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Lucky dog needs his third charm and a new home

Thursday - 5/10/2012, 3:46pm  ET

buster
Veterinarian Daniel Shillito gets a kiss from Buster during an examination. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
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Buster gets a neurological workup

WTOP's Kate Ryan reports.

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WASHINGTON - He was hit by a car and survived, and lucked out further when a good Samaritan plucked him from a West Virginia roadside and got him medical attention.

Now Buster, a young Beagle-Dachshund mix, is up for adoption.

The Washington Animal Rescue League is helping by taking over Buster's care, and the search is on for the family that can welcome a special-needs dog.

See, Buster has a spinal cord injury -- but doesn't need too much help getting around. Fitted with a doggy wheelchair, he can speed around as well as any other dog. Even out of the wheelchair, he scoots along, dragging his legs behind him.

But given Buster's spinal cord injury, bladder control is an issue. He needs to be "expressed" -- that is, his owner will have to assist him by squeezing his bladder to help prevent urinary tract infections. The vets at WARL explain it's a lot like squeezing the water out of a balloon. And Buster's perfectly OK with it.

There are dozens of other dogs without physical issues waiting for homes at WARL and hundreds more at area shelters, but Mary Jarvis, chief operating officer of WARL, is confident he'll find his match.

"He's got everything going for him. He loves people, he loves toys," says Jarvis. "He's just got some special needs."

Buster is a smiley, happy dog that Jarvis says is very "food motivated." During a medical exam in which he was poked, prodded and "expressed," he sniffed and snuggled but wasn't put off with the handling by strangers he'd met just minutes before. The only issue for the veterinary neurologist working with him was that he was wiggly, and this time the exam took a bit longer than usual.

Jarvis is excited to see Buster's luck continue to play out.

"The right people always come along," for dogs like Buster, Jarvis says. "And I look forward to meeting the happy family that gets him."

The Washington Animal Rescue League can be reached at 202-726-2556 or by email at adopt@warl.org.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Kate and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)