Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Help for an Angel

What would you do if one of your dog's puppies was born with two broken forearms? Would you put the pup down without giving her a chance to survive, or would you hold your breath and try to nurse her -- fully aware that would make losing her that much harder.

Janet Wilson and her family chose the latter route for Angel, Shadow's half-sister (through dad Levi) from Blue Diamond Breeding in New Hampshire.

According to the company, Angel broke the birth sac during delivery in October, causing her disability. She was the last to arrive in a litter of four.

"When she started to walk, she screamed in pain," Janet told Blue Diamond dog owners in a recent e-mail. "She was unable to stand up and required extra care." Fellow breeders advised the home-based company to cut its losses and put Angel down, but the family couldn't do this. They named her Angel of Hope on Thanksgiving and began to research medical options.

At eight weeks old, when most pups go home to their new families, Angel could still only "swim" across the floor. The break above her elbows made it impossible for her to support her own weight, according to Blue Diamond. The video below is quite heartbreaking... but don't worry, there's a happy ending.

On January 12, Angel underwent costly surgery at Angell Memorial Veterinary Hospital in Boston. A few weeks later, she was walking, sitting on command and retrieving. It's impossible not to smile while watching this next video.

What Janet Wilson and her family did for a helpless puppy - including finding her an adoptive home - is commendable. However, it was not without sacrifice.

Blue Diamond has set up a trust fund to cover Angel's surgery and is seeking donations from all dog lovers. The company came through for my family nearly a year ago (Yes, Shadow's almost a year old!), and losing them prematurely would be terrible for the dog-loving community.

For more information about Angel, more photos, and information about donating (via Paypal or check), click here. I'm headed there in a minute, right after I give Shadow a gigantic hug and loads of kisses.

From my dealings with Blue Diamond, I have no reason to believe this is anything but legitimate. But as always when donating money, please do some of your own research as well. I benefit in no way from spreading Angel's story.

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