The story of how a small, injured puppy brought healing to me during my most difficult moments.

Being a qualified vet tech, I have encountered numerous injured pups over my profession. Working in emergency medicine brings you to so many furry companions in need, but one struck my heart in a different manner.

Almost 5 years ago I strolled into my job at the animal hospital, eager to start a typical shift. Across the room on the treatment table sat a little puppy with multiple wounds, evidently shook up by her tragic evening.

The technician presently working with the injured puppy had multiple patients, so I stepped in and took her on as my own. I vividly recall the first shock of seeing so many puncture wounds on such a little body, and how resilient she was considering what she had gone through. When I discovered more about her condition, I started to realize just how terrible of a situation this tiny puppy was in.

The injured pup had recently been assaulted by two enormous dogs, and was described as being flung around like a rag doll. The owner was thrilled to show off her new puppy to her friends, and laid her down on the ground alongside their two older dogs. Without knowing appropriate canine introduction, she was astonished when the dogs instantly attacked the young puppy.

The 6-week-old puppy was facing imminent death if we didn’t act soon, and her owner was unable to understand the seriousness of the situation. Her owner was just old enough to bring a pet in through our doors, but not enough to understand the care this puppy would need going ahead.

After undergoing multiple tests, she was revealed to have a spate of significant injuries. She suffered multiple broken ribs, a shattered femur, a broken hip, and was in shock from her trauma. Even if she survived this tragedy, she had a long path ahead.

The young owner recognized she could not give the puppy what she needed going ahead, and was considering taking her home as is. At this time I felt highly engaged in this puppy’s care, and offered to take her in as my own. She was immediately handed over to my care, and my life with this beautiful puppy started.

After affectionately calling her Ellie, our long journey to recovery started. I say “our” owing to the problems I was facing at the time, as I had some mending to do in my life as well. Ellie came into my life just as I was getting clean, and guided me through the most arduous endeavor I would ever encounter.

Ellie needed an FHO (a sort of hip repair), external fixators in her femur for 8 weeks, coupled with a hospital stay to bring her out of shock. Her treatment was long and arduous, but well worth it in the end. Her fixators were removed 8 weeks later, letting her to be the boisterous puppy she always wanted to be!

Ellie went on to become the absolute greatest friend I could possibly ask for. She stood by my side through sleepless nights, excruciating grief, and every challenge I would experience in my sober path.

I am now 5 years sober, and I owe much of my success to the kindness she offered me in my worst days. Ellie is my heart dog in every way conceivable, and I can’t picture my life without her!

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