Meet The Crew

Mickey (founder and owner of the Padded Bum Crew):

MICKEY was our first special needs baby. We had lost our beautiful English Bulldog, Tubby, four months prior and were ready to rescue another baby. We had always adopted seniors or harder to place bulldogs, but somehow or another, Mickey’s profile touched our hearts. He was everything we were NOT looking for. He was a puppy (no puppies!). He was special needs (we didn’t have a clue how to care for a special needs baby), and he was out of our adoption area. There seemed to be so many reasons why NOT to consider Mickey, except that he had stolen our hearts through his story and his we reached out to Mickey’s foster mom. After researching Spina Bifida, we were ready to welcome him to our home and he became part of our family on 6/30/12. Months after adopting Mickey, we found out he was born on the same day we had lost our sweet Tubby. He was truly meant to be ours.

Mickey was born with Spina Bifida which is a birth defect that affects the formation of the spine. This malformation renders him incontinent. Additionally, his back legs fused in a hyper-extended position. As a puppy, Mickey’s legs splayed out to the sides. For this first year, we hobbled his legs to help his hip bones/legs form correctly. He was hobbled one day on, one day off. During that time, Mickey got around by carrying his weight with his front end. This essentially helped him build his upper body strength. At the age of 1, Mickey became the proud owner of his first wheelchair from Eddies Wheels. He took to it so quickly and learned he could be a little speed demon once he was strapped in. He is FAST!

Caring for a special needs animal was a bit intimidating.....but over time, we realized it is just different, not harder or more difficult, just different.  We learned how to diaper him and over time we have learned how to supplement his care, to ensure that we avoid health issues that arise with having a diaper baby. He’s a strong boy, mentally, physically and emotionally. He’s taught us not only how to care for a special needs baby, but also a lot about life. He lives in the moment, not realizing he’s special needs or different. He wakes up every morning and truly lives life. Although he’s our baby, he’s been our teacher.

Mickey’s favorite things: Running in his cart, chasing tennis balls, the sun on his back, treats and of course his comfy bed.


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Bessie (also known as the Bulldozer):

BESSIE was surrendered to rescue in 2013 at the age of 9.  She was delivered to the rescue volunteers with a hefty trash bag wrapped around her hind end, since she was incontinent and her owners didn’t want her to make a mess.  Bessie was born with two club feet (her back feet) and Spina Bifida.  The Spina Bifida renders her incontinent therefore, the diaper and “fancy pants”.

Her “owners” had one of her feet surgically fixed, however the “fix” fused the leg so it no longer bends.  The other was left with what appears to be an extra appendage.  She lived her life in a small patch of dirt in the backyard, along with a Pitbull sibling.  Bessie is one tough cookie!  She learned to get around by the strength in her front legs and dragging her back legs.  Occasionally, she will get on all fours and shuffle the cutest shuffle EVER!  Carrying her entire body with her front legs has taken its toll over the years, causing severe bowing, but nothing slows this girl down.

Becoming a member of our family at the age of 9 on July 7th, 2013, we were hoping she’d be a companion to Mickey however, quickly realized the age difference was a little too much for Miss Bessie.  She enjoys quiet, calm surroundings and often hangs out in a separate part of the house with “the Big’s” (the older crew).  She’s very small but mighty, weighing in at 37lbs….a “Featherweight” with quite the punch!  She can and WILL get to anything she sets her mind to.  She’s an absolute LOVE that enjoys being outside, soaking up the sun.  We had a set of wheels made for her however, after walking a certain way for 9 years, she really didn’t take to them.  She does things however she wants and we just make sure she’s comfortable, happy and showered with love.

Bessie’s favorite things: Edging the lawn, running through the grass, breakfast & dinner, belly rubs and of course her comfy bed.


