Mon. May 23rd, 2022


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Puppy’s heart defects won’t stop him exploring the world from owner’s backpack

3 min read

When Huey's first owners gave him up due to heart issues, Rissa Royce took him in and promised to give him an exciting and fulfilling life.

The one-year-old bully mix can't exercise due to a plethora of health issues, so explores the world from his owner's backpack to avoid missing out on adventures.

Rissa rescued Huey when his previous owners gave him up because he wasn’t suitable to be a breeding dog, TeamDogs reports.

Huey suffers with a heart murmur, as well as a diagnosis for other heart defects – which means he can't always do what regular dogs do.

Rissa, who lives in Florida, said: “He was surrendered to the veterinary clinic I work at for having a prolapsed urethra and a heart murmur.

"So he came home with me that night and hasn’t left since.”

The pup has quite a few cardiac deformations, like his sister Penelope who recently and unexpectedly passed away from her own cardiac disease.

That’s why Rissa feels the urgent need for Huey to explore the world while he can.

“I am very protective of Huey. After Penelope passed I made a little promise to Huey that he will live the best life I can possibly provide him. That’s the best doctors, the best home environment, and the best travels,” said Rissa

Despite not being able to exercise and explore like other dogs would, Huey’s first travel experience, to Georgia and the Little Grand Canyons, was a success.

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“He was an amazing car rider and guest at the Airbnb we stayed at,” said Rissa.

“My dog Oakley has been my travel buddy for years and now little Huey joins in. I enjoy traveling with them because it changes the stereotypes of Bully and Pitbull breeds.

“They have such a negative stigma of aggression and unpredictability. So, when folks see Huey wearing a hat in a backpack I feel like it makes the breed a little more lighthearted, more fun and approachable.

“There were many people asking to take pictures of Huey in the bag, asking to pet him, and what his story is. He’s full of life and loves to cuddle and apparently travel too.

“He’s been in two states now, but the plan is to continue to backpack with him around the country to allow him to experience the world. Colorado is the dream destination.”

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Rissa has a household of Bully breed dogs – a total of seven dogs who were all surrendered pets that previous owners did not want.

“I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Unfortunately where I am located in America there is a huge influx of breeding involving the Bully breeds, it’s just breeding to make a quick buck," Rissa added.

“These poor pups aren’t treated like dogs, they’re treated like machines in a factory. I am eternally grateful that Huey wasn’t subjected to that, but my heart is always heavy for the dogs who have fallen victim to the breeding industry.

“Eventually, I’d like to take a few weeks off work and drive the country for different scenic trips and hikes with Huey and the other pups. It’s the life they should be living.”

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