Canines possess remarkable personalities. They exude an overwhelmingly positive vibe that can brighten up any space, cheer us up, and completely change our lives. Even those that have undergone severe mistreatment and disregard tend to emerge from it bearing the capacity for forgiveness almost effortlessly. Dogs embody pure affection. With adequate affection, they can achieve significant feats.
Meet Kardi, a dog who has turned her life around with the love she has been given. Although she had a rough start in life, everything changed when she crossed paths with Kelsey. From that moment on, Kardi knew what true love felt like, and it transformed her life for the better. According to Kelsey R., Kardi’s proud dog mom, this furry friend has truly worked miracles with the power of love.
I was lucky enough to have Kardi join my life on October 11th, 2012. She came from a breeder who didn’t want her anymore and had already been spayed at the age of two. Up until that point, Kardi had spent most of her time living inside a small cage.
Initially, Kardi was timid and easily frightened but she soon adapted to her new surroundings and became more comfortable. She accompanied me everywhere I went, especially since I was studying in college, where she made many acquaintances. Kardi is a quintessential French bulldog with a playful and mischievous personality that never fails to put a grin on people’s faces. Her love for toys is insatiable, and she’s rarely seen without a toy in her mouth.
When her toys are put away, she thoroughly enjoys taking naps. Additionally, she has a strong bond with me (her mother) and will follow me wherever I go. It’s common for people to call her my shadow, as she tends to stick close to me. She’s definitely a mommy’s girl.
In Kardi’s college days, she had a close friend whose brother passed away unexpectedly. The friend was deeply affected by the sudden loss and was struggling to cope with it. Kardi recognized the importance of providing support during such tough times and stepped up for her friend. She spent hours sitting with him, trying to comfort him in any way possible. Kardi even brought along toys to cheer him up, and her natural ability to provide emotional support made her an excellent therapy dog.
In 2015, Kelsey and Kardi became a registered therapy team after Kelsey noticed Kardi’s natural affinity for therapy work. Kardi’s love for people of all ages was most apparent in her work with Alzheimer’s patients, where she would nudge their hands to remind them to keep petting her, bringing countless smiles to those in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, classrooms, and summer camps. However, that year wasn’t without its challenges. Kardi was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which caused her to become paralyzed at the age of four. IVDD is a condition that causes the discs in the spine to prematurely age and harden, leading to ruptures in the spinal column. Unfortunately, Kardi was not a candidate for surgery due to other medical issues, and she never regained the use of her hind legs. Despite this, Kardi remained a happy and upbeat companion to Kelsey, even after losing control of her bowels.
Throughout her journey, Kardi showed incredible strength and resilience, never once feeling sorry for herself. With each passing day, she grew stronger and happier, learning to pull herself around on her front legs and even outrunning her owner. After a few months of being paralyzed, a secret fund was raised at the vet clinic where her owners worked, and Kardi was gifted a pink Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. She took to it immediately, zooming around without any hesitation. Kardi has become an expert at navigating her wheelchair both indoors and outdoors, going down steps, turning corners, and even backing up. Her speed and agility have made her something of a celebrity, with appearances in multiple Walkin’ Pets calendars, winning Halloween costume contests as a Budweiser Clydesdale, and pulling carts alongside her sister Bonnie Rose.
Kardi, despite her hereditary health issues, had adapted well to her new set of wheels. However, she was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) or bladder cancer in March 2020. Many treatment options were discussed, but due to Kardi’s other medications, none were suitable. She was given a life expectancy of three to six months, which was devastating news for her owner, Kelsey. Kelsey was getting married in February 2021 and had always dreamed of having Kardi by her side on her special day. Despite the diagnosis, Kelsey was determined to give Kardi the best chance at as long and happy a life as possible. Kardi’s strength throughout her life is awe-inspiring, and she has taught Kelsey valuable life lessons. They are each other’s motivation on bad days, and their bond is unbreakable. Kardi had many ups and downs, and it was unclear if she would make it to the wedding day. Nonetheless, Kelsey and her husband wanted Kardi present on their big day.
Kardi and Kelsey proved to be a stronger team than anyone expected. Kardi’s prognosis was initially only until the summer of 2020, but almost a year later, she had the opportunity to attend her human’s wedding. Kardi was a showstopper at the wedding, and even acted as a flower girl with her sister Bonnie Rose in a flower-covered wagon. During the sparkler send off, Kardi followed her newly married humans in her wheelchair, pulling cans behind her that read “just married.” Kardi’s story is a reminder of how incredible dogs can truly be. Despite starting her life confined to a cage, she has overcome many obstacles and defied expectations with the help of her loving family. Even with special needs, Kardi and her sister are an integral part of their humans’ lives and were even included in their honeymoon plans.
Don’t forget to show your support to Kardi by following her on Facebook and Instagram. She’s been fighting hard, so let’s send her some love and positivity!
In an update as of March 2022, Kardi amazed everyone by standing by her human on her wedding day, despite being given a terrible diagnosis and only being expected to live for 3-6 months. Unfortunately, Kardi has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but she fought hard and lived a life that will continue to inspire and uplift dog lovers everywhere. Kelsey, Kardi’s owner, posted on Facebook to inform everyone who supported Kardi that she had passed away. Let’s honor Kardi’s memory by celebrating the strength and love she showed throughout her life.