How A Tiny Injured Puppy Healed Me When I Needed It Most

As a licensed vet tech, I have met many injured pups throughout my career. Working in emergency medicine introduces you to so many furry friends in need, but one touched my heart in a different way.

About 5 years ago I walked into my job at the animal hospital, ready to start a normal shift. Across the room on the treatment table was a tiny puppy with multiple wounds, visibly shaken up from her traumatic evening.

The technician currently working with the injured puppy had multiple patients, so I stepped in and took her on as my own. I still remember the initial shock of seeing so many puncture wounds on such a small body, and how strong she was considering what she had been through. As I learned more about her case, I came to realize just how desperate of a situation this poor puppy was in.

The injured pup has just been attacked by two large dogs and was described as being thrown around like a rag doll. The owner was excited to show off her new puppy to her friends and set her down on the ground with their two adult dogs. Without understanding proper canine introduction, she was shocked when the dogs immediately attacked the small puppy.

The 6-week-old puppy was facing certain death if we didn’t act fast, and her owner was unable to understand the gravity 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 forward.

After performing multiple diagnostics, she was found to have a slew of serious injuries. She had multiple broken ribs, a fractured femur, and a broken hip, and was in shock from her ordeal. Even if she survived this trauma, she had a long road ahead.

The young owner knew she could not give the puppy what she needed going forward and was considering taking her home as is. At this point, I became extremely invested in this puppy’s care and offered to take her in as my own. She was soon signed over to my care, and my life with this incredible puppy began.

After lovingly naming her Ellie, our long road to recovery began. I say “our” due to the struggles I was facing at the time, as I had some healing to do in my life as well. Ellie came into my life just as I was getting sober, and helped me through the most challenging pursuit I would ever experience.

Ellie needed an FHO (a form of hip repair), external fixators in her femur for 8 weeks, along with a hospital stay to bring her out of shock. Her treatment was extensive and tedious, but well worth it in the end. Her fixators were removed 8 weeks later, allowing her to be the rambunctious puppy she always wanted to be!

Ellie went on to become the very best friend I could ever ask for. She remained at my side through sleepless nights, unbearable heartbreak, and every struggle I would face in my sobriety journey.

I am now 5 years sober, and I credit much of my success to the love she offered me on my hardest days. Ellie is my heart dog in every way possible, and I can’t imagine my life without her!

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