Shelter dog takes on struggles like a true Southern belle

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FETCH CANINE REHAB

Her name is reminiscent of days gone by and, like any Southern belle, she is proud, strong and well behaved. Eloise came to Palmetto Animal League's no-kill adoption center looking for hope and healing. Thanks to PAL's dedicated supporters, that's exactly what she found.

Her rescue story began in June of last year when a municipal shelter hours away contacted PAL, asking for a lifeline for a dog with urgent medical needs. Eloise's owners had surrendered her to the shelter after learning her treatment would be both costly and time consuming.

When Eloise arrived at PAL, our first step was to assess her situation. "We noticed the lack of stability in her rear legs and began working in-house to strengthen her muscles," said PAL Adoption Center vet technician Ford Howell. "It didn't take long for us to see her getting worse and that we needed to spring into action immediately."

In just a few weeks, Eloise went from walking a bit wobbly to losing all mobility in her hind legs. Realizing it was far more than just muscle weakness, Eloise was taken to a veterinary neurologist, where an MRI revealed a cyst growing in her spine.

It was clear surgery would be necessary to keep Eloise's paralysis from getting worse. Thanks to the compassion and kindness of PAL donors, Eloise was able to get the surgery she so desperately needed and, following recovery, it was time for her to start physical therapy.

"PAL volunteers Lori Roos and Diane Reilly have been true animal warriors, driving Eloise to therapy twice a week every week in Savannah," said PAL president Amy Campanini. "They are her real-life fairy godmothers."

Georgia Bottoms and her crew at Fetch Canine Rehab in Savannah are also playing a huge roll in Eloise's comeback, working tirelessly to help her walk again. As Campanini put it, "It really is Team Eloise!"

"Our next step is getting her a dog wheelchair so we can advance her stabilization and rehab," said Howell. "We are excited and committed."

In a world where far too many homeless animals perish in overcrowded and underfunded shelters, Eloise has been given a second chance at life and she's not planning on wasting it! Her therapy is tough, but Eloise is a steel magnolia and she finds joy even amidst her struggles.

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League. PalmettoAnimalLeague.org

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