A breeder recently took Nico, a 4-week-old German shepherd puppy to the vet, asking to put him down because he couldn’t walk right. However, the puppy was lucky, because his life was saved at the eleventh hour. After the breeder left, the vet only put Nico in a cage until vet tech Mikayla Silkmann arrived and saw the little guy.

Mikayla Silkman

“He just sat in his cage and cried, and it broke my heart,” Silkman told The Dodo. “He was so little; his eyes were barely open.”

Silkman knew she needed to help Nico after she learned that he was to be put to sleep.

Mikayla Silkman

“I thought, ‘Oh my God, we can’t euthanise this puppy,’” Silkman said.

So, she called her friend for help. The founder of Perfect Imperfections, an organisation working to help special needs dogs, Trisha Malfitano, was in Canada when Silkman called her but she immediately agreed to take Nico in.

Mikayla Silkman

While Malfitano was still in Canada, the vet staff examined the pup and realised that Nico’s back legs had some bones and connective tissues missing which caused him some deformities. His condition was called straight-legged-shepherd-syndrome.

Trisha Malfitano

Nico stayed with Silkman at her house until Malfitano cam to receive him.

“He was itty-bitty,” Malfitano said. “He looked like a teddy bear.”

Trisha Malfitano

Because Nico was still very young, he needed to be bottle- fed. Nevertheless, he drank well and had a lot of energy which he spent on exploring Malfitano’s house.

Trisha Malfitano

“He’d drag himself around, and he always wanted to be around the other dogs,” Malfitano said.

Malfitano loved Nico so much that she almost adopted him herself. But a woman named April Addison from Arizona sent her a message showing her interest in choosing him, and she immediately agreed.

In August, Addison travelled to Connecticut to pick Nico up to take him in his life’s new journey.

April Addison

“When I saw him at the airport, he just stuck his head out of the carrier, and I pulled him out of there, and he licked me on the face,” Addison said.

In no time, Addison fell in love with Nico who charmed her with his affectionate and playful nature.

“He’s very lovable and just wants to be cuddled, and wants to be with me all the time,” Addison said. “He’s a Velcro dog.”

April Addison

Not to mention, Nico even loved Addison’s other dogs.

“You’d think that he’d be a little bit afraid of his brothers because of his disability, but he doesn’t care,” Addison said. “He just crawls over to them and tries to take a toy away. He’ll slip and fall, and then he’ll get up again and try again. He rarely gets frustrated. He only cries when he’s really stuck.”

Nico has been inspiring Addison to live a happy life no matter what, ever since he came into her life. According to her, it is the best decision she has ever made.

April Addison

“He really does brighten my day,” Addison said. “People often tell me that Nico’s so lucky that he has me, but I feel I’m so lucky that I have Nico. I saved him, yes, but I feel like he saved me. I feel like he’s given me hope. He really does inspire me to look past the negative and think about the positive.”

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