Meet Bonsai: The Bulldog With Only Half A Body, But All Heart

Bonsai the bulldog has a genetic defect that means he was born with a deformed spine, missing pelvis, and underdeveloped hind legs. His original owners reached out to Friends of Emma, an organization that helps dogs with birth defects.

In June, after Friends of Emma took over his care, Bonsai’s hind legs were amputated.


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Since then, the little pooch has been through a lot, but he’s in good hands and getting better.


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Bonsai’s underdeveloped hind legs caused his front legs to splay under the weight, a condition known as Swimmer’s Syndrome.


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Bonsai was born to breeders in Alabama.


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He was just 3 and a half weeks old when he went to live with the Friends of Emma rescuers.


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The veterinarian had to perform Bonsai’s amputation operation upside down. Lying on his back caused Bonsai to have breathing problems due to a sack of fluid in his chest.


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The amputation surgery left bonsai looking like half a dog, but he pulled through well.


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Bonsai requires constant care and must undergo muscle therapy and rehabilitation.


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Bonsai enjoys spending time with other animals, including this pink parakeet.


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His ‘big brother’, another dog at the rescue, is also a double amputee.


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Getting around can be a challenge.


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Despite everything Bonsai has been through in his short life, he remains a loving, playful puppy.


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Ongoing scans and tests will be necessary to ensure that Bonsai heals properly. Luckily, this little dog is up for the fight.


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Bonsai’s condition is extremely rare. In fact, Friends of Emma has found no other documented cases of his particular combination of birth defects.


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Check out one of Bonsai’s much needed physical therapy sessions below:

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Follow Bonsai’s story at the Half A Bulldog Twice The Love Facebook page, and visit the Friends of Emma homepage for more information or to make a donation for the continued care of Bonsai and other animals in need.