Westchester’s 2013 Pet Contest Winner: Gabriel the Incredible, White Plains, NY

Though he’s a special needs Labrador/hound mix, Gabriel has learned to walk and run despite being paralyzed in his hind end.

A Very Special Fellow
{Gabriel The Incredible} 
A 9-month-old male, special-needs Labrador/hound mix

His human: Courtney (quoted here) and Timothy Bellew of White Plains  

His name: In Hebrew means ‘able-bodied.’ Started life: In a high-kill shelter in West Virginia, partially paralyzed with special needs and congenital birth defects. Normally, a dog with these disabilities would be euthanized, but the shelter staff saw Gabriel’s will to live and fight and sought out placement for him with a rescue group. Ten-second commercial: Gabriel is paralyzed in his hind end, wears diapers, has two tails, and severe deformities in his knees—but this doesn’t stop him. He has learned to walk—and even run—and is the happiest, strongest, most determined little guy. Sweetest habit: Collecting shoes to sleep with—he doesn’t chew them but just brings them to his bed to cuddle with. Cutest behavior: Because Gabriel is partially paralyzed and unable to wag his tail, he wags his legs when he is excited in a ‘tushy dance.’ He hops up and down and his legs move a mile a minute. He DVRs: Reality TV. The ridiculous and silly drama makes his daily trials and tribulations of life seem easy. Fave toy: A stuffed chicken—he swings it around and drags it everywhere with him. Preferred nosh: Mom’s chicken cutlets and Italian bread. Thinks he is: A giant Great Dane. He loves to play with the big dogs, doesn’t know he has disabilities, and does everything they do. Most oddball habit: Sleeping all twisted up like a pretzel, with legs over his head and his nose buried. Fun fact: Has his own Facebook page—Gabriel the Incredible. His future plans: Possibly becoming a children’s hospital therapy dog, because we feel that kids will benefit from seeing how happy and playful he is despite his disabilities.

Check out Gabriel’s exclusive behind-the-scenes video, right here

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