Ellie's Story


My name is Cayla and I am a veterinary technician that runs the lab at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio and that's where my puppy Ellie's story begins. On July 18th, 2014 she was brought into the clinic because she was attacked by a larger dog and was doing poorly. Dr. Hallie Holcomb took the case and stuck by Ellie's side the entire time. We found out quickly that Ellie couldn't walk or stand on her own. She stayed in the ICU and was monitored around the clock the first few days since there was such a poor prognosis. She wasn't responding to anyone that was around her and she couldn't even move her legs. Soon she started responding to everyone and bouncing around to gain attention. She was such a happy (and spoiled!) puppy by everyone at the clinic. Once she was out of the woods medically she started doing physical therapy with our therapy technician, Susan. Susan knew that Ellie's journey to recovery would be a long, time consuming one but she was hopeful that she would eventually walk again. Her owners kept her at the clinic for two weeks so she could continue to stay on medications, do physical therapy and have the technicians help her use the bathroom. (With the spine/leg problem Ellie can't fully express her bladder and she needs a technician to manually empty it every few hours.) During those two weeks Ellie didn't make much progress and on July 31st her owners had to make a decision, either continue with her therapy, take a gamble and hope it works or euthanize her because her quality of life won't be great if she can't walk. The owners made a tough decision and decided to euthanize her. It was heartbreaking. They did everything that they could do for Ellie and they just couldn't do anymore. At the clinic we understood why the owners made the decision that they did but we also thought Ellie still had too much life left in her. We asked Dr. Holcomb to ask the owner if she would consider surrendering Ellie to the clinic instead of euthanizing her and then someone that works there could take her and she could still receive therapy. The owners were more than happy to surrender Ellie instead of euthanizing her and after they said their goodbyes she then belonged to the clinic. It didn't take Ellie long to find a forever home. I took her home that night as a "trial run" at my apartment. You see I have a cat (Cora) that had one of her back legs amputated last year due to degenerative joint disease/osteoarthritis. My boyfriend (Dan) and I are very familiar with taking care of pets with leg problems and I've been bothering him for a dog for a long time! She did great that night and we just knew she belonged here! On August 1st, Ellie officially became ours and we have been working extremely hard with her. She goes to work with me every day and does physical therapy, underwater treadmill and acupuncture to help stimulate her legs and help her walk again. She still can't stand on her own or walk but she can feel her legs, move them on her own and walk for a bit in the underwater treadmill! It's a slow process but we are still progressing and that's all we can hope for! With the help from Dr. Holcomb, Dr. Hughes (acupuncture), Susan, the ICU staff, all of the veterinary technicians, kennel staff and all of the other veterinarians at the clinic I'm very hopeful that Ellie will walk again! I work with wonderful, caring people and Ellie and I are blessed to have that in our lives everyday. She has her own Facebook page to show her progress, Ellie's Journey to Walk Again. I wanted to share my story with you to hopefully inspire others to give disabled and special needs pets a second chance at life! :)

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