Pups that inspire - Rotti The Superdog

If Beyonce’s Lemonade has taught us anything when life hands you lemons you make an incredible album and show everyone why you are known as Queen Bey. Although I find Beyonce ALWAYS inspiring, I recently became inspired by a Corgi named Rotti.  He has personally moved me and inspired me to continue.  I want to start this story about why this dog has inspired me.

In my blog, I want to avoid getting too personal but I feel that it is right to be open and honest at this stage.  In November, my dad suddenly passed away from a heart attack.  This crushing blow has left me feeling that I need to find my voice again.  My dad was such a driver and an influencer for me deciding to start Woof Republic.  I talked to him on the phone for hours about what I was going to build and in early November I had just gotten back from traveling around the country for the blog to connect with businesses, pups and incredible dog owners solidifying my commitment to the cause and getting the blog going.

Needless to say, it has been a bit of a struggle to find a voice with Woof Republic with something that was so personal and he was so involved in.  However, I feel as though the wave of grief is breaking and I am just coming out the other side.  People and my readers have been so gracious with me as I’ve gone quiet. Sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for this.

Weeks before my Dad’s passing, I had the chance to meet Super Rotti.  Rotti is a pup who was an owner surrender and is currently being cared for by Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue (QBSDR.) This organization is an incredible group that I’ve had a chance to get to know through my time assisting at SoCal Corgi Beach Day.  Susan Luong is the President and founder of this organizer and works tirelessly to ensure Corgis and other lowriders are saved from high kill shelters and given the best life possible towards finding a new forever family. Rotti is a poster child for this organization and truly exemplifies that in life we need to keep pushing along to always find the silver lining.

Rotti was an owner surrender to QBSDR because of his health condition.  This little guy was surrendered by his owner because of his case of IVDD (see the description of IVDD below) and the family was not capable of providing adequate care.  He was only 4.5 when he came to be in the care of the QBSDR organization.  When QBSDR took custody of Rotti he was unable to fully walk and get around.  He would regularly fall over trying to move around and couldn’t even handle his business on his own.  Although he had lost his mobility he was not deterred and was very determined to not let it affect this life. Susan explained to me that, “Even when scooting around, Rotti showed that he had a drive within him and nothing was going to hold him back from his best life.”

QBSDR was able to get a wheelchair for Rotti to help aid his mobility.  The wheelchair became a version of physical therapy for Rotti and with time he was able to take care of his business on his own which was significant progress for the team as compared to where he started.  Rotti’s spirit and tenacity is exemplified in the story of the 1st day he got his wheelchair, the moment that he got the hang of it and he was all strapped in; he took off running.

Many pups that are struggling with mobility suffer because humans can at times feel sorry for the pup instead of encouraging them to regain strength and mobility. With Rotti’s increased mobility and independence, he became even happier.  Through it all, Rotti continued to show his zest for life.  At QBSDR events, Rotti was the star of the show and was able to meet people who showed support and love to him which further increased his confidence.  Personally, I’ve seen how moved and inspired people are by meeting Rotti and hearing his story.  I watched a young woman at SoCal Corgi Beach Day in between tears screaming and cheering for Rotti as he ran circles (without a wheelchair) around us and Susan.

After being with QBSDR for about a year and living in San Francisco with his foster family things were looking up for Rotti.  A family had been approved to adopt Rotti and were very aware of all of the necessary medical attention that Rotti would require tied to his IVDD. A week before he was set to go live with the new family, Susan wanted to complete a regular vet visit for his teeth.  While the vet was checking Rotti out; a mast was found on his abdomen.  This mast proved to be cancer they learned a couple of days later.  Due to this unforeseen complication, QBSDR felt that it was best that Rotti not be adopted out due to his prognosis of terminal cancer and set their aim to get Rotti the care he needed to give him the best quality of life possible.  

