Laughing Your Way Out of a Messy Situation

By: Erica Loring

My life changed when I adopted Scooty in February 2012. A stray pup in Mexico, she was hit by a car when she was only 6 months old and left for dead. Somehow she survived, and dragged her paralyzed back legs around the streets until she was found by Baja Dog Rescue.

Erica and Scooty on the beach

Scooty was in terrible shape—she had distemper, a broken back in 2-3 places, crushed hips, broken ribs, a broken tail, and open wounds down to her bones, some of which were badly infected and filled with maggots.

It may sound crazy, but when I first saw pictures of Scooty, I knew I needed to bring her home with me. So I did—I jumped head first (really, heart first) and adopted her on the spot. However, I had no idea how hard having a special needs dog would be.

Scooty’s medical bills were high, and her spinal injury meant that she had no control over her bladder. This proved to be our biggest hurdle. We rehabilitated Scooty with acupuncture, laser therapy, hydrotherapy, and a whole lot of love and patience. What proved most helpful throughout this process, however? A healthy dose of humor.

I’ve always been a big believer in the importance of being able to laugh things off. Sometimes, when life is really tough, laughing is the only option. One of my favorite stories to tell about Scooty illustrates this point perfectly.

One evening, soon after I adopted Scooty, I came home from work to find that she had had diarrhea while I was gone. Since Scooty can’t walk—she can only scoot—you can imagine the mess I walked into. Once I got over the initial shock of seeing my apartment completely covered in poop, I couldn’t help but smile (and laugh)—thanks to the poop smears all over the walls and floor, I could see that Scooty had been practicing what she had been learning in physical therapy. All over my apartment were little poop rainbows, evidence that Scooty had been using the walls to balance before taking a step and falling over, again and again. There were so many rainbows (so much poop!) and though it was gross, I was delighted to see how hard Scooty was trying. My only option at this point was to laugh it off, and that’s just what I did—my roommate and I cracked a bottle of wine, had a good chuckle, and started scrubbing.

Now, I’m happy to say that through much trial and error, Scooty and I have learned how to regulate her bowel movements a bit more. More importantly, though, our lives have fallen together beautifully—Scooty is the happiest, most well-behaved dog anyone has ever seen. When we go out together, people can’t help but look at her and smile. She is absolutely magnetic, and her little doggy smile melts hearts on the daily. I started an Instagram account for Scooty because I just couldn’t keep this bundle of joy to myself any longer—I wanted everyone to experience her infectious joy and love of life. Today, Scooty wins the hearts of millions of people from all over the world on Instagram every day. I hear stories from her followers about how she made them smile or laugh on a tough day, and it makes me so happy to share her with others in this way. Scooty has taught me so much. She’s taught me unconditional love, endless patience, and how to get poop out of just about every surface and fabric known to mankind.

We’re so excited to be part of the Life is Good Tribe—like us, Life is Good understands the importance of having a sense of humor, especially when the going gets tough. Or, umm, messy.

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