Hurricanes always leave behind a lot of horror and heartbreak.
Houses blown to bits, lifetimes of memories gone in moments, homes under water, and of course the individual tragedies that break our hearts.
We were gratified after Hurricane Harvey to see so many volunteers out risking their necks to save stranded animals and people.
Their stories warmed our hearts and restored our faith in humanity.
At first glance, this story wasn’t going to be one of them:
When rescuers came across little Elton, he was in dire straits indeed.
He was valiantly dragging himself down a flooded street, his body wounded, his rear end crushed by something during Harvey’s outburst.
It looked like curtains for the severely injured pooch.
But rescuers gently scooped him up and got him to Vet Ranch, devoted to providing medical treatment to homeless animals that would otherwise have no chance at survival.
Nobody knows Elton’s history, whether heartless owners abandoned him, whether they were heartbreakingly separated during the storm, or whether Elton was already a stray before the storm hit.
Whatever his past though, his future looked exceedingly grim.
Despite the fact that he was in terrible pain and was terrified, Elton patiently allowed the vets to examine him.
Everyone at the clinic instantly fell in love with him within moments of meeting him.
But sadly, the prognosis wasn’t good for Elton.
At best he might need at least one rear leg amputated, at worst, well, he was very badly damaged.
Vets weren’t sure they could patch him back together again well enough so that he could lead a normal life. Euthanasia was a possibility…
Furthermore, because Elton is a dachshund, a breed well known for having disc issues, they feared that his fear legs might be paralyzed forever.
X-rays revealed that indeed one hip was broken in multiple places, both of his femurs were broken, along with both tibias and fibulas.
The good news was that his spine appeared to be intact and undamaged. Sort of a miracle in itself.
The staff vet talked to a surgeon who said this surgery would be extremely difficult, but he believed that they could and should do it.
They estimated that Elton was only around a year old and in otherwise pretty good health, so he deserved to have at least a chance at a normal life.
The rescuers went back to doing what they do best…saving lives, leaving Elton behind in excellent hands.
The vets at Vet Ranch took over, and did what they do best: Patch up the unwanted so they can find forever homes.
They let Elton rest for a few days to get a little stronger before attempting the surgery, then came up with a game plan to fix one side at a time, allowing Elton time between to heal a bit.
The first surgery took hours to complete. But, the surgeon was smiling as he put in the final metal stitches.
It was a great success!
After, they began working his leg a bit every day, making sure that Elton would get used to moving it.
As soon as he could put weight on it, they planned to repair the other side.
Just six days later, Elton was walking around and putting weight on the leg that they performed surgery on.
He was wagging his tail and it was obvious that he was on the road to recovery.
He was doing so well, in fact, that they decided to postpone the second surgery.
They had realized that the other leg was mostly an old injury, and it was possible that doing the surgery on that leg might actually make things worse rather than better.
After all, he was already able to walk just fine after the first surgery. So they decided to wait it out.
A month after that first surgery, little Elton was already running around with ease. He seemed to be getting around just fine without any pain.
He happily played chase, tug of war and fetch with Dr. Mike and his staff.
Because of his ability to get around so well already, they decided totally against the second surgery.
They deemed Elton healed enough that they could begin the search for his forever home with responsible owners that would never leave him behind!
Thank goodness for the rescuers that found Elton and decided to give him a one-in-a-million chance.
And huge thanks to Vet Ranch for giving this wonderful little guy the miracle of life!
Source: The Animal Rescue Site