NATURE: My Bionic Pet

If you are the type of person who trolls the internets for sweet/sad stories involving critters… you know, the stories that make you simultaneously burst into tears and stifle a scream-of-cuteness with your fist in your mouth, well, this is the one-hour NATURE special for you.

Genre(s): Documentary

Director: Kevin Bachar, Andy Seestedt

Actors: Chris P. Bacon

Year: 2014

MPAA Rating: NR

Country: USA

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OK, so right away when a kind pet-dad started talking about a disabled pig that he rescued, and that he named him Chris. P. Bacon, I just about had to turn off this NATURE special, because I thought, “This. Is. TOO. MUCH.” Chris P. Bacon’s new dad just happened to be a veterinarian who thought he’d give the little runt with the withered back legs a shot instead of putting him down, as his previous owner had asked him to do. Baby pig was rigged up with some wheels from the vet’s son’s toys, and after that the little guy became excitedly mobile. This pig, now adult and harnessed up to a couple of custom-made wheels is one of the stars of this totally endearing special.

There are dogs with prosthetic limbs where legs and paws once used to be. There is a horse who suffered a horrific dog-attack where he lost part of his leg, but now has an amazing prosthetic that he can hobble around on. There is even a scene where a surgeon sculpts a new beak for a disfigured swan. Plus, if you can only stand so much sweetness, there is even an alligator who is given a new tail, which not only helps his strained back, but allows him to swim through water. Less cuddly, but no less amazing!

Finally, if you aren’t moved by seeing the animals scoot around with their new limbs, try not to be touched by the scenes of disabled children and adults bonding with some of these critters. To see a bald young child in a hospital bed light up when a gentle golden retriever named Journey, who is a three-legged certified therapy dog, comes for a visit, well, you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved. When Journey’s owner talks about the impact his dog has on people of all types and abilities, he gets visibly choked up, and if you are an animal lover, I’m sure you will, too.

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