It has been exactly two weeks that Sarah Grace has been in our care.
On Sunday, July 10, we received a call about a dog hiding in a changing station on a hiking trail in Dade County who appeared to have been attacked by something. Without hesitation, we were on our way. We pulled up and found a medium sized black dog curled up in the corner of the dark, dirty wooden structure. As we cautiously approached the dog, she lifted her head off the dirty ground to look at us, then looked away. I couldn't help but wonder how many people had come and gone, and without realizing she was injured had left this poor girl here.
She allowed me to scoop her up and put her in a crate. Her body was limp and her eyes looked dim. We got her to a vet's office and really examined her wound for the first time. It was about 3" x 4" and had 4 deep puncture wounds that were full of maggots. The edges of the wound had already begun to thicken. This had been there a while. She was also covered in ticks. Overall we pulled over 40 off of her. Sarah was anesthetized to allow doctors to clean her wound and went home with me to foster, as the care her condition would require seemed too much to ask of one of our regular fosters.
Over the next two weeks, her wound was treated at Chattanooga Holistic Animal Institute (CHAI) where she captured the hearts of the staff. Here, we discovered she also had ehrlichia, lyme disease, a corneal ulcer, a limp, and eye infections in both eyes. For her wound, she received hydrotherapy, laser treatments, the occasional nail painting, and, most importantly, TLC. The staff has come to love this sweet girl, and each has a special name for her: Sarah, Grace Kelly, Kesha, etc. As she continued to heal, her demeanor began to slowly change as we celebrated the small victories. First, she would stand up when we walked in after work. Then, she began to follow me around the yard when we would go out to potty. Eventually she warmed up to the other dogs in our home. And we thought we even saw a tail wag one day. She was coming back to life. The light had returned to her eyes. She had no longer given up, she had hope, and she was fighting for herself.
Today, Sarah Grace Kelly Ke$ha is a happy girl. Her wound on her back is a fraction of what it once was. It measures about 1" long x 1/2" wide. She seems to be in no pain and no longer limps. She greets us at the door with wide eyes and a wagging tail (that adorably wags lopsidedly). She jumps up on the couch (when invited and begs for pets by nudging your hand with her nose. Her favorite place to nap is someone's lap. And she loves to play with the other dogs in her foster home (although she is slow to warm up to new dogs). This girl won't let the grey on her face stop her. She has been given a second chance at life, and she is enjoying it!
Once Sarah Grace's wound has closed up, she will be ready to go into a regular foster home and be ready for adoption! If you may want to foster or adopt Sarah Grace or any other ETAA animal, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
A special "Thank you" to Kelly and John for calling us to help this sweet girl and to Sammy for welcoming her into our home as.