Thursday, May 23, 2013

The story for your heart

I still don't quite know how to write about Gia. All I know is that she made me fall in love again, in a time when I did not think that was possible anymore. A puppy that touched every string of my heart. So fragile yet unbelievably powerful, a puppy that beat the odds every single time. The most breathtaking and heart warming survivor. Meet Gia.

Months ago, I was writing about a severe case of neglect of some owned puppies... How we found Gia (left) and her brothers (middle and right) after 3 of their siblings had already been killed in traffic due to their terribly irresponsible owners:

Leaving aside that 3 of the pups had already died due to owners' irresponsibility, the surviving pups were also severely malnourished, and female puppy Gia also appeared to have problems walking after having been victim of a car accident herself... This case came at a super bad time for us, as we were already overcrowded plus dealing with puppies in quarantine due to puppy diseases... Fortunately, these 3 pups' luck turned around completely when the Dutch organization HondenBrokkenMakers offered to help them with vet costs and also with finding them good responsible forever homes. They had suffered and endured already so much, at such young age, they really deserved a bright future ahead!

The female pup Gia was really in shambles... Off she went to the vet clinic where she stayed for over 3 weeks. An x-ray showed she had a broken pelvis... An ultrasound showed one of her kidneys had also been damaged during the car accident... And then she had the most severe calcium deficit I had ever seen in a puppy... Could she make it? And more importantly, could she become well enough for her to have a good quality of life in the future? Here is her evolution in pics and videos:

 Gia, a puppy in shambles when she came into our care... Physically she was a mess... Emotionally she was inert, no reaction to anything, no joy, nothing... A broken spirit. I imagine now in how much pain she must have been back then, with a broken pelvis

 Gia, getting started on right diet and supplements at the vet clinic, plus about to start investigations

 Gia, going through 2 surgeries at the vet: first one to try to fix a damaged kidney, which was unsuccessful... And a second surgery to have her damaged kidney removed.  During the second surgery the vet also found and removed pebbles from her intestines, pebbles that were making it hard for her to poop, pebbles she had most likely ingested due to extreme hunger while staying at her former owners...

Gia and I, bonding... During those weeks we were the happiest together

After weeks spent at the vet, Gia's first day at the Puppy Center!

 Splendor in the grass, the most loving, humanized puppy I have ever met

 Gia's eyes would look straight into my heart

 The inert puppy in shambles became in time such a happy loving little lady
 Despite all she had been through... Or possibly precisely because of all that she had been through... Gia became a super humanized, loving puppy. I could hold her like this forever. Me and my baby Gia

When the time was right, when Gia was well and strong enough, it was time to let her go to a better life, to something better than I could have offered her here. Gia flew with friends to Holland and she went into foster with friend Leny from HondenBrokkenMakers

 Gia, now Gina, in the arms of her foster dad in Holland. And her loving eyes able to look straight into your heart

And starting today, Gina is happily adopted! By the greatest family: her foster family! Let's see what Leny, her foster mom, wrote this morning:

"My husband said, honey, I need to talk to you ....... I was shocked, he looked so serious. He said: I've fallen in love with another woman. I was not going, I never wanted, you know that. But she looked at me with that sad look in her eyes and blew me completely over. I took her in my arms and wanted only one thing: take care of her, forever. Of course his new love a fresh green leaf, you know that, huh, after 32 years of marriage ....

I hit my arms around my sweet husband back and replied:
Of course dear, of course we adopt GINA! Our little girl, so fragile and yet so strong ...
Less than six months old, with her three-quarter tail, one kidney, her crooked pelvis and her legs sagged. We still have a long way to go before she is fully fit and healthy, but ... I'm so glad we have failed our foster diploma ...!

I had originally called her Gia because of her fragile appearance, like a model's. But Gia showed me there was way more than met the eye. She's been through hell and back, and she came back triumphant, happy and loving. Extreme neglect during the first weeks of her life, the car accident that did so much damage, then 2 big surgeries for such a little frail puppy. She made it each and every single time.

She has touched the lives of all the people that met her. One vet technician recounted Gia waking up after her first surgery and immediately starting to lick the hands of the people handling her. First thing she did upon waking up from a fairly invasive surgery. A super mighty spirit, the little girl that could. I do believe her strong spirit shone through; this is why Gia is fine today, body and spirit.

As for me, after so many rescued animals, I could not think it would be possible for me to ever fall in love again. I love all animals, I love all my rescues, but I only allow them into my heart up to a certain level, knowing they will stay with me only temporarily. But Gia... I never imagined my heart could still fall in love so deeply and completely with a rescue puppy.

Gia is in my heart forever. She has touched every string of my heart. On the airport, on the day of her departure, I allowed myself to shed a few repressed tears, but only for a few seconds. Because I knew without a doubt that she'd go to the best place possible for her, where she'd be greatly loved and taken care of. Every bit of my intuition told me this was for the best.

A fighter and a survivor, a strong spirit that could heal a broken body. After all she's been through, so happy and full of love. Simply, Gia


  1. beautiful account of a special little dog........and written by a very special individual

  2. What a beautiful story, I had goose bumps reading it. Thank you Alex for all you do.

    Deborah Reilly