Hanna came to me as a rescue from a sled dog team owner. She was his lead dog, but he said that she did not get along with his other dogs as they were kept “free range”. She was a very happy and energetic one-year-old Alaskan Husky sled dog. He did not indicate that she had any medical issues.
The first winter, I saw that she was not coming out of her dog house to eat and noticed that her feet were bleeding from the pads and her coat was dry and sparse. I immediately took her to the vet, and she weighed in at 38 pounds. The vet took one look at her and said “this dog cannot be kept outdoors, as she has thyroid condition and lupus. The cold would be detrimental to her health.” Two other veterinarians suggested we put her down.
After 13 trips to the vet over the next 11 months and many tests, Hanna weighed in at a healthy 52 pounds with a beautiful new coat and slowly healing feet. It has taken 7 years to heal to back to what appears to be a healthy dog. She will never be completely healthy without her medications and Epsom salt and warm water foot soakings several times a week. But, as a lifetime dog owner, I can say that Hanna knows what I have done for her. This is the most loyal animal a person could ever imagine. She looks at me with her crystal blue eyes as if to say, “thank you for saving my life”. She now has five luxury beds in nearly every room in the house and wears booties on her feet any time she goes outdoors in the winter, as her tender feet cannot touch snow. She is now 9 years old and hikes nearly 4 miles every day, as the sled dog in her is still there. I love my girl and the reward is her happy life and loyalty to me.
Thank you for sharing Hanna’s rescue story with us, Judy! It sounds like Hanna was lucky to find someone to take such good care of her and help her regain her health.