On a winter afternoon in February 2011, Laura accompanied a friend on a walk through a county-run animal control facility. While looking down the rows of kennels, Laura noticed one dog who was not peering expectantly through the chain link fabric of a cage hoping to be acknowledged, nor cowering in the back barking defensively. The dog, an obvious pure bred Labrador Retriever with a pale yellow coat, lay emaciated and motionless on the cement floor, a full bowl of food and water untouched. With gentle coaxing, the dog responded with just the slightest shift of his head and a doleful glance that spoke a thousand words of pain and loneliness. Upon entering the run, he laboriously rose and greeted a kneeling Laura with a gentle lick on the face. The cause of his distress was now obvious as he stood on three legs with a back leg hanging uselessly.
The ‘good boy’ who inspires us and our mission
In less than twenty-four hours, “Louie” as he is now called, was in the back seat of Laura’s truck as she and her husband Dennis drove him to an awaiting friend and veterinarian in Lansing, Michigan. Upon examination, x-rays revealed a crushed hip and dislocated leg. And if that wasn’t a big enough challenge, blood work revealed he was heartworm positive, increasing the risks involved with him undergoing anesthesia. Louie underwent over four hours of surgery with two veterinarians working on him to remove bone and bone fragments in an agressive effort to save his leg.
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Post surgery, each day Louie showed steady weight gain, greater strength and improved functionality of his injured leg. Just two months after surgery, Louie completed a Level One dog obedience class. He now runs and plays with his “siblings” at Laura and Dennis’s home. His former look of pain and loneliness replaced with love and exuberance for people and dog games.
Touched by the generosity of family, friends and animal professionals that contributed to Louie’s quest for a healthy existence, Laura became acutely aware of the blessings at work and in her life. Specifically, how fortunate she is to be able to give a dog like Louie the medical care he so desperately needed and a quality of life so admirably deserved. It is with those blessings in mind that “Love from Louie” was founded with the intent of paying it forward by helping other animals and their human companions live in health, gratitude and service.