One night in 2015, unable to sleep, Lisa Edge mindlessly scrolled through an animal rescue site on Facebook. As photos of puppies flickered before her eyes, Lisa’s finger suddenly paused. You sweet baby, she sighed, gazing at a tiny white fluffball. Less than a year old, the cockapoo had been found abandoned in California, without eyes and with deformed back legs. Lisa’s heart ached for the little guy, and the Mineral Point, Wisconsin, animal lover found herself thinking: I want to help him.
Having been a mom to disabled pets in the past, Lisa was quickly approved to adopt Noah. When she picked him up at the airport, his front legs immediately embraced her in a hug, as if to say, “Thank you for saving me.”
“You’re welcome,” Lisa whispered. As Noah settled into his new home, Lisa was amazed by his spirit. Though he couldn’t see and had to use a wheelchair, Noah was happy and energetic.
Lisa watched in awe as he would run and play like any other dog. Everyone who saw him couldn’t help but smile. And Lisa got to thinking that more people in the world could use a dose of Noah’s special sunshine.
Lisa began taking Noah to nursing homes and schools, and she set up a Facebook page for him. Soon, he was inspiring joy and acceptance in thousands of hearts.
Lisa would get goose bumps as she read messages from parents who told her that, thanks to Noah, their children were no longer being bullied and that their kids with disabilities had begun to finally believe in themselves.
“If Noah can do it, so can I!” they’d say with determination.
Adults, too, found courage through Noah. A middle-aged woman who was losing her sight and had fallen into a deep depression was filled with hope, realizing that if Noah can live a happy life without sight, so could she. A woman fighting cancer told Lisa that she takes a photo of the pup to her chemo treatments for inspiration.
Noah was even named 2018 Animal of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Lisa hopes to keep expanding now five-year-old Noah’s reach and sharing his adorable motto: “I’m a blind rockstar, this is how I roll.”
“He’s a breathing, furry visual that helps kids and adults alike see that no matter what the challenge, we can overcome it,” Lisa says. “He puts smiles on people’s faces and fills their hearts with hope and joy. Noah’s message is simple: We all want and deserve to be loved and accepted for exactly who we are!”
3 Ways You Can Help Shelter Pets During a Crisis
Spread the word online.
Without adoption events, shelters rely on social media to spread the word of adoptable pets. Share your local shelters’ dogs and cats on your page to boost their views.
Make a boredom buster.
“Dropping off homemade toys is an easy way to help shelter pets have fun!” says Jennifer Lane, Humane Society marketing director. Find ideas at CVHumane.org!
Donate household items.
Visit CVHumane.org/wish-list for simple household items — like old towels, Q-tips, peanut butter, or nail clippers — that you can deliver to shelters.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.