When most people think of a German Shepherd, what often comes to mind is a pretty big dog, and for good reason. They look like the direct descendants of wolves from German lore.
Well, that’s not the case for little Ranger. Born with a rare form of dwarfism, this poor pup will stay a pup for the rest of his life.
Taken in by a pair of sisters, Shelby and Darcy Mayo, they had no idea he had the rare genetic trait. Now, almost 3 years later, he’s still just as big as he was when they first took him home.
While he’s certainly adorable, it’s not all cute and fun for Ranger. Because of his condition, he is reported to have several health difficulties such as thyroid issues as well as a shorter lifespan. Because dwarfism is so rare in dogs, even most veterinarians are in the dark on what it truly means.
Turns out he’s not alone. When the sisters turned to social media, they found many others that also had dogs with the same condition.
With nearly 100,000 followers, Ranger has become an Instagram celebrity, bringing together thousands of dog owners with similar situations.
Where once they were looking for advice, the sisters now find themselves being the ones giving it out. Many visit the account to brighten up their day even if they themselves don’t have a dog with the condition or even a dog at all!
To many, he’s become their best friend, even while online.
Getting Ranger the Help he Needs
The sisters comment that when they first picked him from the animal shelter, he was the smallest of the group. And while they thought he’d grow with time, it was only after he was taken to the doctor did they realize his genetic condition and its reality.
In addition, it was after he had been taken to the doctor that he began showing some of the other more distressful symptoms.
One of the sisters notes that it was after he had been neutered that he began showing a number of terrible signs. He was reported to have lost his appetite and had stopped eating. Similarly, he was also losing weight at a rapid pace as well as most of his fur, with even his skin beginning to feel “dry and flaky”.
Luckily, while he couldn’t be cured of his dwarfism, the vets were able to give him a thyroid medication, “levothyroxine”, to help with his eating. The sisters were also given a special soap by one of Ranger’s Instagram followers as a way to help with his skin troubles.
How is He Now?
According to the sisters, Ranger seems to be doing quite well, given his circumstances and overall condition. They report that he is happy and healthy and enjoys playing with his two sister dogs, Hazel and Jessie.
Yes, Ranger is a testament and proof that, even the smallest of us, no matter what, can pull through anything with family
Images Source: ranger_thegshepherd Instagram