It’s not always easy to bring a dog with no nose, no tail, and one missing limb out in public.
Sadly, most people stare at the pup, whose name is Bonnie the Brave. People have even told her mom to “get that thing away from me,” and some even go so far as to try and kick her. But for Kate, Bonnie’s adoptive mom, every trip outside is an opportunity to educate and remove the stigma around animals who look a little different.
Bonnie is now a pampered dog who lives with Kate in Canterbury, England, but her origin story is one of pain and redemption. She was found in a factory in Romania when she was just a few weeks old. A worker had seen a mother dog with some puppies and had even posted their picture online in hopes of finding them forever homes, but days later, Bonnie was hit by a coal train and was badly injured. A few days passed before the worker and her daughter found the wounded pup and her siblings and brought them to a vet to be examined.
The vets were not optimistic about Bonnie’s chances of survival. Not only was she missing most of her snout, her tail, and half of her leg, but she was also bullied by the other dogs because she was so weak.
Her rescuers were told to euthanize the pup, but they refused to believe no one could love a “damaged” animal. While they couldn’t adopt her themselves, they brought Bonnie to Beacon Animal Rescue, where Rebecca took over trying to find her a home in the U.K.
Kate remembers the moment she first saw Bonnie’s picture on the Beacon Animal Rescue website.
“The owner of the rescue, Rebecca, showed me, ‘we just found this poor baby,'” Kate recalled. “I fell in love, knew no one would want her because of how she looked, and people would think she would need specialist and ongoing medical treatment which would put them off.”
She decided on the spot to adopt Bonnie. They attempted to get her a prosthesis for her missing paw, but it never quite fit right and caused the dog so much pain that they opted to have the rest of her limb amputated. Ever since then, Bonnie has been getting around just fine and can eat, drink, and function just like any other dog. The only difference is her appearance, which Kate hopes will serve as an educational tool to promote the acceptance of differences.
While Kate could opt for corrective surgery to repair Bonnie’s nose, they decided she’d already been through enough pain in her life. Since it’s not medically necessary and the dog isn’t in any pain, they embraced her beautiful face just as it is. Unfortunately, strangers aren’t always so accepting.
“People’s responses to Bonnie — staring. They say things like: ‘Get that thing away from me,’ ‘your dog is ugly,’ people even tried to kick her. ‘Get your dog away from mine, it’s snarling.’ One of the most common things people say, when I say I have a dog with no nose: ‘but how does she smell?… bloody awful.”
As always, with the bitter comes the sweet. Bonnie’s story has attracted attention online, and she now receives messages of support from all over the world.
“She also gets lots of love, people are inquisitive and want to know what happened,” Kate said. “She has been recognized from social media and people have taken selfies with her, loved across the world on social media — following online — overwhelming. People have sent her gifts, and write beautiful messages.”
Kate hopes that seeing Bonnie living a happy life will encourage others to adopt all kinds of dogs. After all, just look at how much Bonnie has thrived in a loving home! She’s not damaged; she’s just different — and that’s OK!
Share Bonnie’s story with others, and please consider adopting the next time you want to expand your family.
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