Scoot, scoot, drag, drag…This is how the story starts. At just six months of age a happy and bright eyed puppy named “Snoopy” was turned into a rural Northern California shelter. Snoopy had no use of his back end and would drag and scoot anywhere he needed to go. He had lived his first several months of life in a home but the older Snoopy got the more challenging it was for Snoopy’s owner to properly care for him. His owners decided the only option was to relinquish him to their local animal control. It was even more challenging for the shelter staff to provide Snoopy with everything he needed. Cold, damp, rough floors were no place for a sweet and effervescent boy who was constantly moving his back end all over the place. The shelter knew that they had to take action or Snoopy’s last days would be full of pain and loneliness.
The shelter staff, volunteers, rescue networkers, and loving and caring people all across California and Nevada set out on a mission to find Snoopy a way out of an imminent and fatal ending. A sweet description and video went out along with some photos that characterized Snoopy’s personality and plight. The email went out to anyone and everyone within a 500 mile radius that might be able to help. Naturally, every email recipient wanted to give this incredible dog a chance but given his physical limitations and extra care required, no one was able to provide him with a safe place.
The email and video soon reached the HSTT office and the staff all new we had to give this incredible dog a chance here in Truckee. After consulting with our shelter’s medical staff and a Bay Area rescue for cart dogs, for some pointers, transport was arranged for the following day. From the moment Snoopy entered our lives, his giant spirit and happy go lucky attitude filled every inch of a room and anyone who met him instantly fell in love. It was quickly decided that Snoopy just didn’t quite fit this extraordinary dog who, after all, invented his own way of getting from place to place. After spending some time getting to know more about his personality it was decided that this bright and vibrant dog would be named Edison, after Thomas Edison, an innovative and charismatic figure in his own right. He was placed in foster care with an incredible volunteer family who really helped us make progress with his condition and understand him more.
Over the next few months we worked on managing and beginning to rehabilitate the dog everyone had come to know and love as Edison. During this time our wonderfully dedicated medical team constantly observed and discussed the best course of action to allow Edison to live the most full life possible. After a significant amount of observation, research and debate, it was decided Edison’s best shot at a “normal” life would be amputation of his left rear leg. Whether his condition was congenital or acquired from some trauma early on, too much time had gone by and too much damage had been done to rehabilitate his left leg well enough to use.
We quickly put together a plan and timeline for Edison’s surgery and post care. After trying a few different foster options to no avail, a team of 2 different fosters offered to split his post surgery care and give him his best shot at recovery. With a plan and post surgery foster in place, we were ready for surgery day.
Surgery day was an early one, Edison was up and in the car by 6:30am. In the car on the way to Reno, he enjoyed the scenery and seemed excited for the outing. Arriving at the specialty vets office Edison was greeted with open arms and smiling faces. He would have his surgery and then spend the night. After he was cleared to go home from surgery his first team of fosters, Allyson & Bart, picked him up and settled him into their home. After 5 days at their home Edison moved on to the second phase of his foster with Carla & Mike. At this point, Edison was up and hopping around on three legs and going for short little walks in his cart. He would also come in and spend his days at the HSTT office entertaining our staff and playing with volunteers.
After Edison’s recommended 14 day recovery period in foster care, it was decided that coming back into the shelter and staying in an adoption room wasn’t the best option. At that point his original post surgery foster team, Allyson & Bart, were overjoyed to welcome Edison back into their home for as long as he needed to recover. It wasn’t long after having Edison back in their lives that Bart and Allyson realized they just couldn’t part with such a special dog. On March 19th, 2015 Edison officially became a permanent member of their family. While Edison still has a long road of physical therapy and recovery ahead of him, his new forever family will be there every step of the way. Allyson and Bart’s teenage son even refers to Edison as the “love of his life”.
Edison’s special and heartwarming story is just one of so many. Every year, so many special needs animals, just like Edison, find themselves at HSTT, in the hope that they will find a safe and loving place to call their own. While most people would say that these animals are lucky to find their way to us, I would have to say that we are so lucky to be able to help them.