Puppy: Penelope aka NellyP



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Member Since: March 13, 2009

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Penelope aka NellyP

Penelope aka NellyP

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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