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Minnie (also known as the Pleaser):

WE suffered a huge loss on 7/31/13. Our special needs girl Jeyda (Mickey’s other half) had crossed over to the Rainbow Bridge. Mickey was depressed and acting out ever since her passing, so we knew we had to get him a playmate. We came across an adorable little 10 week old girl through Southern California Bulldog Rescue that was also special needs. Her name was Spicy. We thought the age difference would be perfect for him as he had a lot of puppy energy to expend. On September 8th, 2013 at the age of 10 weeks, Spicy officially became Minnie (get it…Minnie & Mickey ) Kenitzer, and an official member of the Padded Bum Crew. 

Minnie was a breeder surrender. At approximately 6 weeks, her breeder noticed that she wasn’t going potty like her other puppies so she took her to her vet to have her evaluated. The vet diagnosed her with Spina Bifida and advised the breeder to have her humanely euthanized, since she’d be diapered for life and therefore, he didn’t feel she’d have a good quality of life. Thankfully, the breeder didn’t feel comfortable doing this and reached out to rescue.

Mickey absolutely fell in love with his little sister and was so patient with her. She’d crawl all over him, find a spot and just get comfy on him. They had to be touching at all times when sleeping. We soon had to trade Mickey’s crate (we keep open crates throughout the house) for a much larger one that we call his bachelor pad.

Minnie is a very sweet little girl that is absolutely eager to please. She’s very in tune with her humans emotions and reads signs better than any dog we’ve ever had. She’s a little love bug.

Minnie’s favorite things: Going for walks, chewing on furniture, hoarding toys and running around “nekkid” in the backyard.


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Lilo (also known as Princess Lilo):

WE adopted Lilo one month after adopting Minnie, at the age of 10 weeks. We saw her adorable picture floating around Facebook and instantly fell in love with her. Lilo was located in Hawaii.  Her breeder had reached out to his vet after realizing something wasn’t quite right with her. She was quickly diagnosed with Spina Bifida.

Her breeder and vet worked together to find her a foster home and she was then networked by friends of ours. We reached out and soon after she was on a plane from Hawaii to be a California girl.   Since we had started a Disney theme with their names, we decided to name her Lilo after the Disney movie Lilo & Stitch.

Lilo is our strong girl…she’s the alpha. She’s filled with energy and doesn’t let her SB or hind leg weakness stop her at all. She’s playful and truly the life of the party. We often say the party doesn’t get started until Lilo enters the room. She’s a big cuddler!

Lilo’s favorite things: Sleeping with her baby brother, going on walks, rolling around in the mud or bushes, playing with her siblings, a good chew bone and of course treats.


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Stitch (also known as Stitchy or Mr. Shiny Hiney):

STITCH was adopted on March 2014 at the age of 4 months, through a wonderful rescue in Southern California called Road Dogs & Rescue. Stitch was born with Spina Bifida and dropped hocks. Essentially he walked on the “elbow” of his back legs. We quickly took him to our vet who suggested therapy. Our goal was to get him walking on the pads of his paws. If he couldn’t accomplish this, we’d be forced to have him go through extensive and invasive surgeries to straighten his legs.

We reached out to UC Davis and started him on a therapy plan with Dr. Jamie Peyton. He went through water therapy, acupuncture, laser therapy, B12 shots and manual exercises for 5 months. At that point, Stitch was walking on his pads! Stitch is Mickey’s “Mini Me”. They have similar features and markings. He’s a full grown, short and stocky bulldog from the waist up, but due to his back legs issues, they never gained muscle tone so are consequently very skinny. That doesn’t stop him from running or playing like any other “normal" pup. He’s a lover that soaks up attention whenever and wherever he can. He gets along with every dog, cat or human he meets.

Stitch’s favorite things: Cuddling with his other half, Lilo, treats…any kind of treats, chasing birds at the park, flirting with the ladies, tennis balls, chew bones and his cushy bachelor pad.

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Moses (also known as Nosey, Mosey, Posey (NMP)) :  

Meet Moses, name in honor of his advance age and his wonderful white color. He's a bit over 9 years old, but get's around very well for his age and even has a bit of a 'happy trot' when he get's going.  

