Stevie the Wonder Dog Wants You to Know
by Robert Hudson
Stevie the Wonder Dog went viral with a video of him having a blast playing in a puddle of water. People were captivated by his expression of joy and excitement. What was not immediately apparent was the fact Stevie’s jumping in excitement was actually involuntary movement caused by a neurological disorder. Cerebellar Hypoplasia affects motor control due to an underdeveloped cerebellum.
Stevie the Wonder Dog’s Health
Cerebellar Hypoplasia, (CH) is typically a hereditary disease in dogs, but is also found in cats. Kittens can acquire this disease in utero.
The severity of the symptoms may vary, but it is not progressive. Some may benefit from using a wheelchair.
Typically this disease is not degenerative, meaning that the severity of the symptoms shown by your dog are unlikely to become more severe. If your dog is diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia but retains enough coordination and control over their movements to perform basic functions, they can go on to live a good quality of life.
“I don’t think it limits him really at all. Certain adaptations have to be made but that’s for his overall wellbeing. For example, he can get overheated easily so we make sure he’s not out too long on hot summer days. I don’t see him not “running” or going for long walks as a limitation, just a difference from what other dogs may do. He still plays, loves, eats, drinks, gets exercise, and learns. He seems to really benefit from massage therapy. It relaxes his tense muscles and he seems to really enjoy it. I will be looking into swim therapy for him soon, if nothing else for the low impact exercise it provides. Other than some seasonal allergies he’s in excellent health.”
Such a Goof Ball
Stevie is a typical, normal goof ball! “He’s a total goofball. He makes me laugh all the time. I feel like he has this really strong personality where he communicates with his facial expressions and movements. He has this wind-up bark thing where when he’s going to start barking he throws his head back and sort of winds-up! It cracks me up every time”, laughed Jane Cornelius, Stevie’s Ma, service human and personal assistant!
“We’ve been working on new commands like sit, down, etc which he has mastered. His favorite thing is playing with squeaky and crinkly toys, but he also likes hide and seek games where I hide treats and he has to sniff them out. “
People who meet Stevie the wonder dog are drawn to him. “When strangers see him they typically are curious. I usually take the opportunity to share that he has a neurological disability and is a very happy boy. Sometimes some strange rumors appear on social media. Unfortunately there is a widespread rumor that he is blind. Someone shared one of our videos with a caption about him being blind and it went viral. We spend a lot of time clarifying that that’s not true.”
Jane Cornelius is grateful for all the support Stevie’s fans give: “Nothing makes me happier than the Stevie Squad community. I started Stevie’s Instagram account so people who had been following the rescue could see that he found his forever home and was happy. It turned into a community of joy watching Stevie live in the moment and find happiness in everyday life.
I love when people tag their loved ones in the comments and Stevie provides a moment of shared joy and connection for them. It fills my heart and makes me so grateful. And for everyone who follows Stevie, thank you so much for being a champion for dogs with Cerebellar Hypoplasia and other disabilities. You all help educate and inspire by taking what you’ve learned from Stevie and sharing that with others. That is truly remarkable and saves more lives.” Would you give a home to a dog like Stevie?