Behind the glitz and glamour of the 22nd annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals was an inspirational story of one little pooch from Redondo Beach who overcame the odds to regain her ability to walk.
The popular dog-loving event pits the sausage-shaped canines against one another in a 50-yard dash less for pure competition and more to raise money for veterinary care. For one special dachshund, just being there was victory in itself.
As if torn from the pages of sports legend, Lady Bug the dachshund was abandoned at a Riverside shelter after suffering paralysis in her hind legs. Unable to walk, the chances of Lady Bug finding a home were slim to none.
That’s when a dog rescue group picked her up and brought her into the California Animal Rehabilitation center located in West Los Angeles, and it was there she met Deanna O’Neil, a veterinarian and now her owner.
“I did the initial intake and thought I could get this dog to walk,” O’Neil said. “She was barely moving her back legs, but we worked with her everyday.”
After two months of intensive rehabilitation that involved physical therapy, an underwater treadmill and acupuncture, Lady Bug was able to walk again.
She’s not exactly a speedster though, which was clearly evident at this past weekend’s event in Los Alamitos. As the starting gun sounded, Lady Bug took off out of the gates strong, but it was short-lived as she was overtaken by the pack. Despite her back legs folding over at times, she muscled through it and crossed the finish line with a smile. The inspirational dachshund finished the 50-yards in nearly a minute while the winning competitor did it in seven seconds.