and the greatest fighter ever, and i love following her life and adventures on IG. xx adri

    Posted 8.18.19 Reply
    • Hi Adri! You are so welcome. I’m so, so glad to hear you liked the post. Thank you for all your sweet comments and support. We both really appreciate it! xoxo, Tedi

      Posted 8.19.19 Reply
  2. Leanne wrote:

    I think we could all forgive Pani for not wanting to share her Mumma right now.! Sweet little girl is probably feeling so loved and comfortable in her forever home she’s not ready to risk loosing any part of it ?

    Posted 8.18.19 Reply
    • I think you are so right! Her life is so different now from what it was, can’t blame her for wanting to protect it! xo

      Posted 8.19.19 Reply