When Sue Rogers first met Mick, a 6-week-old Boston terrier with Swimmer Puppy Syndrome, in early July, she wasn't sure he'd ever be able to walk. "I never thought anyone would be able to help him,” Rogers told. “He was just flat as a pancake." But Rogers was determined to get Mick on his feet.
As the founder of the Mia Foundation, a New York-based non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of disabled animals, she knew she had a duty to help the puppy after his struggling breeder sent him her way.
"Most puppies like this are euthanized," Rogers said. "A lot of veterinarians just have the thought process, 'well, there are so many highly adoptable dogs in shelters that could use a home, why not just put this one down?' My philosophy is, if they're born, they certainly deserve a chance to live."
Rogers took Mick to her vet and began to engage the tiny puppy in a therapy routine. She started by swaddling him in a tight blanket to help ease his legs into place.
"I had a little sling, and I'd wrap him up really tight in a baby blanket and carry him around, to put his shoulders and his hips into the proper position," Rogers said. "I had a little harness and put it on him and hooked (it) up (to) a chair, and I'd play with his toys and do massages."
Rogers also taught Mick how to swim: "Each day it got a little stronger, got a little better, and by the last swim therapy session he was like a little frog in the tub. It was cute."
And she taped his legs together in hopes that he would become strong enough to stand.
"It was hard at first, it almost seemed cruel to me," Rogers said. "I'd stand him up and his legs would be really wobbly, but he was standing for a few seconds. And then he would stand for a few minutes, and then all of a sudden, one day he put one foot in front of the other, and he just took off."
Mick received therapy later and continued to gain strength. Mick’s story was a magic and it inspired a lot!