At only 1 year old, Rexi the golden retriever from Victorville, CA is living life to the fullest despite a severe physical deformity. Rexi’s two front legs are not usable, and they flip upwards so her paws stick up towards the sky – almost like wings. But things weren’t always like this for the young dog.
When Rexi was a puppy, things were normal. But when she was 10 weeks old, her owners noticed something odd about Rexi.
“She was limping, so I took her to the vet thinking that she sprained her leg or something,” Rachael Woertink, Rexi’s owner, told ABC 7. The x-rays at the veterinarian came back showing that nothing was wrong. But shortly after that veterinary visit, Rexi lost all her strength in her front legs.
Rexi was diagnosed with a neurological problem. And the veterinarian recommended that she be put to sleep.
But her owners don’t want to give up on her. “She is like family to us you know. We don’t have any kids so this is kind of like our kid right here and we treat her like that,” James Cassity, Rexi’s owner said.
And they have been trying everything. They have a vest for Rexi which can attach to a leash. Normally Rexi gets around by pushing her body forward with her back legs. Her front body scrapes against the ground. With the vest and leash, her front body can be lifted upwards, preventing her chest from scraping across the floor. Her owners even tried a dog wheelchair, but it didn’t work as well as they had hoped.
“When she hits a rock the thing flips over upside down, she has flipped once or twice and we don’t want to injure her anymore,” Cassity told ABC 7.
Rexi is still as happy as ever, facing the world with beautiful optimism.
So her owners refuse to give up. They want to find a permanent solution, and not just a temporary fix. They have set up a Go Fund Me page in the hopes of raising $5,000 that can be put towards helping to cure Rexi. So far, they have raised over $3,700 – more than half of what they need.
And they are open to many suggestions and ideas. “Any kind of invention, somebody who knows something about dogs missing their front legs or handicapped, maybe some kind of doctor who knows about a surgery,” Cassity said.
On their Go Fund Me page, many contributors have made suggestions that could help Rexi. Some have provided the names of reputable veterinarians. Others are suggesting ways to modify the wheelchair so it works better. One commenter even offered the services of her husband who is an engineer.
Rexi’s joy is clearly infectious, and many people want to see her get well. If you would like to contribute to Rexi’s fund, visit Cassity and Woertink’s Go Fund Me page.