On December 1st, 2013 in Gloucester, MA, sweet Ivy the French Bulldog came into the world. Not too long after she was born, she was adopted by Maureen and Chris Harrington as Chris’s 30th birthday present. When she was first adopted, they never expected the kind of love and happiness that Ivy would bring into their lives, and the incredible lessons that she would soon teach them.
On Ivy’s third birthday, Maureen and Chris woke up in the middle of the night to Ivy in a lot of pain. Very concerned for their pup, they brought her over to an emergency vet to have her looked at to find out what the issue was. Ivy’s veterinarians were so good with her — they examined her, ran tests, and finally discovered that Ivy was suffering from what was known as Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). IVDD occurs when the discs that are between the vertebrae in the spinal column are displaced and push into the spinal cord, which ultimately caused Ivy to become paralyzed in both of her hind legs.
While Ivy’s parents were heartbroken by the news for their sweet pup, they did everything they could to allow her to continue being the goofy, happy, and energetic puppy they always knew. They tried a variety of recommended treatments, from water therapy to acupuncture and laser therapy, but soon came to realize that Ivy never lost her spunk or let her disease get in the way of living her best life. She took the challenges of her paralysis by the horns and gained strength in her front legs to pull herself everywhere. She also received a wheelchair from Eddie’s Wheels for Pets, which continues to allow her to move and play just like she always did before.
While her story was shared through Instagram to keep friends and family in the loop of Ivy’s healing process, many more people began coming to her page for inspiration. Maureen and Chris quickly learned that Ivy’s story needed to be shared with the world, especially for young children. That is what sparked the creation of the inspirational kid’s book “Ivy the Very Determined Dog.” Ivy shows children with physical disabilities and other circumstances that make them feel different that they aren’t any different than everyone else — and that they can do anything and everything that they set their mind to as long as they believe in themselves.
Now six years old, Ivy is happier than ever and continues to inspire those around the world. If you have someone in your life who could use some positivity and hopefulness from a setback or hard time they have experienced, we recommend giving our inspirational kid’s book a read. We also do in-person readings of our book where attendees are able to meet Ivy and feel the joy and pawsitivity she brings into people’s lives. If you have any further questions about Ivy or would like more information about the book or in-person events, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!