Some dogs are a little bit different. Stevie, a mix-breed rescue pooch, is one of them — she’s blind.
While she can’t see, it hasn’t stopped her from living her best life, thanks to her caring owners. Her courage to overcome obstacles is inspiring others to look beyond limitations, through an uplifting Instagram page as well as a new children's book.
They call her the Wonder Doggo.
Stevie’s owners, Jennifer Broughton and Chris Strickland, have a soft spot for rescuing dogs — they have four dogs to be exact, three are rescues and one is from a breeder.
“It started with just two and then I began fostering dogs for a local rescue,” Broughton said.
Stevie entered the Port Moody couple's lives in May 2018. Broughton and her partner were volunteering at a fundraiser barbecue for CAARE rescue when a breeder came by to surrender a little white mix-breed pup because she had been born blind.
“We immediately offered to foster her,” Broughton said.
No matter how small you feel, you make a big difference in this world! ↟ It was 1 year ago yesterday that Stevie had her surgery to remove her painful eyes! What a difference a year makes. This tiny little girl grew into such a confident and sassy pup! ↟ Some of you may not know her story of why she had her eyes removed. Here’s a short summary for you. She was born blind. Her “breeder” dropped her off the the rescue I foster for. I took her on as a foster and we got her checked out by a specialist. It was found she had congenital glaucoma and they recommended removing her eyes as it was painful. Imagine the amount of pressure she felt in her head! She’s now a happy pup who enjoys life to its fullest ❤️ don’t let her lack of eyeballs make you feel sorry for her. She doesn’t know she’s different, she doesn’t feel sorry for herself.
At that time, Stevie still had her eyes but they were very cloudy and swollen around her eye sockets, which was causing her a great deal of pain. After taking her to a specialist they discovered Stevie was born with congenital glaucoma.
“Due to these facts, along with battling a constant infection, the veterinarian recommended that her eyes be removed to alleviate her pain,” Broughton explained.
“Stevie underwent a bilateral enucleation to remove both of her eyes.”
After a long road to recovery and many vet visits, Stevie healed and began to thrive in her new environment. Broughton said their bond with Stevie was instant, and despite everything she’s been through, she is the sweetest, most loving and cuddly dog.
“Her personality is one of the best things about Stevie, you never really know what kind of day she will have when you get up with her,” Broughton said.
Stevie is nicknamed the Wonder Doggo because she doesn’t let her blindness get in the way of having fun, and she's always up for a challenge.
“She is super playful and full of energy and she goes on plenty of adventures and hikes on a daily basis both on a leash and off,” Broughton said.
“Her ability to overcome her blindness and not allow it to limit her in any way was truly inspiring. Stevie’s ability to continually push forward and overcome obstacles is truly amazing.”
And, her owners aren’t the only ones who think so. Stevie has more than 5,000 followers on Instagram, and her incredible resilience and love for the great outdoors got her noticed by a U.S. author.
The two-year-old pooch is one of four dogs with disabilities that star in a recently published children’s book titled ‘Some Dogs are Different,’ written by Michelle Pendergrass, a writer based in Colorado. As well as Stevie, the book features Peppermint Patty, who is deaf; Habs, who uses wheels to get around, and the author’s own three-legged dog, Murphy.
Some dogs are different. . Almost a year ago @michelleb1973 reached out to me on Instagram because she had a vision! She wanted to write a children’s book that included dogs with disabilities and was following our journey with Stevie. . “I hope that Some Dogs are Different can start conversations between children and adults that our differences don’t matter and we all belong” -Michelle Pendergrass . I was honoured that she found and chose Stevie to be a part of this book and so glad she reached out to us. . Message me for more info on how to get your hands on one of these books! They make an excellent Christmas present or are a great addition to any classroom!
“I hope that Some Dogs are Different can start conversations between children and adults that our differences don’t matter and we all belong,” Pendergrass writes.
Broughton said they were extremely excited when Pendergrass contacted them to ask if she could feature Stevie in her book.
“We could not be more proud of Stevie and the efforts of everyone in putting this book together,” she said.
“The message that the book delivers about looking beyond someone’s disability and overcoming possible limitations that their disability might entail is extremely encouraging.”
When it comes down to owning a pet that may be a little different, Broughton said it was important to follow that message and not to let their disability limit what they can do.
“Every dog deserves an adventure,” she said.
You can follow Stevie’s and her friend’s adventures on Instagram via @stevie_the_wonder_dogo.
Get a copy of the book Some Dogs are Different HERE.