On a Tuesday just like most Tuesdays at HSSV, our Rescue team returned from a trip to the Central Valley to pick up nearly 30 animals from one of our partner shelters. Some of the animals we brought in had medical needs that our partner shelter didn’t have the resources to treat. One of the animals that clearly needed medical attention was Booker, a 5-month-old Labrador Retriever mix.
He was sweet to our Medical staff, but they could tell something was wrong. He wasn’t using his back left leg, and had some muscle atrophy in the leg, which indicated he hadn’t been using the leg for some time. Soon after his medical exam, we gave him X-rays to try to identify what was going on with his back leg. It turned out that the pup had a long fracture in one of the bones in his leg. Surgery wasn’t an option due to the location of the fracture, so Booker, as he would be named, was fitted with a fiberglass splint to keep the leg in place while it healed.
Booker would need between 4-6 weeks to heal, which is an eternity in shelter time. We didn’t want this sweet boy spending so much time in a shelter environment, so we reached out to our amazing fosters with a plea to help Booker through his next phase of recovery. Crystal, a staff member in our Volunteer department, took one look at the puppy’s face and agreed to bring him home.
Almost immediately, Crystal noticed what a smart, affectionate boy Booker was. She began bringing him to work with her most days, where our staff and volunteers adored spending time with him. He was the best work companion, and loved attending meetings at Crystal’s side. Despite being a big pup, he always believed he was a lap dog and made friends easily by showing his willingness to climb into any lap he saw.
Booker’s time in foster wasn’t all fun, though. Every few days, Booker had to come back to our Medical Center to have his splint replaced. He was also placed on strict exercise restrictions at first, which was difficult for such a young, exuberant puppy. Over the next few weeks, his restrictions were loosened, and he was slowly allowed to start short, leashed walks. With Crystal’s help, Booker’s leg was slowly improving, and after three weeks with the cast, he was allowed to have it off for good.
Finally, after 5 weeks recovering and healing in Crystal’s home, it was time for Booker to find his forever people. Crystal had fostered dogs before, and knew how hard it was to say goodbye, but she found saying goodbye to Booker especially difficult. Once she met the couple that would take Booker home, though, it changed her outlook. Booker’s new family was so excited to bring this special boy home. He now has a canine brother and is being spoiled by his family in all the best ways!
We’re so grateful for your support, which enables us to save and care for animals like Booker. Thanks to our incredible community of supporters and donors and the many, many people who work behind the scenes to give each animal the individual attention they need, we’re able to help thousands of animals with medical needs each year. Want to help us save and find homes for more animals like Booker? Make a gift to the animals! And if you haven’t already, sign up for our eNewsletter to get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox!