Following her appearance in a popular TikTok video with one unusually small ear, a golden retriever named Nala has won hearts online.
The video posted under the handle @mabel.and.nalaa has a somber-looking Nala with the message, “when the other dogs at the dog park make fun of your small ear,” highlighting her birth deformity.
The affliction, which Nala’s owner has fondly dubbed a “Nemo fin” in earlier recordings, is a congenital abnormality that affects a baby’s ear, whether it be human or canine.
Microtia, a genetic disorder, prevents the external ear of a human or animal from developing properly and frequently results in being too small, which can cause canines like Nala to have a smaller ear flap or ear canal than average, according to Artvin Coruh University in Turkey.
While it is obvious that Nala has not been “bullied” by other dogs, able-bodied puppies without any known deformities are more likely to receive attention from their human companions.
“Most dog owners when adopting an animal choose an animal that fits readily into their lifestyle, and dogs with genetic, structural, or chronic difficulties may very well be less likely to be adopted for those reasons,” said Dr. Hunter Finn, a veterinarian and the owner of Pet Method in Texas.
However, thousands of comments supporting Nala’s ear deformity have been left for the recently famous golden retriever on TikTok, with one user calling Nala “perfect” and another saying they’re “in love.”
Don’t listen to them; you are great in every aspect, said one TikToker. “She is perfect,” stated another.
Since the video featuring Nala’s ear hit TikTok by storm in December, the account @Mabel.And.Nalaa has garnered a lot of attention. The video has received 1.4 million views since it was posted on December 30, 2022.
The border collie named Mabel and the 24-year-old owner Kennedy appear to reside in Liverpool, northwest England, with the golden retriever. Since Mabel first joined her family as a puppy, Kennedy has been documenting her dogs’ life and has since worked with well-known dog brands, such as pet food manufacturer Scrumbles, through social media advertisements.
Why Adopt a Disabled Dog?
Approximately 2 million dogs are adopted from American shelters each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), however, it is well recognized that animals with specific requirements or uncommon conditions are less likely to be chosen by a family.
The adoption and purchase of dogs by families increased during the COVID-19 epidemic, although many of the animals bought during the pandemic’s peak were donated to shelters as lockdowns relaxed and society returned to normal.
After the pandemic, it’s possible that dogs with special requirements or those that require additional care were among those who were taken back to shelters since their owners’ lives had gotten busier and they no longer had the time to satisfy their pets’ needs.
According to Petfinder.com surveys, animals with birth abnormalities are much less likely to be adopted than those without them, and they account for a significant part of dogs and other pets in shelters.
Many prospective dog owners may find adopting a disabled dog rather intimidating, but if the eager owner has a safe and caring home ready for the pup and has embraced the learning they will have to endure, the advantages are likely to exceed the difficulties. After receiving love and care, the crippled animal is likely to develop a strong loyalty and devotion to its new owner, just like any other dog.
Many nonprofit organizations and shelters help families acclimate to new puppies, particularly if they have special requirements, and hefty insurance policies are available to protect new owners’ financially in the event that their new pet needs extra medical care in the future.