Mac's Mission is a special one; in fact, their motto is "We specialize in special." And fortunately for this little pup, she was taken in and given the help needed to give her a long and happy life.
Quigley and Hansel were brother and sister pit bull puppies who were born to a breeder in Texas and given up almost immediately. Like many people, he didn't think they could live due to their cleft palates. But that's simply not true. If they are taken care of properly when they are little, they can go on to live fully, healthy lives.
“Most breeders cull them and most vets push to euthanize because they have this crazy notion they will not live,” Rochelle Steffen, founder and director of Mac’s Mission, explains. “We are fighting this mentality because these special babies can live happy lives once they get into experienced hands. Time is typically the big factor here since they can aspirate easily if fed incorrectly.”
Headquartered in Missouri, more than 700 miles from where Quigley was born, Steffan's knew that she couldn't let this puppy go. Once she knew the puppy's story and contacted the foster, she took little Quigley in. Steffan had this to say about the puppy: “She is a burrito-sized bulldozer and will definitely be the life of any party growing up. She makes these wombat gremlin sounds I have never heard before and she just makes me smile! I took her to the lumber store yesterday and every single one of those big strong burly construction guys melted. She just has that ability.”
Mac, the rescue's namesake, was happy to welcome the puppy into his home. Steffan has several pets and fosters others, but as soon as she met Quigley she knew this puppy wouldn't be going anywhere.
Mac was a rescue himself at 3 months, and has had numerous surgeries to mitigate his many health problems. Yet Steffan wouldn't dream of not having him in her life. He is the inspiration for Mac's Mission, and has helped foster many puppies. This time, though, he got to keep one.
As soon as Mac met Quigley, it was obvious that he wanted to keep the puppy. They had a special bond right from the start. “Mac is amazing with puppies; it is like he has this sense about them and that they need our help,” Steffen said. “We do LOTS of special puppies and he has the patience of a saint. He gets excited to meet new ones and won't leave me alone until he can do the sniff test.”
Quigley's life includes some challenges, such as eating and drinking, but with time and patience, she'll overcome them. Her cleft palate is not something that holds her back, anyway, and she loves to cuddle and play with everyone she meets, including all the other fosters and, of course, her big brother Mac.
Quigley's life could have ended almost before it began, but fate had something else in store for her. She is a valued member of Steffan's family now, and Steffan can't imagine life without her.
If you are interested in following Mac and Quigley's adventures, you can find them on Instagram. Share this story with your friends. Has it changed the way you think about supposedly "handicapped" dogs? We hope so!