Dreaming of a Family – Heartwarming Story Contest

This pet rescue story is an entry in the Most Heartwarming Story Contest, by Helen Woodward Animal Center. The Most Heartwarming Story Contest is open to any and all participating Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays pet organizations. The winner will win $500 for their facility or rescue! Your organization can become a Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays partner today. This story will now have an opportunity to be featured in the finalist pool in February, 2014.

A Puppy with a “Broken Heart”

By Animal Welfare League, located in Chicago, Illinois

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Puppy who needs a surgery

After surviving parvo and pnuemonia, Ellie was diagnosed with Patent Ductus Arteriosis, and needed a surgery as soon as possible.

Ellie was given up to our organization along with five siblings at the age of eight weeks; all of whom were battling the parvo virus and in dire straits.

Our medical staff helped Ellie (and her siblings) through quite a battle with parvo, and, with such low immunity, she developed kennel cough and then pneumonia. Our technicians noticed that she would always lean against the side of the incubator and never actually lay down to rest. It seemed to make it even harder for her to breathe.  Even giving her IV fluid therapy became a challenge as her blood would just flow right out. It was at this time, additional x-rays were taken and we discovered Ellie had an enlarged heart and further testing was needed. An echocardiogram and bloodwork was performed.

We found that Ellie had Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA). In PDA, some of the blood which is leaving the left side of the heart is channeled back into the lungs. Because of this, the heart must work harder to make sure enough blood is getting to the rest of the body. If her condition had gone without treatment, death was inevitable. She had a “broken heart” and her dreams of a new family seemed to be fading away.

Ellie was in need of a major surgery. This surgery, which normally costs $3,000, had to be performed by a specialist. A generous surgeon agreed to perform Ellie’s surgery for just $1,800. Our shelter has a “Special Needs” program that focuses on raising funds especially for animals in need. Through social media, we were able to collect the $1,800 for her life-saving surgery.  Her surgery was scheduled within two days.

Puppy after surgery

Ellie after her surgery.

Ellie’s surgery went perfectly! All that was left was two weeks of complete cage rest. Not easy for a pup that was now feeling better than ever and ready to run and play. The staff delighted in her first encounter with a squeaky toy and watched as she played fetch with herself! Ellie’s dream of a new family was now coming back to life!

We put Ellie’s story on our website and it created quite a stir! Our followers watched as she progressed into a true bundle of joy. She tugged on the heartstrings of a family who had just lost their rescue dog a few months prior. After meeting all the family, both two-legged and four-legged, Ellie’s dream came true! She found her forever family.

We sent her home with a heart full of love

Puppy gets adopted“She has filled our hearts immensely,” stated Kathleen, Ellie’s new mom, “and has become an integral part of our family.” Ellie is in puppy training classes and has already mastered the art of sitting, even if there isn’t a treat at stake. She is great with other dogs too. “She is a tough girl and manages to wrestle her older and much larger ‘cousin’ down to ground.”

Ellie is a tough girl! She’s a survivor! She arrived at our shelter dreaming with a broken heart. We sent her home with a heart full of love.

Every week during the 2013 Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2013 – Jan. 2, 2014), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by snail mail, fax or email, and at the end of each week Helen Woodward Animal Center will select a winning story to be featured on this very blog! After the campaign ends on Jan. 2, 2014, the weekly winning stories will be compiled into a pool and voted on by partnered organizations, animal welfare fans and the public. The story with the most votes will win a $500 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February, 2014. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.

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