German Shepherd Puppy With Swimmer’s Syndrome Teaches Herself To Run

“They were told she’d never walk but this determined German shepherd puppy taught herself to run”

She was born with a disability called swimmer’s syndrome, which prevented her from being able to walk. But the little German shepherd puppy that would be named Starfish was determined to run. And, one day she did.

Starfish was born with swimmer’s syndrome. Swimmer’s syndrome, “also known as swimming-puppy syndrome, flat-puppy syndrome, swimmer puppy syndrome, twisted legs, or turtle pup, is an uncommon developmental deformity of newborn dogs and cats whereby the limbs, primarily the hind limbs, are splayed laterally resulting in an inability to stand or walk.”

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But, From the very beginning Starfish was special. She was found abandoned in a beer box. Fortunately, she was picked up by a woman who realized something wasn’t right and immediately took her to an animal shelter.

Fearing that Starfish was suffering from many internal disabilities, the shelter planned to humanely euthanize her. They were ready, needle in hand when a man named John saw something special in the German shepherd puppy and decided to get a second opinion.

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That was when the shelter was told that she had swimmer’s syndrome. It was a serious disability but was survivable. Seeing something special in Starfish, they decided to do what it would take to try to help her and placed her with a willing foster family to commit for two days.

At her foster family, their daughter Maggie quickly bonded with the puppy and never left her side. She was determined to help the puppy and didn’t want to give her up. So, she wrote a letter to her parents letting them know she was running away with the puppy. Of course, they couldn’t give her up after that.

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Starfish began physical therapy with Maggie by her side. The determined puppy began to make strides and Maggie helped her learn to walk and crawl with her help. She started water therapy and obstacle course training, and each day, Starfish was getting stronger.

Soon the puppy was strong enough to begin walking on her own. Then one day she was strong enough to walk. There was no stopping her now. The first time she was strong enough, she never stopped trying to walk.

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And walk she did. Until one day, she could run. Starfish never gave up. The puppy that was going to be euthanized was determined to beat the odds against her and she did. Of course, she also stayed with her foster family who cherish her every day.

Maggie and Starfish are best friends. Because of Maggie, Starfish grew and got better, day by day. Now the two of them are inseparable. Maggie sees how the determination in Starfish changed her life and says watching her overcome her disabilities “is the best feeling in the world.”

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We hope you enjoyed the story of this super determined puppy who is teaching the world to never give up. And teaches us to never give up helping each other. As always, please feel free to share it with your friends.

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