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All About Ivy

The bravest (and cutest!) French Bulldog you will ever meet.

Ivy is a sweet French Bulldog who was diagnosed with a disease that left her back legs paralyzed called Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Although she had to make some adjustments to her new way of living, she never let that hold her back from living her life to the fullest! Ivy continues to show children and adults alike that although life comes with setbacks, they only make us stronger when we find our inner strength.

Ivy’s Journey

As a small French Bulldog puppy from Gloucester, MA, Ivy entered the lives of Maureen and Chris Harrington as a birthday present for Chris’s 30th birthday. Never did they imagine the love and joy that their new puppy would bring into their lives, and they would soon come to find out that she would also teach them some of the most important lessons in life.

What is Intervertebral Disc Disease?

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) happens when the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column become displaced and bulge out into the spinal cord. These discs pressed on the nerves that ran through Ivy’s spinal cord and caused her great pain, and resulted in her experiencing nerve damage and paralysis in both of her hind legs.

Staying Strong

While Ivy’s parents were devastated to hear this news about their sweet Ivy, they were ready to handle all of the extra care she needed. They tried a variety of different treatments such as laser therapy, acupuncture (yes, there is such a thing as acupuncture for dogs!), and water therapy to see if there was any potential of Ivy regaining movement in her legs. She had always been the type of puppy who loved to play and zoom around, so Michelle and Chris tried everything they could to help her continue to do that with ease. Ivy’s parents soon came to realize that Ivy’s happy personality never changed despite not being able to use her hind legs and that she was doing just fine zooming around and playing using her front legs and wheelchair. Ivy never let her paralysis hold her back from her happiness or from living her life to the absolute fullest, which taught her parents an incredible lesson — although life comes with setbacks, the only thing that matters is how we respond to those setbacks. Ivy found her inner strength and taught herself how to live her best life despite her paralysis.

Inspiration for All

Chris and Maureen were so inspired by their determined dog and felt as though her story needed to be shared. They began sharing her journey on Instagram to update their friends and family on Ivy’s health and progress, many others found inspiration through her page. Seeing how much of a positive and inspirational impact Ivy was having on people, Ivy’s parents decided that Ivy’s story needed to be shared as a children’s book in order to show them that anything is possible if they believe in themselves and that disabilities and setbacks in life actually make us stronger if we believe in ourselves.

Fun Facts About Ivy:

  • •Intervertebral Disc Disease, also known as IVDD, inspired Ivy’s nickname and the name of her children’s book — Ivy the Very Determined Dog

  • •Ivy’s favorite activity is snoozing when she isn’t rolling around town

  • She is a HUGE fan of belly rubs!

  • •Ivy’s best friends are Annie the black lab, Hazel the yellow lab, and Banx the boxer

  • •Her favorite snack is cheese

  • •Ivy is from the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and loves the feeling of sand between her paws from spending time at the beach!

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