He was listed as a 'stray' at the shelter, no owner came looking for him and worse for him no one was showing a lot of interest in adoption because of  his medical issues and advanced age. Moses's joints are a mess from being deformed, to the point of being bowed or perhaps broken when young and not fixed or set to correct the damage to his front legs. The eyes and skin are more signs that he was neglected over a very long time, smelling of yeast infections and his eye sight nearly gone from infections. His toe nails so long his 'toes' are deformed so bad he has no flat foot to stand on.

Moses is the sweetest, most easy going bully we've ever met.  He is curious, loving and playful.  He became a part of our family and the Crew on Oct. 24, 2015.  We're not sure his past but we're certain that he will have the brightest, most loving future possible <3 <3 

Moses; favorite things:  He loves car rides, cuddling up for attention and check out his new surroundings 

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Joey (also known as Big Joe):

In May 2012, we took a 2 hour drive to see a new intake at NorCal Bulldog Rescue . His name was Cool Hand Luke ;-) He was roughly 5 years old and had a grade 5 heart murmur. We were waiting in a waiting area and here came a tall, lanky, sweet faced bully....with a TAIL! I'm pretty sure he hypnotized us with the wag of that tail and a few minutes later we were on our way home with our new bundle of joy.

I wish I could say he was this big ball of energy, but Big Joe had the same energy back then that he has now....none ;-)

The drive home consisted of testing out different names on him since Cool Hand Luke just didn't seem to fit. Nothing fit, really. When we got home, we had DishNetwork installing our new dish system. Their dish boxes are called either "Hoppers" (the main box), or "Joey's" (the additional boxes). Mommy Sandi and I saw the Joey box and looked at each other and knew that was his name.

Sadly, we lost Joey quite suddenly on December 18, 2015.  His heart and organs were severely enlarged and were making it difficult for him to breathe.  Joey was a gentle giant, the sweetest and most docile bully you would ever meet.  He has left a major hole in our hearts and on the couch <3  RIP Big Joe

Joey's favorite things:  Eating and sleeping!!!

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Emma (also known as Big Emma):

Big Emma was being fostered through So Cal Bulldog Rescue, where we got Mickey, Lilo, Minnie and Bessie from.   We are not real sure about her history, but she came in rather overweight :-).  She shed 10 lbs before we got her. We kept seeing her pictures being posted and she looked like the most awesome cuddle bug. We decided to go meet this pretty girl, took the 5 hour drive down south and fell in love.  Needless to say, she became a part of our Crew.  We remember sitting in her foster Momma's living room surrounded by the most beautiful bulldogs and soaking up the love. None of them looked like the pictures I'd seen of Emma (who was named Lola Vegas at the time :-) ). When we were done with the "visiting" part of our stay and ready to do paperwork, Emma came walking out.  We remember seeing her and thinking OH. MY. WORD. she's HUGE! She had just been bathed, came over and gave us the biggest kisses. It was like being attacked by a gentle giant, lol. We finished up the paperwork and started walking her to the car. Then we started wondering how we were going to hoist her into the car.....thankfully our backs didn't give out.

Emma was a LOVE! She had no regards to your personal space and wanted to be THISCLOSE to you all the time.  She got along great with all and had such patience. OH...she lost weight and got down to 67 lbs but no matter what we did, she didn't seem to budge at this size. She was VERY active and didn't walk, but ran on her leash. She could outrun and outlast most bulldogs. She had the most cutest jiggle when.

Sadly, we lost Emma suddenly on October 8, 2015.  She didn't want to eat her nightly treat before bed one evening, and the following morning she wouldn't eat her breakfast and could hardly muster enough energy to move.  We got her into our her Dr immediately, and they feared it was her heart.  Her poor heart was beating at 250 beats per minute, getting up to as high as 300 beats per minute at one point.  They tried Lytocane several times, and other medicines but they could not get her heart to beat normally.   We were on our way to pick her up from her Dr. and rush her to UC Davis, where she would be seen by a Cardiologist, and receive more potent medications.  Sadly, while in route, we received the call that Emma had collapsed and they couldn't revive her.  We never got to say goodbye, and let her know how much she was loved.  We miss her terribly, but she will always own a piece of our hearts 

Emma's favorite things:  Sleeping, eating, drooling and kisses.....

