Poppie the paralysed dog on her way to US after back op

2017-05-08 20:21
Poppie, the paralysed dog. (Deon Raath/Netwerk24)

Poppie, the paralysed dog. (Deon Raath/Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – A paralysed dog that stole the hearts of a group of researchers in Botswana just over two months ago is on her way to the US – hopefully after a back operation to repair her fractured vertebrae, Netwerk24 reported

"She was in a bad state, emaciated and obviously in danger, but her Bambi eyes instantly stole my heart," said Professor Amanda Stronza, an American anthropologist. 

Poppie, as the dog is now known, in February dragged her paralysed hindquarters through dense bush in northern Botswana to get to the group of people who she "instinctively knew could help her".

Stronza, who was working on an elephant research project when her path crossed with Poppie’s, says she doesn’t know how the courageous dog got injured.

"It could have been anything – an animal that stepped on or kicked her or, sadly, even a person."

The most important thing, she believes, is that Poppie got to the right people in time.

"One of our researchers, Susanne Vogel, immediately took Poppie under her wing and named her."

To get Poppie medical assistance, Stronza's colleague Graham McCulloch had to take her on an eight-hour long trip in his 4x4 vehicle to the nearest town, Maun.

Operation crowdfunded

When they got there, X-rays revealed two vertebrae with compression fractures.

"The main problem was money. To get Poppie on all fours again, she might need an operation costing thousands, which I don’t have," said Stronza. She turned to crowdfunding to get the money needed for the operation.

"In the blink of an eye we had collected more than enough (almost $8 000, or more than R107 000) and Poppie’s road to recovery could begin."

She says the pooch won’t ever return her "stolen heart", but also that she wouldn’t be reclaiming it in any case.

"I love Poppie so much and I’m grateful for the love she has elicited. She caused a worldwide community of love. Everyone agrees, she radiates love," said Stronza.

Poppie now commutes between a specialist veterinary centre in Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, and Dr Suzette Greubel of the Greenside animal hospital where she will have to undergo tests to see if an operation would help her.

"The good news doesn’t end after the operation. We have already found a home for Poppie. Once the operation is over, this brave little dog will fly all the way to America where her new family is waiting," said Stronza.

MaryBeth Hastings and her husband, Howard Wilkins, are waiting for Poppie in Takoma Park, Washington DC, along with their daughters Molly, 10, and Sydney, 14.

They have decided to adopt Poppie regardless of the outcome of the operation.

Read more on:    botswana  |  johannesburg  |  good news  |  animals

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