KATY MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2018
by Natalie Cook Clark and Katrina Katsarelis
When Theresa and Gregory Loyacano of Katy first looked into Nessie's eyes, they saw pain and a heartbroken spirit. Nessie had been returned to the shelter and moved to new shelters time and again, and the Loyacano's sensed she desperately needed a forever home. Today, Nessie lives in a happy home and helps inspire children and people with limb loss across the world.
"For me it was love at first sight," describes Theresa. "We had time to mourn our previous dog and I was just coming around to the idea of getting a new dog when I saw Nessie's sweet face in a picture. I knew then that I had to meet her.
Although the Loyacano's don't know Nessie's entire story, they know she was born without forelegs and abandoned at birth. Nessie is estimated to be between seven to eight years old and was bounced around and returned to at least three shelters. She eventually landed at Texas Chihuahua Rescue, in San Antonio where the Loycano's went to meet her in person. They adopted her in January of this year. "I couldn't stand the thought of how frightened she must be," says Theresa. The Loyacano family named her Nessie’ because when she sits upright (which is most of the time) she resembles Lochness's "Nessie".
Adopting a Special Needs Dog
The Loyacano's have three adult daughters who also met with Nessie along with their parents. "This was truly a family commitment and we all agreed that we wanted to show Nessie the love and support that she deserved." While Nessie is adorable and full of personality, Theresa says caring for a special needs dog is not easy. Nessie's wheelchair and mobility issues require more time and attention than adopting an average dog. Despite the time requirements, the Loyacano's encourage other families to adopt a special needs pet and feel strongly that the rewards outweigh the challenges.
Despite Nessie's handicap she has adapted pretty well. When Texas Chihuahua Rescue took her in they ordered a customized wheel chair and worked with her until she got used to it. Nessie uses her wheels but also enjoys hopping around "Kangaroo style" or better yet, being carried around in her baby sling.
Overcoming Her Fears
At first Nessie was very fearful--especially of men. The Loyacano's suspect she had been abused. But with love and support it didn't take long for them to break through Nessie's walls and reveal the sweet, happy pup that she truly is. "Within a few weeks Nessie learned the ropes and was ruling the roost, says Theresa. "She went from nervous and frightened to confident and courageous; the transformation was amazing."
"Nessie is part Chihuahua and part kangaroo, and 100% a good girl!" - Theresa Loyacano
A Day in the Life
When she’s not sun bathing or rolling around in her wheels, she either hops or is carried in a sling. "She is very much our baby and we try to take her with us wherever we go although her favorite outing is the donut shop on Saturday mornings because she knows she’s going to get a mini kolache," says Theresa. Nessie enjoys spending time with another two-legged dog, Nubby Bowlin. "It's pretty cool to see them wheel around in their identical front support carts," says Theresa. People are always curious about Nessie and ask Theresa all what happened to her limbs. "They soon realize that what she's lacking in legs she more than makes up for in personality," says Theresa.