Penelope aka NellyP
All in the Family

Penelope aka NellyP

English Setter

I am a Vet Tech at an emergency clinic and I was working the night that the breeder came in with Nelly's mom for a cesarean. I was in charge of resuscitating the pups. The moment Penelope was placed in my hands by the vet, it was blatantly clear that something was different about this baby. She has a bilateral cleft lip and had a closer resemblance to a piglet then a puppy. I all but broke open her amniotic sac and the little beast started squirming and screaming. She was a fighter from the start. I know the breeder personally and she is a good person, but she raises show dogs and asked for the pup to be euthanatized. I was shocked! How could she euthanize this baby just because she looked different? Because she wasn't show quality? Penelope does not have a cleft palate. Her care would not be that much different then the other pups. But the breeders mind was made up so I asked if I could have her. She was glad to hand her over to me and I have never regretted it. She nursed from a bottle like a champ and though she is quite smaller then the rest of the pups she is growing well. When Nelly was 10 days old, I noticed that her ears were open...something that usually doesn't happen that early and not until after their eyes open...but Nelly's eyes were still closed. And they remained closed until she was 21 days old. I figured something wasn't quite right when it took her eyes that long to open, but when they finally did, I was stunned. Nelly has bilateral Microphthalmia. When her eyes are open you can see no "real" eyeball...just pink and white conjunctiva. She is blind. I had learned about the condition in school, but in 6 years, had never seen it in practice. I took her to a veterinary ophthalmic specialist and she explained that since Penelope had never seen the light, she would be slower to maintain her balance and follow sounds, but that she should grow normally and live a full and happy life. Everyday she gets stronger and learns to overcome her challenges. She is 6 weeks old now and just learned to eat out of a food dish (which is a big deal in our household). I still hear every day at work how I should probably just euthanize Penelope because she is "suffering". These people don't know what she's like at home. She plays with rawhides and stuffed animals. She growls and barks and chases my cats (as best she can). She runs and plays, and sure she falls over and bumps into things, but she always gets back up and continues on her way. I envision NellyP as a therapy dog for kids with disabilities one day. We can all learn a lot from this little cutie. When you're faced with seemingly insurmountable problems and everyone says "give up"...don't. Just get up, no matter how many times you fall, and continue on your journey. Life is worth it.

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Comments (25)
Mar 13, 2009 Trixie'sMom
You seem like an amazing person and Nelly is certainly an amazing puppy. Good luck to you both! What a beautiful story!
Mar 13, 2009 RubyJeansMom
Nelly P is adorable. I am so happy that you were there to save her. She sounds like a little trooper.
Mar 13, 2009 wolfgirl66
She is very beautiful and I am glad that you were there to save her from that breeders decision! I have a hunch that precious Penelope and you were meant to be! I wish ya'll many wonderful years together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 13, 2009 clementinem
Oh my god! Soooooooo super duper cute!!!! I hope you love this little baby forever!!! And I am sooo happy you could save her!! She sounds like a wonderful little puppy!!! Enjoy!!!
Mar 13, 2009 luvmyboyz
She is so very cute and what's more important she is with us and happy! You are a wonderful person to keep this angel in the world...She is worth it! Hugs to you both.
Mar 13, 2009 MRSV
That story was amazing keep her happy and safe - because she never knew what sight was she isn't missing it, her other senses will pick up on that. Thank goodness you saved her!
Mar 13, 2009 _I_LOVE_PUPS_
Oh my god.I never heard such a sad/amazing/inspiring/hurtful! WOW! I so agree with that is like killing a blind person for being blind! that is so sad if they are vets they should know that and vets are vets because they love animals and want to help them! WOW i feel bad for her! it sounds to me like all she wants to do is be just one of the others like she wants to fit in and pretend like she is not blind and i cant blame her for that!I bet when she gets a little older like about...........1-2 years old she will have no problem getting around like when she chases your cats and how she trips (i think you said). Wow if she i 6 weeks old and she didnt open her eyes till 21 days how old did you get her? isnt it like horrible for the pupp to leave the mother at 7 weeks!? I know that the story is HUGE but i would like to hear more about this little sweetie pie! Besides the fact she is blind.........SHE IS GORGEOUS!!!!! I want to be a vet when i get older and i want to learn a lot about that sounds interisting......can you put a picture og her eyes open? You should feel SOOOOOO proud of yourself because she was going to die and you saved her life and you are rewarded for it because you have a an amazing pet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! & companion! I hope you have a great life together!!!! Give her like 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ,000 billion treats!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 13, 2009 maddie the dog
I am so glad she found you and you found her. We would love to see more pictures. You are wonderful for doing this.
Mar 13, 2009 LSM
What an incredible heart-wrenching story you have given us of your beloved little Penelope!!! Thank you is too small a word for what you are doing for this little angel. I love it when you said "Don't give up, just get up"!!! You are sooooooooooooooo right. I wish you many, many wonderful years with her and may she live a long & happy life. Give her some extra cuddles & kisses.
Mar 13, 2009 doggone1973
What a wonderful story and i hope we will be hearing more about Penelope as she grows up.
Mar 13, 2009 buffygirl
Awwwww what a wonderful/inspiring story! She is such a sweetheart!
Mar 13, 2009 jules7
What a sad, but happy story ending for little cutie pie Penelope. You are truly a wonderful person for giving her a full life of love. Please except my friend request, because I want to keep in touch to know how she's doing!! GOD BLESS YOU!!
Mar 13, 2009 kiza123
SHE IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mar 13, 2009 puppyluver8
i read the whole thing i am glad i did. she is soo cute
Jan 28, 2010 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 1st Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2010 shortyww22
awwww!!!!! she is such a sweetie.I'm so glad the breeder gave her to you and that you didn't have her put to sleep..shes truely a strong little angel and deserves a good long life just like any other dog dispite her health issues shes Beautiful...big kisses n hugs cutie and have a wonderful Birthday and many more to come...come see my dogs n comment please
Jan 28, 2010 georgia04
Thank you for saving this little girl, she is definitely in the right hands. Nelly is a fighter, for sure! Happy birthday to her!
Jan 28, 2010 Jose
Happy Birthday cutie your soooooooo cute I just want to give you a big hug and a kiss!
Jan 28, 2011 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 2nd Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2012 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 3rd Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2012 wolfgirl66
Happy Birthday Beautiful Penelope!
Jan 28, 2013 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 4th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2015 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 6th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2016 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 7th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
Jan 28, 2017 Dailypuppy Team
Happy 8th Birthday!
Many belly rubs for you on this special day.
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