Hopeful: The story of my adopted disabled dog

Published: September 3, 2013

He had gone through agony everyday, with his unhealed wounds and his naked flesh on his hind legs. But with care he recovered and now he is a ball of joyful energy. PHOTO: Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) FACEBOOK page

The first time I saw Hopeful I was shocked. Could anything look so pitiful? I was expecting a healthy dog that just couldn’t use his hind legs but what I got was a bag of bones with a protruding vertebra and red raw bedsores where the bone was visible at places. He was encrusted with months, perhaps years of faeces and smelled like a whole coop of hens. What really got to me was the thick rusted chain that was looped around his neck. For God’s sake the dog couldn’t even drag himself a foot away and here they had this prison chain dangling which only helped in getting tangled in his legs and tearing open his wounds further.

I had not come prepared for this; I hadn’t even told my mother. I didn’t care. I picked him up and away we went.

I will skip the details about my mother’s shock and instant love (both simultaneously) for Hopeful and the trail of poop and smell lingering around the apartment that day.

Hopeful was scared and withdrawn. He was willing enough to show his love, tentatively licking my hand whenever he could, but he tried to find the darkest corner to hide in, dragging his mutilated body under the bed or behind the sofa.

We tried to take care of his wounds as best as we could, with special help from Rubaba of Duke’s pet wheelchairs, who kept calling with amazing advice on Hopeful’s care and well being. I am grateful to them.

The only thing that kept me going as I dabbed his oozing sores with antiseptic was that at least he was paralysed and couldn’t feel the pain. However, Dr Isma, a veterinary doctor, told us otherwise. Hopeful was not paralysed. He was going through agony everyday because, after the accident, it seemed like he had just been thrust into a cage. His vertebra and paws had fused. She didn’t see much hope for him, though she gave him a thorough check up and did not even charge a penny for it.

My mother and I were traumatised. We thought euthanasia was the best choice. My friends came to visit him and they decided that it’s better to wait and see if Hopeful recovers. I am thankful to them for suggesting this to us and also for keeping a continuous check on him during his treatment. The moment Hopeful saw his room (yes, he has his own room) filled up with people, he was ecstatic! I saw a different side of him that day.

But his condition became better with time.

The quite cowering dog, of three weeks ago, gradually turned into this ball of joyful energy. He began roaming around, from one corner of the house to the other, with or without the towel I used to lift up his hind legs so he would know how to manoeuvre himself in his wheelchair. Every morning after his bath and pamper change, he would bring that towel to me so that I can sling his hind legs and take him for his walk.

He loves going for car rides, sitting like a king in his space behind the back seats where he can keep a check on all his subjects. He loves food in general and he adores chocolate flavoured fro-yo in particular. He loves it so much he will take huge licks and then nudge the cup towards me as an offering which I decline politely.

Like any dog, he loves chasing us to the door when the bell rings, making sure he sticks his face out from the crack letting the guest know whose house they are entering. He loves people. The more the merrier. He is quite the host and will make sure nobody lacks attention. He has found his voice again. Starting from a few experimental barks, he now volleys at anyone or anything that meets his disapproval, which could range from not sharing food with him to not taking him out when he wants to, and the list goes on and on.

Hilariously, however, his bravado is only for us. Hopeful is too scared to go into the corridor because he thinks he has seen another dog there, but it is actually his own reflection in the glass door. He is also scared as hell of the television (people in a box …what on earth!) and will flee from a room where the TV is on. But if we are standing behind him, then he will take comfort in the backup and bark at the TV, from a safe distance (just in case the people in the box step out).

His first day at the beach was also enjoyed though it was a bit overwhelming. Wearing his baseball onesie (one part to protect his wounds from the sand and the other to accentuate his good looks) he enjoyed the long ride to the French beach. I place him down on a soft rug on the sand, Hopeful took everything in quietly for five minutes, observing the waves and throngs of people, the camels and horses and other dogs, and then he turned around and hid his face under my arm. After coaxing him out, he sat and enjoyed everything but like a shy child he would go into a panic attack even if I moved away a bit.

This is the story of this miracle of a dog. His spirit and resilience continues to surprise us. He has gone through such pain which we cannot even fathom yet he hasn’t lost his love and trust in us, and although the work is hard, the love we get in return pays ten times over. Prayers are needed for his full recovery.

This post originally appeared here

To support the cause of animal welfare, send your donations here.  

Kanza Wyne

Kanza Wyne

An animal enthusiast.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sane

    What was that?!!Recommend

  • True humanity

    What a wonderful soul you are-showing kindness that isn’t for the sake of securing rewards in heaven/religious is true unselfish humanity.
    Most religious people do charity only as an exchange programme to buy a seat in heaven.Recommend

  • sars

    I hope our society learns to love animals, perhaps then we will stop condoning violence to humansRecommend

  • Religion vs spirituality

    If people are humane for the sake of religion,if people are humane only according to religious books for religious rewards,then they have already lost their humanity long back.Recommend

  • Parvez

    If the world had more people like you it certainly would be a better place.

