As a licensed veterinary technician, I have encountered numerous injured puppies throughout my career. Working in emergency medicine exposes you to so many animals in need, but one in particular captured my heart.
About five years ago, I arrived at the animal hospital ready to begin a typical shift. A tiny puppy with multiple wounds lay on the treatment table across the room, visibly disturbed from her traumatic evening.
The technician presently caring for the injured puppy had multiple patients, so I assumed responsibility for her. I still recall my initial astonishment at seeing so many puncture wounds on such a small body, as well as her remarkable resilience considering what she had endured. As I learned more about her situation, I came to comprehend how dire it was for this poor puppy.
The injured puppy was described as being thrown around like a rag doll after being attacked by two large canines. The owner eagerly displayed her new puppy to her neighbors by placing her on the ground with their two adult dogs. Without knowledge of appropriate canine introductions, she was shocked when the dogs attack the small puppy immediately.
The 6-week-old puppy faced certain mortality if we did not act immediately, and her owner could not comprehend the gravity of the situation. Her owner was just old enough to bring a companion through our doors, but not old enough to comprehend the ongoing care this puppy would require.
After multiple diagnostic tests, it was determined that she had a multitude of severe injuries. She had numerous fractured ribs, a fractured femur, and a fractured hip, and was in a state of shock as a result of her ordeal. Even if she were to survive this trauma, she had a lengthy journey ahead of her.
The young owner was aware that she could not provide the puppy with the care she required in the future and was contemplating bringing her home as-is. At this juncture, I became extremely invested in the care of this puppy and offered to adopt her. This exceptional puppy was soon entrusted to my care, and my life with her commenced.
After affectionately naming her Ellie, we began our lengthy road to recovery. I say “our” because of the difficulties I was experiencing at the time; I also had healing to accomplish. Ellie entered my life just as I was getting sober and assisted me through the most difficult endeavor I would ever undertake.
Ellie required an FHO (a type of hip repair), external fixators in her femur for eight weeks, and a hospital stay in order to recover from shock. Her treatment was exhaustive and laborious, but ultimately well worth it. Eight weeks later, her fixators were removed, enabling her to become the rambunctious puppy she had always desired to be!
Ellie became the greatest friend I could have ever asked for. She remained at my side through sleepless nights, unbearable heartbreak, and every struggle I would face in my sobriety journey.
I have been sober for five years, and I attribute much of my success to the affection she showed me during my darkest days. In every way, Ellie is my heart dog, and I cannot fathom my life without her.