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A Long Road To Recovery

Lady the brindle dog sleeping on a dog bed in her foster home.

Lady, a five-year-old bully mix, was surrendered to our Pet Resource Center in Murray because her guardian worked longer hours and could no longer give her the time and attention she needed. Before leaving Lady in our care, her guardian described her as “playful and friendly” and said her favorite things were “watermelon and sleeping on the bed .”Lady was so sweet with our staff that we thought she’d be adopted immediately without any problems, but unfortunately for Lady, this wasn’t the case. 

Accessing Lady’s health

After an assessment, our medical team discovered that Lady’s skin and ears were infected, and she had a handful of broken teeth. She also had a pretty severe limp. Upon further discovery, it became apparent that the ligaments in Lady’s knees had ruptured in both legs. If she were ever going to run or jump again, she’d need to undergo TPLO surgery, short for Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, to have these ligaments repaired. The problem was that Lady weighed 90 pounds, so our team made the decision to conduct these surgeries two months apart, so Lady wasn’t totally incapacitated. 

After her first surgery, Lady went into our Foster Program under the care of Caitlin Lisle, our Humane Education Director. Caitlin put Lady on ‘bed rest’ and helped her pass the time with food puzzles and yummy frozen treats. Caitlin explained, “Lady was such a joy to rehab. She had the best disposition of any dog I’ve ever cared for. She was just so cheerful all the time about everything. She even loved it when I iced her leg!”

Lady the brindle dog wears a pink sprinkle donut cone while she recovers from surgery in foster home.

While waiting for her second TPLO surgery, our medical team found that Lady was also suffering from entropion in both eyes. Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, causing the eyelashes and surrounding hair to rub against the dog’s sensitive cornea, which results in eye irritation, and, if not remedied quickly, can lead to corneal ulceration. 

Caitlin shared, “I felt so bad for her. Poor Lady couldn’t catch a break! She eventually had three surgeries within 16 weeks. Regardless, she never cried once and always gave her full attention while doing her physical rehabilitation therapy activities. She was the best girl ever!”

Over the four months they shared, Caitlin and Lady became very attached. When Lady was all healed and ready for adoption, Caitlin was happy for her but also teary-eyed. “It was bittersweet because I was so in love with her. But since I already have four dogs of my own, I knew I couldn’t keep her.”

Lady finds a home

Caitlin screened potential adopters to ensure Lady went to the perfect home. A few weeks passed, but Caitlin didn’t find the right fit until a woman named Katie reached out after seeing Lady’s story on our Instagram account. 

Katie shared, “The day I saw Lady’s post was the first anniversary of when our beloved labrador, Ryder, passed away. We’d had Ryder for almost 11 years, and our family was heartbroken when he passed. I didn’t know if we were ready for a new dog, but I reached out to Caitlin on a whim.”

Lady in her adopted home watches a toy train in the living room.

Caitlin invited Katie, her husband, Dan, and their two young kids, Liam and Lucas, to meet Lady. But Dan was resistant. He told Katie, “Unless this dog gives me a sign by jumping into my lap or something, I don’t think I’m ready for a new dog.” Lady must have superman hearing because as soon as Dan walked in to meet her, that’s exactly what she did. 

Katie recalled, “Lady ran directly over to Dan and jumped in his lap. We were all stunned. Not only this, but she was very gentle and tolerant with our kids. We fell in love with her immediately, and she’s been a member of our family ever since.”

Lady wears a Christmas  sweater in her adopted home while watching over her a young boy playing in the snow.

These days you can find Lady riding shotgun alongside Katie to pick up the kids from school or glued to Dan’s hip. “The loss of Ryder was so hard on my husband, but now, he’s Lady’s biggest fan. They’re like little comfort buddies. She always seems to know when we’re having a bad day, and if she senses we are, she’s at our side to offer comfort. She is exactly what our family needs.”

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