Rotti began a Low Dose of Chemotherapy which made him sick.  He was then switched to an oral medication to slow down the spread of the cancer which by that time had spread to other areas despite all efforts.  In December of 2016, Susan and the QBSDR Team made the decision to take him off all cancer/chemo medication.  A couple of weeks later, Rotti had a week where he was extremely lethargic and Susan assumed that this was the beginning of the end. While I was grieving the loss of my Dad, I was hearing updates about Rotti and feared the worst for the pup.

I was astonished and elated to learn through social media, the following week that Rotti had woken up his bubbly and vocal usual sense.  He has been the consummate social butterfly and thrill of life seeker ever since.  Although no one is sure how long his time on Earth will be, his presence is both great, significant, inspiring and infectious.  Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue decided that with Rotti’s spirit and will to thrive that he deserved a Bucket List of fun activities that they’ve organized for him.

These Bucket List activities have included Sheep Herding in Chino that was attended by 40 families, Many trips for ice Cream, visited LACMA, Mt. Hollywood Hike which was attended by 25 people who are Super Rotti fans.  More events are being organized for 2017 and QBSDR would love your support.

What I find most inspiring about Rotti is that he has been handed major obstacle after obstacle yet he continues to persevere.  Most humans have had very tough times in their life which seemed hopeless and soul-crushing.  Personally, I’m going through one of these tough times but what Rotti has taught me is that this is not something that should define you.  You wake up and can control how you interact with the world.  If you wake up with intention and don’t allow circumstance to define you this gives you power.  I would categorize this as almost a Super Power!  I believe that this is power to not allow current state to define your quality of life has allowed this Corgi/Lowrider to become SUPER ROTTI. Thank you Rotti, for giving me the inspiration to continue and to persevere.

Rotti has his own Hashtag #TeamSuperRotti

If you would like to donate money to Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue please help their amazing cause and the incredible work they do at: http://www.queensbeststumpydogrescue.org/donate/

Photos of Rotti and some photos of his excursions:

IVDD: Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition in which a disc develops a problem and the material inside escapes into the spinal column, ultimately causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. The condition is seen more often in dogs than cats. There are lots of different symptoms of IVDD, many of which occur in other disorders as well. An abbreviated list includes reluctance to move the neck and head or a lowered head, back pain, crying out unexpectedly when touched, abdominal tenderness, dragging one or more legs, toeing or knuckling over when walking or standing, an odd or tentative gait, and reluctance to sit or stand.  Treatment for IVDD can involve medical management or surgical intervention, depending on the severity of the disease. If surgery is necessary, there are a variety of techniques that can be used. The goal of any procedure is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord at the site of the damaged disc.  Excerpt taken from www.healthypets.com

An update on Rotti, the dog that inspired us personally and allowed me to get to know one of my favorite dog rescues, Queens Best Stumpy Dog Rescue.  Rotti sadly lost his battle to cancer on March 27th.  Here is a quote from Susan who runs Queens Best Dog Rescue about Rotti, "The adventures of Super_Rotti, the incredible corgi that inspired many and touched all. Rotti overcame many obstacles throughout his short 6.5yrs of life. He was given up twice before coming to QBSDR. Through his determination, persistence, positive attitude, and zest for life, he was able to overcome IVDD, going from a wheelchair to walking and running, before starting his battle with cancer in July 2016. Throughout his fight, Rotti gave cancer a big middle paw, letting the disease know it wouldnt slow him down. His entire journey was about loving life and never giving up. He made the most of his days. Rotti was given a bucketlist of adventures that included activities like sheep herding, cruising PCH, hiking Mt. Hollywood, the Shake Shack VS In n Out challenge, various foodie and art crawls through LA, and meeting his foodie idol and corgi lover, Alton Brown. Rotti surprised us all with his intense fighting spirit, surpassing his prognosis and life expectancy on several occasions. He succumbed to the cancer on 3.27.17 after an 8month battle. He was surrounded with love and went peacefully with dignity. Rotti will never be forgotten, his story will never be forgotten, and he will live on in our hearts forever."