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JEYDA (also known as our Little Angel):

JEYDA was just 6 months old when she found her way into rescue. She was dropped off at a shelter, with a horrible case of Demodex and in a diaper, by a person who claims they found her.

Jeyda had a host of medical issues, but that didn't deter her from living life to its fullest each day. Jeyda had a horrible case of Demodex, which had cleared up in just a few short months; she had an enlarged heart; her hips developed outside of her hip sockets; and she was born with spina bifida, which means she needed to wear a diaper her entire life because she had no bowel or bladder control.  But watching Jeyda play and run, you wouldn’t have known that she suffers from these ailments. She accepted the cards she was dealt.

In the shelter, Jeyda was scared and you could see her spirit was broken.  She was so happy to even have a bed that she just went in and laid down, completely uninterested in leaving it.

Jeyda loved to give high-fives as a token of appreciation and even sometimes as a way to get you to do what she wants. She knew when she saw the diaper come out that it’s “her turn” to be pampered, and came running over, patiently waiting for her foster mom to clean her up.

As Jeyda grew older (she came to us at approx. 9 mos old) we noticed that she had an abnormally loud breathing and snoring. It would worsen with a lot of activity. We decided to take Jeyda to have this checked out, and found that she had a severely elongated soft palate that was essentially cutting off air flow when she would breathe in.

Jeyda had surgery to shorten her soft palate, but it was at that time that her Vet found the damage that had been caused by the constant pressure of the soft palate (flap) opening and closing on her trachea. The walls of her trachea were beginning to collapse. Had we not done the surgery, she would have struggled to breathe until her trachea collapsed and could never be repaired.

Unfortunately, Jeyda's body created a lot of scar tissue in the throat, as she healed, causing an obstruction in her airway. She underwent several surgeries to remove the scar tissue but it grew back thicker and faster each time. The last surgery, her Vet tried a special procedure using a stent that was supposed to have blocked the growth of scar tissue and strengthen the walls of her airways. Sadly, the scar tissue not only grew back in less than a week, it grew over the stent.

Jeyda's body was tired.....her airway would eventually close and trachea broke our heart...but we could no longer allow her to suffer with more surgeries that wouldn't stop the deterioration of her airway and trachea. Sadly, Jeyda went to the Bridge on July 31, 2013, just a month before she would have turned two years old.

Jeyda was a true inspiration.  She reminded everyone that she met that life isn’t always perfect, but that we can be perfectly content and whole, if we have someone who loves and understands us.  Jeyda had a very rough start in life and was let down by humans, but hit the lottery when rescued from the shelter and taken in by her foster Mommy Tami, who nursed her back to health physically and emotionally.  While the first six months of her life was unimaginably painful and rough, her angelic spirit radiated from her every action and smile, every high-five and puppy kiss.  Her life was far too short, but she knew unconditional love and adoration.  She brought meaning and purpose to so many people, especially her Mommies and Mickey.  She taught us to love without holding back, to play without worrying, to stop and smell the roses, to live life to the fullest, to laugh like there's no tomorrow....she taught us about life.  

We promised our angel, Jeyda, that her life and the challenges she experienced would not be in vain. Every Wednesday is JEYDA DAY on the Crew's page, in honor of Jeyda's legacy.  In addition, Jeyda's Wish is a fund that was created, in Jeyda's honor, to pay it forward for animals like her, that needed and deserved a chance at unconditional love, happiness and a forever home.  Jeyda’s Wish funds are made up from 100% of the profits from the sales of the Padded Bum Crew Merchandise and our own monies.  Jeyda’s Wish funds are then donated to reputable rescues that support and care for special needs, senior, severely abused and hospice animals.  

Gotcha Day: Sept. 22nd, 2012; Bridge Day: July 31, 2013

Jeyda's favorite things: Playing with Mickey, High-fiving and giving lots of love and kisses