For the past 22 years, the Los Angeles Race Course in Southern California has been the site of the annual Wiener National Races. It is a place where talented dachshunds sprint to the finish line. The annual event draws in just over 90 competing canines from around the area and has over 10,000 fans!
But this year, is truly inspirational. One very special contestant named Lady Bug...aka "The Bug" not only had tails wagging and dogs barking... but the crowd cheering! Many underestimated the small pup, but forgot about her drive!
Her Story is Not a Happy One
On New Years Eve in 2014, the poor pup was sadly dumped at a shelter in riverside, California. She was sadly given up because she was unable to walk and scheduled to be put down. However, the kind hearted staff at Los Angeles Dachshund Rescue gave her a second chance at life.
She was taken to see a neurologist who, sadly deemed her unfit for a medical procedure because she couldn't feel her legs. Fortunately, the rescue didn't give up. Instead she was placed in a foster home for four months, and then brought to California Animal Rehabilitation for consult.
And a Miracle Happened!
The puppy's exams indicated that she would be able to walk again! So she remained at the CARE center and endured a rigorous rehab schedule, consisting of acupuncture, underwater treadmill, and even physical therapy.
During this time, she also found a forever home!
It was actually the CARE veterinarian who treated Lady Bug, Dr. Deanna O'Neil. She also started Lady Bug's training for the big race!
Dr. O'Neil stated, "I wasn't worried about her before the race. I knew there were two options. One, she would stop and not do it, or she would do what she did and figure out a way to get it done [...] I knew she would never give up. All I wanted was to make sure she would cross the finish line and that is exactly what she did."
On Saturday, July 22nd of 2017, Lady Bug ran the entire 50-yard distance race on her own and in 45 seconds!
"It was wonderful and so much fun getting out and talking about animal rehabilitation which I am passionate about," Dr. O'Neil told PEOPLE. "The main thing is to never give up. Never give up on these animals because their hearts are in it. All they want to do is make their owners happy, so if you're heart is in it also, you can make it happen. That is why these rescues are so special. As long as they have encouragement they can do it. "
We Couldn't agree more! Way to go Lady Bug, You're truly an inspiration!
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