A man in Austin has fallen head over heels for a dog that’s heels over heads. Alva the dog has wobbler syndrome, but that didn’t stop Joe Rotunda from knowing they were meant to be together.
Arriving at Austin Pets Alive! in November 2020 at just 5 months old, Alva was flea-ridden, malnourished, and in need of a helping paw. She had a hard time standing and walking on account of the syndrome.
After almost 24 months of shelter stays and foster care, the rigors of her life with wobblers and multiple owners had made her self-protective, territorial, and shy.
Mr. Rotunda had originally seen Alva on APA’s Instagram, and felt he had to do something to help her.
“I just looked at her and said, ‘I bet everyone has given up on you,’” Rotunda allegedly told APA! “‘I’m not going to do that to you.’”
Nor did he, but instead visited her at APA every single day for two months to earn her trust in the hopes he could welcome her into his home for foster care. Seeing that there was a potential end to Alva’s difficulties, APA staff worked in the shelter to provide more accommodations for her Parkinson’s-like motor instability, in addition to a kind of physical therapy.
Eventually Rotunda got what he wished for, and Alva was able to move in with him and his other dog whom she also made friends with.
He outfitted his house with various ramps and padded corners to ensure she had a safe, maneuverable environment.
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