Have you ever heard the clichéd (but topically fitting) expression “Biting off more than you can chew?” I am one of those people, the ones who read three books at a time, concoct gourmet meals then realize they can’t cook, start home renovations and never finish them…I like to be overwhelmed; I thrive on it.

Well, today is no exception; I am considering adding a third dog to my already crowded home, a dog who happens to be a purebred paraplegic Pekingese named Chance. I love dogs. Not calm, distinguished, well behaved dogs–dogs that are a challenge. And I am a sucker for a pretty face. Take Roxy, for example. She is my seven-year-old Pug x Boston Terrier who went blind at four months. I knew that having a blind dog would be difficult and that her disability would surely result in eventual heartbreak, but none of that mattered to me. I couldn’t risk her ending up in a home with someone who couldn’t look past her bulgy, cloudy eyes to the hilarious, ferocious, and wonderful dog she would grow into. Like I said, a pretty face gets me every time.

It was the same with Cash, my six-year-old Boxer x American Bulldog. When we met him, he was 80 pounds of fine-looking, wall-chewing demon destructor. He eventually grew to be 110 pounds of gentle giant who lets my infant niece shove scrambled eggs up his nose. These dogs weren’t easy, but I worked with them, knowing all the while that surrendering them was never an option. It is this same tenacity and devotion to dogs that got me to where I am now: an intern at Modern Dog magazine about to be suckered in by another pretty face. I first set eyes on Chance in the Summer issue of MD. It was my first day, so I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with the most recent edition. As I carefully examined each insightful article and endearing photograph, I came upon a face so humble and forlorn that I stopped. His head pointed downward and to the right, his eyes were barely visible, and his tongue protruded ever so slightly from his tiny mouth. He made me wonder, what could have made that face so sad? I had to know his story.

Chance, also known as the “Mongolian Monster”, is an 8-year-old purebred Pekingese who, due to a spinal cord injury, has no use of his two hind legs. His previous home was with an elderly couple whose grandchild accidently damaged his spine while playing. Once they realized Chance was paralyzed and incontinent, they sent him to live in their unfinished basement with their elderly cat. After a few years condemned to life in a dungeon, Chance’s parents passed away, leaving him without an appointed caregiver. The family didn’t know what to do with him, so they left him in the basement with little human contact or care except for a daily feeding. Luckily for Chance, a concerned neighbor contacted S.A.I.N.T.S (Senior Animals in Need Today Society), a hospice/shelter for senior and special needs animals of all kinds run by Carol Hine in Mission, BC. They took Chance in and gave him a safe and loving home when no one else would. It was during his stay at S.A.I.N.T.S that Chance was chosen for an editorial photo shoot to be featured in Modern Dog. Fate had intervened–I was supposed to want this dog. And I do. So, here I am…overwhelmed and undecided. Do I take a chance on Chance???