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By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Handicapped dog needs special home

She’s happy and healthy, despite a birth defect that makes it hard for her to walk more than a few steps without toppling.

She has some great toys, including a fuzzy giraffe, a cloth monkey and a stuffed octopus. She loves to chew them, or to roll in soft grass and play with people.

After a good play session, she likes to snuggle or just rest, one ear pointed up and the other flopping.

“She’s still puppy-like,” said Madison Ranche of Homeward Bound Pets, who helps care for the special needs dog.

Cookie suffers from cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition caused by disease or injury suffered by her mother during pregnancy. It means her brain can’t coordinate the movements of her otherwise strong and healthy back legs.

Sometimes she runs halfway across the yard. Other times, she takes two steps and stumbles.

She’s not in pain, and her condition won’t get worse. Her life expectancy is normal. She just needs some extra attention.

For instance, she needs someone to walk her several times a day, sometimes helping her up if she flops over. Patience, love, a home without stairs and a big, obstacle-free yard would help.

Falling down doesn’t seem to hurt her, said Vanessa Humphreys, another member of the Homeward Bound staff. However, it’s important that Cookie be kept away from obstacles that she could fall against, such as the corner of a picnic bench.

She’s sometimes shy of other dogs. Homeward Bound staff think she may have been attacked because of her condition.

She’s interested in cats — maybe a little too interested, in fact — so would probably be best as the only pet in a home.

Cookie came to Homeward Bounds this spring from a larger shelter that couldn’t give her the individual attention she needs.

“She needs a lot of interaction with her owner, Ranche said. “She needs someone willing to give her mental stimulation, even more than other dogs.”

Like all animals Homeward Bound offers for adoption, Cookie has been checked by a vet and given a good report. She is spayed and up-to-date on her shots, and has been microchipped and treated for heartworm and fleas. She is potty trained, as well.

The adoption fee is $150.

Cookie can be seen at the Homeward Bound Shelter, at 10601 S.E. Loop Road near the McMinnville Airport. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, call Homeward Bound at 503-472-0341.



This dog has class, as does Homeward Bound. I hope Cookie goes to a family who deserves her.

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