Swimmer Puppy- Take 2
It amazes me that we’re quickly approaching the ONE YEAR Anniversary of rescuing Harper, the dog that changed my life forever. If you’re unfamiliar with Harper’s story, you’ll have to check it out, its one you shouldn’t miss.
I love puzzles. I love to be handed a difficult puzzle that everyone else has taken a stab at and has given up on, whether exhausting all resources or simply losing hope. I love to step in when everyone else has stepped back, and Harper was one of those puzzles. We were told the likelyhood of her surviving was nearly non-existant, so I looked at it as somewhat of a challenge. In the words of Barney Stinson, “Challenge accepted.” In other words, don’t tell me it’s near impossible for me to do something and not expect me to push through and succeed. And that we did.
Since Harper succeeded in overcoming a disorder that was supposed to take her life, my email has been flooded with requests from all over the world begging for help with “swimmer puppy syndrome.” While many are just looking for hope and guidance, some are looking for us to take over and help their seemingly doomed swimmer puppies. While we’re unable to take most, one pup in particular hit close to home…
This past Wednesday I was running around like mad while I was finishing up with all my loose ends before I made the flight out to Kansas City, Missouri for a Pinups for Pitbulls event with Game Dog Guardian. We were planning on leaving early Thursday morning to arrive home on…well, tonight. The weekend prior I had helped out at an event at Lake City Humane Society in Columbia County, FL which is north of Gainesville. We’ve offered to help their community with spaying and neutering 40 pit bull type dogs with owners who have little to no income. I met all of the wonderful staff and volunteers and we talked about ways to improve relationships with rescue organizations and how they can improve their drastically high euthanasia rates. This organization is looking for guideance and we want to be there to give it. It seems like lately, I can’t give our services away for free. In our area, I’ve contacted local animal control facilities offering help to their low income customers, only to fall upon deaf ears. This group wants help, and we want to give it to them. Anyways, they called me this past Wednesday and told me about a “swimmer puppy” that was surrendered to their shelter. “Just like Harper” they said, and it tore through me like a knife. There is no way I can take a new dog when I’m leaving in 12 hours to fly out to the mid-west for the weekend. I told Holly I’d call her back and spoke to the girls at Louise’s. We went back and forth talking about how difficult saving Harper was, not only physcially draining, but emotionally, financially…it nearly killed me not knowing if my swimmer pup was going to survive long enough for me to see her run through my yard with all of her four-legged siblings. I rattled around the idea in my head but decided Dolly’s Foundation couldn’t take the burden of yet another severe medical case. And then, someone said something that changed it all.
“While Dolly’s Foundation may not need another dog, it sounds like this dog needs Dolly’s Foundation.”
Hook, line, aaaaand sinker. It was settled, we were taking her.
Holli, a shelter volunteer drove halfway from Lake City and met Patti and Steph from Louise’s in Ocala with the new pup. I was calling and texting all day while Allie and I were traveling, boarding plane after plane. According to the news, central Florida was being hammered by the summer storms and not only was I worried about our new pup, I was worried about my friends. They finally called and Ester, our new pup had arrived safely. She has many physical similarities that Harper had, but many differences as well. So, today starts the new puzzle. A puzzle we will work feverishly at until we solve it.
So, join us once again in our journey to help yet another lost soul. We’ll give her the same treatment we gave Harper, starting one step at a time until we get it just right. Please consider donating to Ester’s medical needs so we’re able to do this! Thank you so much for your continued support.