Dogs come in all sizes, shapes and personalities. They also come with different abilities. Tracey Fowler of Mendon, Vermont knows that better than most. The long-time dog lover dedicates her life to rescuing dogs that might otherwise be overlooked. They’re the dogs that have medical conditions, paralysis, or simply need a little extra care. Her pack is named The Fowler Herd, and every day they show the world that life is meant to be lived to the fullest.
With seven dogs, five of them in carts, Tracey’s life isn’t exactly average.
Every day, she cares for her herd’s basic needs and takes time to give each dog individual love and attention. Her dogs range from tiny little Hope fearlessly running in her cart along with the big dogs to the newest member of the herd, a sweet pittie named Lacey.
Every dog in The Fowler Herd has a unique personality, and Tracey dedicates every day to giving them the best lives possible.
Tracey’s pack of special needs dogs didn’t start out so large. Her story began with her beloved Hayden, a German Shepherd that was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. When Hayden became paralyzed, Tracey was faced with a difficult decision. She wanted to help her boy in every way she could, so she decided to try out a cart.
Putting a paralyzed dog in a cart isn’t always an easy process. Some dogs struggle with the concept of having wheels, but according to Tracey, Hayden never slowed down. She says it was like her playful pup had been in a cart his whole life, and his new wheels gave him the freedom to keep on living the life he deserved.
When Hayden passed away, his devastating loss inspired Tracey to keep going. He showed her what’s possible when you take the time and effort to help a dog in need. To honor his memory, Tracey started adopting more dogs with special needs. She felt drawn to rescue dogs that would need extra help to have a good life.
Now five years after Hayden passed away, The Fowler Herd is stronger than ever.
Five of Tracey’s seven dogs need carts to get around, but that doesn’t slow them down.
Every day, Tracey posts videos to Facebook and YouTube of her herd doing what they do best: living life to the fullest. They explore the area around their house and enjoy the freedom to run and play.
When it snows, Tracey replaces her dogs’ wheels with skis. They can move through the snow with ease, and they look adorable doing it. If you’re ever feeling down, watching a video of The Fowler Herd playing in the snow is guaranteed to lift your spirits.
Tracey knows that caring for special needs dogs is exactly what she was meant to do. She says her herd is what makes her happy, and her heart will always be full of happy dogs in carts.
Do you have a soft spot for special needs dogs? Read this story next!