Canine creatures are truly remarkable beings. They possess an uplifting and positive spirit that can brighten any room and bring joy to our lives. It’s awe-inspiring how even dogs that have experienced unspeakable abuse and neglect can easily forgive and show unconditional love. In essence, dogs embody pure love, and when showered with affection, they can accomplish amazing feats.
Kardi is a prime example of a dog that has used the love she received to perform miracles. Though her life began on a sad note, her story took a drastic turn when she crossed paths with Kelsey. Meeting Kelsey was a pivotal moment in Kardi’s life. It was the first time she had ever experienced genuine love and it changed her world. According to Kelsey R., Kardi’s dog mom, she rescued Kardi from a breeder who had no use for her and had spayed her when she was two years old. For the most part, Kardi spent the first two years of her life confined in a cage.
Initially timid and apprehensive, Kardi gradually acclimatized to her new environment and became an inseparable part of her owner’s college life, making plenty of new acquaintances along the way. With her humorous personality, the French Bulldog always manages to bring a smile to people’s faces and has a peculiar fondness for toys, never parting ways with them. She loves to snooze when not playing or spending time with her owner, whom she adores and follows around like a shadow, earning herself the nickname of a “momma’s girl.”
During college, Kardi proved her mettle as more than just a cuddly pet when a friend’s brother passed away, leaving him in a state of unprecedented grief. Sensing that her presence could make a difference, she spent long hours alongside him, cheering him up by offering toys and moral support, earning the status of a natural therapy dog.
In 2015, Kelsey noticed that Kardi had a natural talent for providing therapy. As a result, they formed a registered therapy team. Kardi was fond of individuals of all ages but was particularly drawn to Alzheimer’s patients. Her unique way of nudging their hands to remind them to keep petting her brought numerous smiles to people in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, classrooms, and summer camps. However, that year presented some difficulties for Kelsey and Kardi. Kardi became paralyzed due to intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which causes the discs of the spine to harden prematurely and rupture into the spinal column. Kardi had a couple of discs that ruptured in her lumbar spine, and she was not a surgical candidate due to other medical issues. Despite Kardi’s permanent loss of bowel control and hind leg function, Kelsey points out that she remained happy and positive.
Throughout her struggles, Kardi displayed immense strength and resilience and never once dwelled on self-pity. With each passing day, she grew stronger and happier, even learning to move around on her front legs. In a heartwarming gesture, a secret fund was set up at the vet clinic where her owners worked, and Kardi was gifted a pink Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair. From the moment she was strapped in, Kardi took off running and has been consistently unstoppable. Her wheelchair has become her faithful companion for outdoor activities, while she prefers to scoot around the house on her own. Kardi has even mastered how to navigate obstacles such as stairs and tight corners with ease.
Kardi is known for her speedy wheelchair skills and has even gained a bit of fame! She’s been featured in multiple Walkin’ Pets calendars and won a Halloween costume contest dressed as a Budweiser Clydesdale in 2019. In another event, she and her sister pulled a cart while wearing matching costumes.
Despite Kardi’s adaptation to her new situation and circumstances, unfortunate news came next. Due to poor breeding, Kardi had inherited several health issues over the years. In March 2020, an ultrasound confirmed that Kardi had transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), also known as bladder cancer after exhibiting signs of UTI and blood in her urine. Although several treatments were proposed by Kardi’s internal medicine specialist, none could be implemented as they would interact negatively with her other medications.
Upon hearing the news, it devastated the owner as she was given a life expectancy of 3-6 months. The owner was heartbroken as she had always dreamt of having Kardi as part of her wedding, scheduled for February 21, 2021. Kardi had been there through thick and thin, and the owner couldn’t envision not having her there on one of the happiest days of her life.
The diagnosis was a challenging one, but Kelsey was not going to let Kardi battle through it alone. Having been through so much together over the past eight years, Kelsey was determined to give Kardi the best possible chance at life – one that would be filled with happiness and longevity.
Kardi’s unbreakable spirit in the face of adversity never ceases to amaze Kelsey. Despite everything she has gone through, Kardi has never once felt sorry for herself. Every day, she wakes up with an infectious smile on her face and tackles whatever comes her way with her characteristic grit and determination.
Kardi has taught Kelsey many valuable life lessons throughout their journey together, and Kelsey feels privileged to be her mom. When either of them is having a bad day, they turn to one another for support and motivation. Their relationship is more than just that of a pet and owner; they are a team in every sense of the word. Kardi is Kelsey’s soul dog, and their connection is stronger than anything she has ever known.
Despite facing many challenges since her diagnosis, Kardi showed incredible strength and resilience. There were times when it seemed uncertain whether she would even make it to February. Kardi had been a constant presence in her owner’s life, through all the good and bad times. It was always clear that she would be right by her side on her wedding day. Even Kelsey’s husband loved Kardi just as much and wanted her to share in their special day.
Together, Kardi and Kelsey proved to be a formidable team, overcoming obstacles that specialists thought were impossible. Initially given only a few months to live, Kardi defied expectations and survived well beyond the summer of 2020. In fact, she was still alive and kicking almost a year later, just in time to witness her owner tie the knot. Kardi didn’t just attend the wedding, though – she stole the show, according to Kelsey.
For my bridal photos, I decided to include Kardi and our photographer managed to capture numerous heartwarming moments between us. Kardi, along with her sister Bonnie Rose who has special needs and is a Boston Terrier, acted as flower girls and were taken down the aisle in a flower-adorned wagon. During the sparkler send-off when my husband and I left for our vehicle, Kardi joined us in her wheelchair and carried cans behind her with a sign that read ‘just married’.
The day was incredibly memorable, and I am grateful to have had Kardi play such a significant role. It’s been 16 months since her diagnosis, and she’s doing remarkably well.
The dogs that we have are truly amazing creatures. Kardi has consistently proven to us that we should never underestimate dogs. She had a rough start in life, being unknown, unloved, and used for someone’s benefit while being locked up in a cage. However, Kardi was fortunate enough to catch the attention of Kelsey, who wholeheartedly loves her. With Kelsey’s unwavering support, Kardi managed to conquer numerous obstacles that would typically defeat a person. Kardi’s tale is remarkable, and because of it, she has many admirers and a loving family that cherishes her deeply. Her life is now more significant than what a tiny cell could provide.
Our two dogs are our babies. They are always by our side, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This is due in part to their unique needs, but we adore them just the same. We even brought them along on our honeymoon because we have a special place in our hearts for dogs with different abilities.
Make sure to follow Kardi on Facebook and Instagram to show your support as she continues to fight. An update from March 2022 reveals that Kardi exceeded all expectations by surviving well beyond her initial prognosis. When Kardi stood by her owner’s side during her wedding day, she was already a miracle. Kardi passed away recently, but not before inspiring dog lovers everywhere with her fighting spirit and perseverance. With the help of her loved ones, Kardi lived a full life and touched the hearts of countless people. Kelsey shared the sad news on Facebook, expressing how devastated she and her family were to say goodbye to their soul dog. Kardi was not just a pet, but a once-in-a-lifetime best friend who helped Kelsey through tough times. Although many believe that they saved Kardi, Kardi had saved them by being a constant source of love and companionship. In the end, Kardi’s loved ones cherished every moment they had left with her, showering her with love, food, and playtime. Kardi may have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, but her memory will live on forever in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.