You never know when your big break will come, and for a pit bull puppy named Cole, it hit just as life was at rock bottom.
Born without front legs, the 6-week-old couldn't get adopted from the animal shelter in Foster, Illinois that rescued him, and was about to be euthanized when a young couple in Chicago gave him a second chance. Six months ago, Kimberly Boshold and her boyfriend fostered Cole, then going as Rex, for a couple weeks... and ended up adopting him. They hooked him up with a wheelchair fitted for his legs, and soon thereafter, they made him a star… on Instagram.
Like many celebrities, Rex needed a good stage name. Hence, he became Cole.
"It's wonderful how much attention he is getting because it's helping to raise awareness for dogs like him who normally would be "put down" in shelters, due to the fact they are differently-abled," Kimberly tells the Good News blog. "There has been an amazing outpouring of love and support for him, it's truly incredible."
Kimberly first saw Cole's photo on Facebook, and felt in her gut she was "supposed to care for him." After getting the go-ahead from her boyfriend, the couple brought the dog into their home and immediately fell in love. He also bonded with the couple's other dog, Keke.
Next, it was time to get Cole moving. Kimberly and her boyfriend put him into hydrotherapy lessons to strengthen his back legs, ease his spine and get him exercising. They purchased his new wheelchair from a company known as Eddie's Wheels, which provides equipment for handicapped pets, and got him walking again.
"It was so amazing to watch him play and walk around with his cousins and sister, just like them," Kimberly says. "On a daily basis, he is in it about one to two hours a day. He prefers to be out of it when he is at home relaxing. When he is with other dogs and people, he really excels while in the cart."
Along the way, Kimberly has been documenting Cole's recovery on Instagram, and the world has taken notice. The photos show his growth and development, various activities, and good times with his family. Kimberly's hope is that the attention will not only demonstrate the joy Cole has brought to her family's life, but also challenge misconceptions about pit bulls and rescue dogs.
"Cole makes every day better," she points out. "He showers us with endless kisses, love, and affection. He inspires us to never give up on anything we do. He makes us smile and focus on the things that truly matter in life."
She adds, "I want to show people that adopting is the way to go, not shopping. There are so many perfect shelter dogs out there that need homes and are forgotten by the public, due to pet stores and breeders. I also want to spread awareness for differently-abled dogs like Cole. To show people that just because they may be missing limbs, it doesn't mean their life should end. They deserve a chance at life and by adopting a differently-abled dog you are giving them that chance. It can be pricey caring for a dog like Cole, but you can't put a price on love. I'd go broke for him ten times over."
More of the Good News:
This Rescue Dog Accomplished Something Most Humans Never Will
Ellen Surprises Two Phenomenal Animal Rescuers with a $100,000 Grant
Rescue Dog Has the Hottest Wheels on the Block!