Damn puppies, it's like they do it on purpose. It's like their mothers give them rules when they are young: You must wag your tail. You must run and play. You must be brave. You must be strong. You must sway the human heart or else rend it asunder. That's Puppy 101. That's what they are taught to succeed in life.
Of course not all puppies succeed. Sometimes the odds against them are too great. Sometimes they cannot overcome and we see those situations more than we would ever want to see.
But then there are the ones who make you wonder.
Cini is a months old Lab mix puppy. She was bought off of Kijiji. According to the woman who surrendered her to Toronto Animal Services, Cini was running around, playing at a park and when she returned, she was walking funny. The owner brought Cini to a vet where they discovered her leg was broken.
The owner couldn't afford the vet bills and so she brought Cini to TAS and gave her over. Cini was immediately brought to a vet clinic again and x-rayed and it was discovered that instead of her left femur looking like this:
It looked like this:
I had a chance to see Cini at TAS-S before she went in for her bone mending operation. I was expecting to see a puppy lying still, whimpering and moaning, something comparable to how I might act if I had a leg broken in half like a twig. Instead, I saw a puppy with a limp, acting as though the busted leg was just a minor inconvenience.
She was supposed to be kept as immobile as possible though I'm not sure how that would have been possible without physically tying her down with straps or drugging her into a stupor. She wanted to play but I was afraid of her making her injuries worse so I picked her up and tried to keep her still. Eventually, she settled and I managed to get a few photos of her.
Just as I was finishing with the photos, one of the Cockapoo pups who was adopted out the day before was being returned because the daughter in the adoptive family had developed extreme allergies to it. The pup being returned was the girl pup, the one who was still missing her siblings.
When Cini and the Cockapoo saw each other, they just had to say hello.
They immediately became best friends.
They would've made great kennel mates. Instead, the Cockapoo is sharing a kennel with a very nice older Poodle. Cini will have a kennel to herself while she heals and that's the only time she gets sad: when she's alone and away from human companionship. It's no wonder we fall for these brave, strong creatures who don't let even broken bones dampen their spirit as long as they have our company.
It's uncertain when Cini will be ready for adoption. After the leg surgery, she'll be given a recovery period after which she'll have to go for her spay. She may spend her recovery time at TAS; she may spend it in a foster home. It'll depend on what the vet says after the surgery.
Cini's medical costs are going to be about $1500 in total and with the city services budget cuts, TAS is asking for donations:
Anyone interested in making a donation for Cini can either visit the south shelter (140 Princes' Blvd, Exhibition Place) or make a donation over the phone at (416) 338-6668 - both phone and visit should be between the hours of 10:30 am - 6:30 pm, 7 days a week. We are tracking the donations that come in for her, so anyone making a donation specifically for this puppy should mention that it's for Cini.
People can also mail a cheque to:
Toronto Animal Services
140 Princes' Blvd
The cheque should be made payable to "City of Toronto" (but it will be deposited to the cost centre at TAS south) and people should indicate "for Cini" on the cheque.
Donations of $20 or more will get a tax deductible receipt.
Update (2012-02-23): Cini is out of surgery and doing well. She is being kept at the vet's office for observation and to make sure she puts absolutely no weight on her leg for the next few days.