Molly is a lovable golden Labrador retriever puppy who will be 10 months old at Christmas. This is her story.
I was just six months old when my life changed dramatically.
One day I was playing with a ball outside. I thought it was a fairly harmless game but when I chased the ball onto the street in front of my home, I was very nearly killed.
A car hit me and in an instant the lights went out. It was horrible. It felt like a ton of bricks had been dropped on me.
When I woke up, my whole world had changed.
I was lying in a bed and I quickly found, I could not move. Both my left legs were hurting, badly. There were bandages everywhere.
When I opened my eyes, I saw all these people in blue uniforms around me. Later, I realised, they were nurses and that I had been rushed to Lort Smith. Very quickly I could tell they were looking after me. I was in so much pain. The situation seemed extremely unfair. I desperately wanted to be well again.
As if having such a serious accident wasn’t bad enough, I soon discovered, the family I had lived with nearly my whole life would no longer be able to care for me.
I felt so rejected and alone. I had always been a good puppy. I worried I might never be happy and healthy again.
When I was first dropped off at Lort Smith. I had no idea what to expect and I was very nervous, but going to Lort Smith turned out to be the best thing to have happen.
From the moment I arrived there, Lort Smith were so caring. They really understand dogs like me. From now on, I can promise you, if I come across a dog that needs special help, I am going to suggest Lort Smith.
Almost immediately after I arrived, two different vets examined me. I could tell the vets were very professional and were obviously concerned about my injuries.
My left hind leg turned out to be broken. No wonder it was so painful. The vets and the nurses put some sort of plate in my leg and that was designed to fix it. At the same time there was an issue with my left front leg, and they were not happy with my lung. The vets said they were going to monitor both of these.
It was at that point, when I was pretty low, that something really tremendous happened to me. I could not believe it.
I was handed over to a woman named Leesa who is a Lort Smith Foster Carer. Apparently, she is a volunteer. Well, I can tell you she is absolutely fantastic. She’s so loving and gentle and she gives me so much of her time. Leesa is certainly the best carer I have ever had. Having Leesa by my side while I have been through so much, has been heaven sent.
I owe heaps to Lort Smith for picking Leesa to be my full time carer. She has two little boys, and they have been so affectionate and gentle – they sit with me and read be stories when I have been confined to bed.
I really am grateful to Leesa and her boys because when she first became my carer and I was taken to her home, the Lort Smith vets insisted that I stay in a crate.
For an energetic dog like me, to be in a crate nearly all day was challenging. But when they let me out for even five minutes, I struggled and kept falling over. It was not fun and I was terribly frustrated.
During this time, Leesa was always there. She would give me a physio workout three times every day with a massage and an ice pack. I found this treatment difficult, but I knew she was doing her best for my long term recovery. And at the end of every workout she always gave me a treat to chew on – I liked that part!
After a while Leesa began taking me to the swimming pool as well. I enjoyed swimming much more than physio. The pool we went to was especially for dogs and I could see some other dogs, although I was still not allowed to play with them due to my injuries.
Leesa’s two boys used to come to swimming with us, too. They were always encouraging me to keep going. It was great to have them there as my own personal cheer squad!
After about six weeks of the physio and swimming, there was a big meeting of staff members at Lort Smith. I knew they were talking about me. They had taken some x-rays and done some other tests and seemed to be concerned. I was pretty worried.
Soon after that, they took me into an operating theatre and before I knew it, I was sound asleep.
When I woke up, they had amputated my front left leg. I have to admit that I was quite shocked at first. I wondered how I was going to manage? Every dog I had ever seen had four legs. Why did this have to happen to me?
After the operation, there was 24-hour care from the nurses and other staff at Lort Smith and they were amazingly caring and efficient. After a while I did start to get a little bored lying there.
In the end, Leesa, as kind and thoughtful as ever, got me into her car and drove me home. And, you know, in the car going home, I began to think that maybe I was better off without that leg. It had been so dreadfully sore ever since the accident and I had not been able to walk or play on it. However, recovering from that operation and getting used to having only three legs was a slow process.
From time to time there was bleeding from the wound. There was lots of trips back to the Lort Smith Animal Hospital. Leesa was so attentive. Gradually I was given more freedom and little by little I began getting better and stronger.
I will never be able to thank Lort Smith enough for what they have done for me. By Christmas I reckon I will be back to my old self. The care they provide in the Hospital is exceptional. They have proved that with me. They have given me a second chance at life. Plus, they have gone to so much trouble and I know for a fact they have spent a huge amount of money getting me well again. They never gave up on me.
And now there is even more good news for me. I have heard on the grapevine that Leesa is going to adopt me permanently. She has already been so lovely to me. I don’t know how I will ever repay her. I suppose, all I can do is try to be the best ever golden Labrador retriever.
Before we finish, please just let me say this: if you are able to give a Christmas donation to a charity this year, please do me a favour and give it to Lort Smith. They never give up on an animal that can be rehomed.
Happy Christmas to you and your family.