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Perfect Imperfection
Perfect  Imperfection is a book of photographs by Australian pet photographer Alex Cearns. He set out to capture in pictures the personalities of animals who have overcome disabilities. The article shows a number of the pictures.

The pictures are very good, the pets are wonderful. Animals will never cease to amaze me. They live with levels of damage that would cause a human to give up and feel sorry for themselves. Pets just carry on and make the best of it. As someone who has now and in the past cared for handicapped pets this book touches my heart. My Jake Krinkle Snake and of course Pigbert  are shinning examples of perfect imperfection and a dogged determination to carry on and never complain.

I think Alex  Cearns captures that spirit in his pictures.
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The pictures are very moving. The first thing I thought of when I read this thread title was Jake Krinkle Snake. And what a worthwhile life you have given to him. There really is no such thing as "perfection" anyway. We are all about diversity, and twists and turns in ways and shapes.
(That's one of the reasons I can never get on with the "dog show breed standard" ideas!)

If disabled animals are supported in ways that they need most, almost all of them can carry on to lead happy fulfilling lives. But I guess this can sometimes be a fine line as it depends on the caregiver knowing what is okay and normal for them, and what is not right or is painful etc.
Jake Krinkle Snake is a classic example of an "imperfect" pet.  He has done well and even thrived in spite of his damaged spine. I have made him  comfortable and happy, but I can't fix him. I always joke that when I put Jake on the floor 30 minutes later he will have crawled to the other side of the room. Sadly it is true. His movements are slow and not well coordinated. 

Jake has  done well because I am experienced enough to work with him. When I got him he couldn't poop without help and he couldn't shed. Now all I have to do is help him when he is shedding. He is used to it and he works with me. 

The young man who had Jake did the right thing to give him up. Jake was his first snake and he tried for 18 months, but he had trouble even feeding him. He took a healthy snake and I took Jake. I have been able to improve Jake's health by just knowing what snakes need and being aware of how Jake is different. It is hard to believe, but Jake is around ten years old and he has been with me 8 years this month.

It is not okay to give up on imperfect pets. They deserve happy lives too. It is okay to give up a pet when you can't provide the right care. Imperfect pets are not for everyone, but they are worth every moment of extra care they need.

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Jake is pretty close to four feet long and if his spine were straight he might even be almost 5 feet. That is a very good length for a corn snake.

Catherine Becket • Public

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