When Janelle Jensen got to care for her first differently-abled pet in 2015, she never thought she’d create a lasting bond with such animals. But she did, and a Chihuahua named Paddy and a special needs lamb named Lilly were eternally grateful.
Janelle’s neighbor found Paddy on a busy highway. He only weighed three pounds and was severely underweight. Janelle and her husband David took him in, but soon they discovered something else was wrong with Paddy, other than his weight.
Paddy seemed to keep falling over. Naturally, the couple suspected he was hit by a car. But, a check-up at the vet’s office proved different. Paddy’s X-ray footage showed a disc issue in his neck and malformed joints in his legs.
With lots of healthy nutrition and plenty of TLC from Janelle, Paddy began to grow stronger.
Soon after Paddy was better, Janelle got a phone call from her vet, asking her to take in a special needs lamb. Lilly was the smallest of the rare triplets. She had no space in the womb, so her legs didn’t develop as they should have. Her mother rejected her in favor of her other siblings.
Janelle’s vet tried taking care of the lamb so it could avoid being euthanized. But, the lamb required round-the-clock care and constant bottle feeding. It was something the vet couldn’t do, so he called Janelle. She immediately took the lamb in and started taking care of Lily.
Paddy made her feel welcome from the moment she stepped into his home. After all, they shared a similar disability.
“When we adopted Lily, Paddy took her under his wing right away and became her official face washer after each and every bottle of lamb’s milk, which at first was every hour,” Janelle said. “He snuggled with her to keep her company. She was HIS baby lamb. Lily would also walk over to Paddy and snuggle up to him…they loved each other…they were VERY close.”
Four months later, Lilly grew up, but her legs didn’t catch up with her development. She had to use a specially fitted pink wheelchair to move around. When she became too heavy to be picked up, they made her a lift.
Despite round-the-clock care, Lilly lost control of her legs at the age of 15 months. She couldn’t stand up for a diaper change or pull herself in her wheelchair anymore. Lily became bedridden.
Janelle couldn’t watch her suffer anymore, so she made the final decision – to have Lilly humanely euthanized.
The Jensens weren’t the only ones suffering from the loss. Paddy was suffering too. His best friend was gone. Paddy missed his friend so much, Janelle’s aunt Carrol made him a plush stuffed Lilly to snuggle with.
The moment Paddy saw the lamb toy in the box, he grabbed her and took her to his “man cave,” as they call his crate.
Paddy isn’t lonely. He also has two canine brothers Whiffers and Scruffy, and a box full of toys. But, Lilly is a special toy that never leaves Paddy’s crate. If he starts missing Lilly, Paddy knows where to find comfort.
Janelle and David Jensen currently have 14 horses – 4 Standards, 5 Minis, and 5 Dwarf Minis – a dwarf Hereford cow, 2 goats, 2 alpacas, a sheep, 4 bantam hens, and 3 dogs. A lot of their animals have special needs.
Even though Lilly had only 15 months of life, Janelle ensured each day was a good one for her. She made Lilly feel loved. And that’s only a drop in the ocean of good deeds in Janelle’s life.
Janelle also makes corrective horseshoes for equines with leg problems. Little Bit’s Magic Shoes was named in honor of one mini horse Janelle took care of.
While her business is now closed, it serves as proof of just how big of a heart this woman has.