Sending dog and cat pictures to stressed out or struggling folks on social media has become an easy way to reach out and show a little love. But when one aunt requested some dog pictures to help make a gift for her nephew’s birthday present, she never expected her post to go viral and to be completely inundated with pictures of adorable puppers.
Christy Ford’s plan was to collect as many pictures of dogs as possible and put them into a book for her dog-loving nephew, Tyler, who has special needs. So she went on social media asking for help. However, after a few days it became clear that people outside of her immediate circle were sharing photos—people from all over the world were sending pictures and helping Tyler celebrate his birthday.
Now, her post has been shared thousands of times. A small idea took on a life of its own, and now Tyler has his own Facebook page dedicated to his love of dogs.
According to Tyler’s mother, Shanda Ford, Tyler was born with a chromosomal condition called cri-du-chat. He struggles with fine and gross motor skills and is in constant pain due to hip dysplasia. He has also been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.
“To watch him endure these things day in and day out, knowing he does not have the ability to verbalize his discomforts and exhaustion, makes him nothing less than a hero in my book. Nonetheless, he continues to show grace to live life to its fullest, braving each day with that contagious smile on his face,” she wrote on Facebook.
Good Afternoon to each of you!! I hope you all are having a phenomenal day😊This is Shanda Ford, Tyler’s mother. I...Posted by Tyler’s PAW Strings on Thursday, February 13, 2020
While Tyler faces challenges every day, his love of dogs helps him get through them. He has two Australian shepherds named Bango and Fiddle, and he loves all dogs. He loves meeting them and according to Christy, he remembers every dog he meets.
Now, thanks to Christy’s post, every day Tyler receives pictures of dogs from all over the country—and outside as well. Thousands of thoughtful people have expressed their kindness and encouragement.
Tyler’s birthday is in April, and Christy is collecting dog pictures until March 30. If you’d like to send Tyler pictures of your dogs (you know you do), send them to:
Tyler c/o Christy Ford
PO Box 1036 Trinity, NC 27370
Christy requests that all photos be either 3×5 or 4×6. She also asks for people to write the name of the dog, the dog’s breed, and the dog’s owner’s name on the back of each photo.