Written by Louise Brolly, Chairperson of Adorabull Terrier Rescue
Photographs supplied by Adorabull Terrier Rescue and Riaan van der Merwe
When Adorabull was contacted about a very special little brindled Bull Terrier puppy that had found herself in extremely sad circumstances, what else could we do but help.
It was September 2017 when Jeannie Pederson of Humans Helping Animals in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, contacted Adorabull about Angel, a four-month-old Bull Terrier. She’d been given away to a family that didn’t have the financial means to care for her, after her breeder had threatened to break her neck. “Why?” you may ask.
Because she was born disabled!
Both of Angel’s front legs were fused into positions of hyperflexion, rendering her unable to stand, sit or walk. The rest of her body is perfect and, certainly, her mind (she is as sharp as a whip), but without mobility and proper care, she’d grown very weak and had become a nuisance to the person responsible for breeding her and her siblings into this world.
Adorabull steps in
Angel had been given to a very kind family who took her in out of fear for her life. They were doing their utmost best for her and cared for her to the best of their ability; unfortunately, they were financially unable to see to this special soul’s veterinary needs.
In no time at all Adorabull, with the help of volunteers Cait Hardwich and Jessica Brown, stepped in and arranged collection of Angel. She was driven from KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg and, due to her very limited mobility, was cared for during the entire road trip.
She’s smart enough to make a fuss when needing her toilet break, and food and water were supplied constantly, as she cannot get up to drink or eat unassisted.
Angel arrived to the open arms of Dania Skone, founding member of Adorabull; Dania and co-founder Claire Horne made a vow to assist this little soul as best the rescue organisation could afford.
Step by step
Specialist surgeon at the Johannesburg Specialist Vet, Doctor Naude, assessed Angel and it was agreed to operate on the front legs. Thankful for his help and after a successful surgery, Dania took little Angel to recover and, hopefully, correct her front limbs.
Sadly, the follow-up visit with Doctor Naude was not what Adorabull was hoping for: there’d been minimal change to her situation.
However, being a humble rescue with a never-say-die spirit, Adorabull wasn’t prepared to give up on our little fighter. Adorabull facilitated her needs weekly and being in Dania’s care meant that she had constant care, love and treatment.
Many sessions of physiotherapy with the amazing Michelle Shackleford from Darshan Animal Hydro, Midvaal, were vital to gaining some progress with her front limbs. A friend of the rescue organisation, Shemelin Naidoo, founder of Star Pups Doggie Ice Cream, designed and made a vet-approved, padded, interlocking harness for Angel to assist with her sessions and aid her walking.
Little Angel in no uncertain terms let us know how she felt about her physiotherapy sessions (not a fan), but they were good for her and we remained hopeful.
Hope for the future
We are now at the stage where we are fully aware that Angel will never walk, despite trying all we could. Had we been dealing with a sad, depressed soul, we would have had to make the very difficult decision to end her life. Because we see on a daily basis her will and wanting to be part of us, our family and Adorabull, we are awaiting a special order: her set of wheels, pink in colour, with her name on them. Really hoping she approves!
A famous quote from William Shakespeare’s play a Midsummer Night’s Dream surely sums up our little Angel perfectly: “… though she is but little, she is fierce…”.
She’s the most animated, opinionated, vocal and all-round loving soul, and it’s been an absolute privilege to be able, as Adorabull, to continue to walk this journey and carry her through it until the day comes when she tells us otherwise. But for now, we are “loving Angel instead*”!
*Robbie Williams – Angel
Gratitude and attitude
Adorabull is extremely grateful for the ongoing support and generosity shown by the public and friends of the organisation for Angel.
The outpouring of love and acceptance for Angel, who was born and unwanted but is now changing her own destiny and so many perceptions of the both breed and disabled dogs, has been incredible.
The saying goes: the only disability in life is a bad attitude – and Angel sure doesn’t have that! In fact, she often accompanies us to Adorabull events and fundraisers, where she’s the star of the show.
If anyone would like to donate towards Angel’s ongoing care, or to help with all the many Bull Terriers in our care, it’s always very much appreciated.
Adorabull Terrier Rescue
Current Account 1110947801
Clearwater Branch 182505(00)
Follow Adorabull Terrier Rescue on Facebook: @bulliesrescue https://www.facebook.com/bulliesrescue/