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Gema, the Great Dane, was born three times smaller than the rest of her litter. In addition to being incredibly tiny, the Great Dane puppy also was born with an extra paw.

Gema’s family quickly realized they might not be able to give her the care she needed. The family contacted Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and the shelter agreed to take Gema.

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Natalie Thomson is the shelter’s director of marketing and said they were happy to take the tiny Great Dane. Natalie said they understood the family gave her up so Gema could have a fighting chance.

As soon as Gema arrived, the staff fell in love with her. Everyone at the shelter thought Gema was the perfect puppy.

Gema’s hind legs are normal, but her front legs are unusual. One of Gema’s front legs is shorter than the other, and the other front leg has two paws. The small Great Dane has learned to stand on her back legs, much like a kangaroo. Gema is unaware she is any different than the other dogs.

Natalie said Gema doesn’t understand why everyone dotes on her. Gema was born this way, and she thinks it’s normal. The Great Dane puppy is very happy and loves cuddling with the staff.

Gema is now in the care of a foster family while she continues to grow. Stray Rescue of St. Louis is monitoring Gema, assessing what her needs will be. Gema’s foster family also has two other dogs, along with two cats and three energetic boys. The boys in the family love playing with Gema.

Gema may need surgery in the future, but for now, she is comfortable and happy. Once Gema’s medical needs have been sorted out, the Great Dane will be up for adoption. Natalie Thomson said she is grateful to Gema for being a great example of a special needs dog. Shelters across the country need more exposure to dogs with special needs, and they need to learn how to care for them.

Credits: Natalie Thomson Facebook

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