Disabled Pup Was Dumped and Left For Dead, Then a Vet Gives Her Second Chance at Life

July 30, 2019 Updated: August 4, 2019

Imagine you’re on your way to university classes and you come across this: a tiny puppy painfully dragging itself across the ground, its front legs missing. It’s a heartbreaking sight that would make anyone desperate to help.

Thankfully, for this puppy, the person who ran across it in the Mexico City park where it was found was Adhara Talamantes, a vet school student.

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When Talamantes found the dog, the constant wear and tear on its missing front legs had taken a terrible toll. Both of the stubs that were left were open wounds, waiting to be infected. As a medical student, her instinct was to release the puppy from its suffering, but as a dog lover, her heart went out to it.

Talamantes told The Daily Mirror, “I have to confess that I spent a moment considering whether I should put her up for adoption or perhaps put her to sleep if she was suffering, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that she was meant to be with me.”

She decided to call the puppy Almendra, which is the Spanish word for almond. “She was small, light brown, and sweet,” Talamantes told the Mirror, just like the delicious nut. But while Talamantes had decided to keep the dog, she had no idea how to make Almendra’s life more livable.

“When she was a baby, I had to clean [her wounds] and bandage them every day. Keeping them from getting infected and trying to promote healing was one of my biggest challenges with her early on.”

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She quickly realized that there wasn’t much available in Mexico for disabled dogs and started looking elsewhere online. “I eventually found several [prosthetic] devices, but they were big failures. Since day one, helping Almendra was a learning process,” she told the Mirror.

If Talamantes wanted things done right, it just looked like she was going to have to do them herself. And she did! The first order of business was to use well-documented physical therapy techniques to make Almendra’s back legs as strong as possible so she could propel herself with the help of a mobility aid.

“First, I started making bicycle movements with her legs, massaged them and used reiki (palm healing) technique,” she explained to the Mirror. “Finally, I bought a treadmill and held her chest while she practiced walking. We did that every single day.”

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But all this hard work and love paid off and after a half a year the big day finally came. Talamantes found the “Hoppy and Wheelie Vest,” made by Orthopets, which wraps around Almendra’s front and provides her with stability and mobility.

“When it arrived, I put her in it, and she started running. That was one of the happiest moments of my life, when all the therapy I did with her,” she shared with the Mirror. “I just could not believe that after a year of hard work, we had succeeded.”

Since then, Almendra, in true puppy fashion, hasn’t really stopped running, leaving her delighted mom following her around on her adventures. “She is so lovely and so alive. Her smile is stunning, and her happiness is remarkable,” she said to the Mirror.

As Almendra has disproved so many of the dire expectations that anyone would have had in her case, she’s given Talamantes a great deal of inspiration. “Maybe she was abandoned; maybe she had no mobility; maybe she had open wounds and sores. But her spirit—that remains untouched.”

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