Healthy Living

Shelter Dogs: Susan Luong’s Miracle Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

Shelter Dogs: Susan Luong’s Miracle Therapy for Muscular Dystrophy

Photo: Susan Luong's adopted corgis Twinkie and Gizmo. Source: Upworthy.

Though muscular dystrophy isn’t yet fully understood, several therapies and treatments have long aided patients in alleviating some of their symptoms. Other than the invasive surgical measures and the strong medications, patients also benefit from non-conventional methods of treatment.

What are one of these non-conventional methods of treatments? Well, Susan Luong, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Polymyostis, uses shelter dogs to help her cope with her condition on a daily basis.

Susan Luong’s miracle therapy

Susan Luong was 7 years old when she suffered from Juvenile Polymyositis (JPM), a form of muscular dystrophy. Because of the condition, she couldn’t play with other kids outside their house or even take a walk around the park. She couldn’t walk well and was afraid that she’ll never again be able to. Until one day, she paid a hospital visit and saw a group of shelter dogs that immediately captured her heart. These miracle dogs eventually helped her treat her condition as well.

According to Susan, she felt a deep connection with the shelter dogs as, like her, they had behavioral and medical issues separating them from the pack. She understood the pain of having to go through all sorts of treatment, medication, and rehabilitation, just to get better and be able to walk again. Since then, Susan has dedicated herself to helping these sheltered animals whose lives have a lot of resemblance to hers.

As a first step, Susan and her husband adopted their first-ever corgi. Unlike others, these dogs had a lot of issues, ranging from medical to behavioral. At first glance, the pair thought they had a two-year-old corgi and later found out that it was actually 5 years older. The dog's real age didn't show in their appearance, especially since the dog was suffering from pneumonia, dysplasia, and several other conditions. For the dog’s rehabilitation, the husband and wife spent approximately $2000.

They also had to deal with the dog’s behavioral issues. It may not be strange for a dog to be aggressive to outsiders, but this dog hated every other dog and people around him, including Susan and her husband. All of Susan’s friends and family wanted her to give up the corgi, but she decided to keep helping it for as long as she can.

So then, they stepped up their efforts and trained the dog based on his very behavior. They also adopted another female corgi who had similar training with their first one. Through time, the dogs became good friends and earned the Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) award because of their improved behavior. All these clearly showed how much help they had, but for Susan, her dogs were her own life-savers.

Read on to learn how Susan Luong used these dogs as her own therapy for Juvenile Polymyositis.