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Doggone determined
Gwen, a 2-year-old doberman-greyhound mix, was born with a degenerative muscle problem in her hind legs that causes her to struggle standing up. She has spent most of her life in the PAWS animal shelter in Riverton but will be taken to Denver on Saturday to do physical therapy. Photo by Jamie Drendel

Doggone determined

Feb 17, 2012 - By Emily Etheredge Staff Writer

At first glance, she isn't necessarily appealing. In fact, she probably causes many to stop and stare, possibly even scoff. By normal standards, she barely makes the cut, however her spirit, determination and joy of living makes you instantly fall in love with her.

Gwen, a 2-year-old doberman-greyhound mix, was born with a degenerative muscle problem in her hind legs that causes her to struggle standing up. She suffered frostbite as a puppy, which caused her to go deaf and lose part of one ear, and she has eyes that cross.

She lives at the PAWS animal shelter in Riverton and is set to travel to Denver on Saturday, where she will be adopted by the president of a doberman rescue Association who had heard about her situation. Kathy Hooper, president of PAWS, said she felt Gwen needed a place where she could be treated for her disabilities and enjoy life after therapy.

"I wanted her to have the opportunity to go through physical therapy and see what a good life is," Hooper said.

PAWS board member Pam Canham described Gwen as being a true delight.

"Gwen was born to give happiness to others and touch them with her courage and quest to live," Canham said.

Gwen was brought into the animal shelter with her brother, who was healthy and adopted almost immediately. The employees said they first considered euthanizing the suffering dog but her sweet disposition and willingness to fight for her life changed their minds.

"We all discussed at the shelter that her disabilities might merit her being put down, but when we saw how she enjoys her life to the fullest we felt she was worth trying to save," Canham said.

Gwen will head for her new home in Denver sometime this week.

"She is a special girl, and we worked really hard to place her with someone that would take care of her and enable her to have the best life she could ever imagine," Hooper said.

The person adopting her has agreed to pay for any treatments she should need including water therapy, physical therapy or a wheelchair, Canham said.

"She is going to be treated like royalty and touch a whole new set of lives in Denver because she is just that type of girl," she said.

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