Dog, Owner Heal Together – 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 $1,000 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 2016. 

Shelter Eases Dog’s Pain, Dog Eases Mother’s Grief

Brownie After Rescue Edited

Brownie after she was rescued by a nurse in Spring 2015

By Meadow Lake and District Humane Society, located in Saskatchewan, Canada

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In the spring of 2015, a mixed breed puppy named Brownie was found by a community nurse in a small Northern Saskatchewan town.

Despite a mild case of mange, Brownie quickly recovered while in foster care with her rescuer.  While the Meadow Lake and District Humane Society (MLDHS) searched for a forever home, Brownie waited patiently for a few weeks until some former MLDHS adopters came looking for a buddy for the MLDHS dog they had adopted a few years ago.  They decided to adopt her, named her Brownie, and, within the month, took her to their vet for her scheduled spay surgery.

Surprise Diagnosis

During that appointment, Brownie was diagnosed with Enamel Hypoplasia, an illness that hinders the growth of enamel on a puppy’s permanent teeth during development.  The treatment is expensive and requires lifelong maintenance.  At that time, Brownie’s options were to have all her teeth removed or suffer with mouth and jaw pain for the rest of her life.  Her adoptive family felt they couldn’t have such a young, sweet dog live her whole life with no teeth, and obviously they couldn’t let her live in severe pain. So they made the difficult decision to return her to MLDHS in May so that the board of directors could decide, as a group, how to provide a positive outcome for Brownie.

Brownie Teeth Edited

One of the photos sent to the veterinary dentist

Soon after, an MLDHS volunteer used her connections as a veterinary technician to get in touch with a veterinary dentist who only comes to Saskatchewan bi-annually.  In order to determine eligibility for enamel repair surgery, front-to-back pictures of Brownie’s teeth needed to be submitted to the specialist.  Very dedicated volunteers worked together to photograph Brownie’s entire mouth while she did her best to be a sweet and cooperative little girl, despite the discomfort of the ordeal.

After a review of the images, the vet dentist determined that Brownie was indeed a candidate for surgery. Unfortunately, his surgical rotation wouldn’t bring him back to Saskatchewan for several months.  The executive of MLDHS made a board decision to give Brownie the second chance she deserved and committed to cover the estimated $2,000 cost of the surgery.

It was then that MLDHS approached Diane, who had previously fostered a couple of dogs on a short-term basis, with the hopes that Brownie wouldn’t have to spend her pre-surgery wait living at the animal shelter.  Diane thankfully agreed to make Brownie’s 5-month wait a relaxing and happy one in a real home environment.

Brownie enjoyed life in Diane’s home, and they quickly became great pals.  Brownie made herself right at home; she always rode shotgun on many road trips with Diane and provided great entertainment with her quirky way of running at full speed only, hopping along like a rabbit.  She was a constant bed hog and had an excellent energy level and personality that was compatible with Diane’s senior dog, Shundy.

Sudden Heartbreak

It was in July that Diane’s life took a devastating turn as her only child was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident.  Brownie became a great comfort to Diane during the months of heartbreaking grief that followed.  Eventually, Brownie’s October dental surgery date arrived, and the procedure was greatly successful.  Diane couldn’t wait to have Brownie back with her that very same night, even though it was midnight by the time she arrived home to Meadow Lake.

Brownie Surgery Edited

During Brownie’s surgery

Diane took on the intensive treatment and after-care for Brownie in the weeks following her surgery, and Brownie proved to be a very cooperative and trouble-free patient.  Once treatment was complete, it became time to once again post Brownie as available for adoption.

After the entire ordeal and months of bonding, Diane came to realize she couldn’t possibly part with her “little trinket” who had been such an important part of her life and grieving process.  Diane signed the adoption papers and on November 23, 2015, Brownie became a permanent member of the home she had shared over the past several months.

Angel on Earth

MLDHS contacted the nurse who originally rescued Brownie to tell her that Brownie had recovered and had been re-adopted.  The nurse was delighted to hear the news and mentioned that she had originally named the sweet, mangy, little puppy “Angel.”  It was then that everything came together. We all realized that Brownie must have been “sent” to Diane as her own precious angel and that this adoption was meant to be all along!  

Brownie and Diane Edited

Brownie after she was rescued by a nurse in Spring 2015

During the 2015 Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign (Oct. 1, 2015 – Jan. 4, 2016), participating animal organizations are encouraged to enter heartwarming adoption success stories. Submissions can be made weekly by email or tagging stories with #LightTheirWayHome, 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. 4, 2016, 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 $1,000 donation for their animal organization and will be announced on Helen Woodward Animal Center’s blog in February 2016. For more rules and guidelines, please click here.

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