When I Needed it Most: How a Small, Injured Puppy Became My Source of Healing

Since I became a licensed veterinary technician, I have seen a great deal of injured animals, each with a unique tale of suffering and resiliency. There was one dog, though, whose trip really warmed my heart.

About five years ago, I went in for my shift at the animal hospital on a regular day. My eye was caught in the middle of the chaos by a little, shaking puppy on the treatment table who had suffered a terrible trauma.

Taking over for the technician, who was overburdened with patients, I connected with this weak creature right away and chose to adopt her. She was a little woman, but she was remarkably strong considering all the puncture wounds that afflicted her weak body.

My investigation into her case revealed the devastating reality of her circumstances. In a horrific incident, she had been flung around like a rag doll by two bigger dogs. Her injuries were serious—shattered hip, femur fracture, and broken ribs—and her prospects of survival were low without prompt medical attention.

The knowledge that her owner, not old enough to take her to the hospital, lacked the knowledge and means to provide her with the care she needed added to the tragedy. I understood at that same instant that I could not watch helplessly.

Taking charge, I offered to look after the puppy. Her owner gave her to me, and so our adventure together started.

I gave her the name Ellie, and having her around helped me to heal and find comfort as we started her path to recovery. I was fighting my own troubles and working towards sobriety at the time, and Ellie became my rock solid friend, providing unfailing love and support.

Ellie had to have weeks of therapy and several surgeries as part of her protracted and difficult treatment. But her tenacity at every turning point she reached paralleled my own path to recovery and sobriety.

Ellie is proof now of the transforming potential of love and company. She was by my side and an inspiration to me, even on the worst days of my sober path.

During one of the worst times in my life, a little wounded puppy turned out to be an unanticipated source of healing and hope. Following a terrible personal loss, I battled to get out of bed every day and sank into sadness.

One wet evening, I heard faint whimpers from a nearby alley as I made my way home from work. Curiosity drove me to find behind a skip a small dog shivering and injured. I related right away to his little frame and begging eyes. I grabbed him without thinking and hurried him to the closest veterinarian.

The veterinarian gave me hope that the puppy would heal with enough treatment. Choosing Lucky to represent the wealth he had discovered in that alley and the fresh hope he brought into my life, I chose to adopt him. Returning to health from nursing, Lucky offered me fresh direction. His cheerful nature and resiliency were contagious, gently lightening my grief.

Taking care of Lucky made me see how important love and compassion are, which finally helped me to emotionally heal. As I saved him, I found he was saving me as well.

As I mark five years sober, I credit Ellie, my devoted friend and confidante, with a great deal of my accomplishments. She reminds me of the eternal link between people and animals, is my heart dog, and is more than just a pet.

What do you think?