In mid April of this year, PAWS foster Mom Carrie Schmidt decided to take a different route home from running errands. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a dog lying on the side of the road. She pulled the car over and jumped out, praying that the dog was still alive. The dog had been hit by a car and was whimpering in pain. Carrie was horrified to see that someone had stopped because there was a water bowl placed next to the dog. Someone had hit her, left her for dead on the side of the road in excruciating pain, and cruelly placed a water bowl far enough away so that she could not reach it with her broken legs.
Carrie rushed the dog, whom she named Tessa, to the animal hospital. The initial news from the veterinarian Dr. Robert Parker from Shelby Animal Center was not good. Tessa’s back leg sustained multiple fractures and her front leg had nerve damage from severe road rash. She was dehydrated and quickly going in to shock. Dr. Parker performed emergency surgery to treat the fracture in her back leg with two plates and multiple screws. But the fracture was so precarious that her back leg needed a second… and then a third operation to completely stabilize the limb. For almost a month, Tessa had to be kept sedated so she would not re-injure herself. Just as she was about to be discharged home, Dr. Parker and his staff were devastated to see that the nerve damage Tessa received to her front leg was irreversible and her front leg needed to be amputated. Tessa (aka Million Dollar Baby) endured four operations and two months in the hospital before she was ready to be discharged..
Through her two month hospitalization, Tessa’s enduring spirit touched all of the staff at the veterinary clinic. She was the first dog to be walked in the morning and the last dog to be walked at night. The staff took to letting her stay up at the front desk with them and would “love on her” every chance they got. Carrie visited her frequently and championed for the dog she had saved from a terrible death on the side of the road. When it was time to bring Tessa home, Carrie and her family set up a “Tessa-friendly” area in the kitchen and laundry room so she would not have to navigate stairs. They faithfully did her rehab exercises and assisted her when she needed to go outside.
Last week, Dr. Parker finally cleared Tessa for adoption! It was quite a moment when we were able to add her to Petfinder. It is truly incredible to think what this dog survived and we are in awe of her bravery. Tessa does not even seem to notice her disability now.. She plays with toys, loves the other dogs in the house, and is actually a little bit of a “Diva.” Tessa loves attention and seems so grateful for every day she gets to be alive and pain free.
If you are interested in adopting this amazing dog, please visit her petfinder page here.
Tessa’s veterinary bills were over $4,000. Please consider making a donation on her behalf so PAWS has the means to help other dogs in need of significant medical intervention.
PAWS would like to thank the many get well wishes and donations you have already sent in for Tessa. We know her story has touched so many people and we are just thrilled to be sharing this great news with everyone!
The Pups and Volunteers at PAWS New England
Especially Tessa, aka “Million Dollar Baby”