  • Fiz

    What a touching tale! I can well imagine how Hopeful must be behaving. I love animals and I know they like to be loved and in return they also love you especially dogs & cats. May Allah bless you for being so kind and looking after His creation.Recommend

  • Sonya

    Dearest Kanza,

    I had tears in my eyes while reading your wonderful post. My heart is filled with so much gratitude for PAWS, you/your amazing mother (and friends), and most importantly to The Express Tribune for carrying this post, which will, I’m certain, encourage others to take in neglected and abused strays. May God bless you for your proactivity, your empathy, your love and kindness. I am so, so moved. Recommend

  • Adil

    faith in humanity restored…Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/mahrukh.azhar.khan Mahrukh Azhar Khan

    Faith in humanity restored! Love and respect for you and your family. Take good care of this little baby. :)Recommend

  • K Khwaja

    This made me so so happy to read Kanza. Out of concern though I wanted to add that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. It may not take effect immediately in bigger dogs but can build up in their system – http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/dogs-and-chocolate-get-the-facts

    Here’s to continuing recovery, love and companionship!
    wishing you both all the best


  • Sana

    This made me tear up. I have the utmost respect for you :)Recommend

  • Vishnu Dutta

    Very few people would adopt a disabled dog. You did a great thing. I am sure god has taken notice of this.Recommend

  • Madni

    A very moving account! And, thanks to Tribune for posting this. Recommend

  • Fa

    Bravo!!! Prayers for his swift recovery and for your humility and love for the poor thing :)Recommend

  • Bhai log

    I hate dogsRecommend

  • CatLover

    I am a cat lover myself, but when I hear such things that how people torture animals and find pleasure in it, sickens me to the core. How can people treat animals like these? Just because they can’t speak up or stand up for themselves, they are tortured and left to die. Thank you author for not giving up on Hopeful. Thank you for writing this article and introducing us to Hopeful. We cry even when we stub our toe and tie these poor animals up for our own pleasure? Disgusting.Recommend

  • http://Twitter.com/bohotsaara Sarah B. Haider

    Only a ‘real’ human being would like your blog and appreciate your compassion. For the rest of the hoi polloi, direct them to read “happy ending massage parlours”.Recommend

  • Tinker

    I have been following his story on facebook page of PAWS and wanted to help this dog but my very long working hours did not allow me to adopt this dog. But I am so happy to see that the dog has been adopted and finally he’s living a good life. May Allah reward you for this deed.

    Thank you for writing this article !Recommend

  • Anon

    @ Bhai log

    Many people dislike animals. But there is a distinction between disliking animals and being inhumane.Even a person who dislikes animals can be kind to them.Recommend

  • Surya

    Very positive story and a lot of good karma!

    Hopefully this makes more people aware about the ill treatment of animals on the subcontinent and how to combat it. Recommend

  • mokh

    amazing story -well done Kanza and family-what big hearts you have-thanks to Tribune blogs for publishing this and for PAWS-Pakistan Animal Welfare Society for publishing the original news of this dog on Facebook-I hope this inspires more people to get in touch with PAWS and see if they can help out in any way-I saw that they were looking for volunteers-we were very lucky to get 2 orphaned pups through PAWS .
    And yes human beings are of paramount importance but its an o;ld and true saying that a nations humanity can be judged by how it cares for its animal populationRecommend

  • Heaven

    Hats off to you Kanza for doing something most of us would shun the idea or dread to take the decision,. Hopeful’s delstiny was written very different and ended on a happy note :)

    All said and done there is one thing has hammered me continuously while going through the ordeal of Hopeful and that is since 2 years Hopeful has remained in the veterinary outlet and why was he not being given the necessary first aid and the cleanliness factor was ignored by the Animal welfare organisation. I believe funds had been collected and financial aid is requested so why had it not been used in the care of the poor dog and purchase of pampers to keep him out of the poop mess as Kanza has stated that Hopeful was in a terrible and pathetic state when she went to get him. I understand that if it had been a recent situation but the dog had been suffering since 2 years!!! Is the organisation blind? does their responsibility ends to just shift a paralyzed dog to the Vet. clinic and not do anything for its cleanliness part or medical attention?
    Its a sorry state that in the name of helping animals we do not see the flaws and the negative picture it gives with this donation process.

    Duke firm can only make a push chair or wheel chair for the dog but it would not erase the conditon that these animals kand up in by the local Animale care centres.

    I am happy for Hopeful and God Bless you Kanza,! :)Recommend

  • Asma Ahmad

    This brought tears to my eyes. God bless for taking this lil guy home and giving him a chance at life. I hope and pray that more people with your courage and temperament help animals in need. Also, I’m happy to have been part of Hopeful’s scenery on his first day at the beach, I recognized his handsome face and snazzy outfit!Recommend

  • Indian doc

    What a unique article..
    Love the photographs ! Esp.the second picture..Lol..
    Best regards to Hopeful,
    God bless you all,abundantly.Recommend