Paralyzed Dog Drags Herself Through Dangerous Terrain in Search of Help

June 6, 2019 Updated: June 7, 2019

It takes a certain determined spirit to be able to do what this dog, who was injured, did. This courageous little doggie dragged herself for using only her front legs, through the dangerous terrain of Africa in search of help. Not being able to walk properly and without food or water, it’s a miracle that she made it to safety.

Poppy, a small stray dog, definitely had luck by her side. Her back legs became paralyzed when her spine was crushed. It’s uncertain how she became injured, but it was clear to her rescuers that she was abandoned. How far she dragged herself is unknown.

Susanne Vogel, who works in Botswana at the elephant research camp, was one of the people who spotted her and was shocked at the plight of this little dog that found them in early 2017.

This little pup came crawling into our research camp, unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help. It seems she's…

Posted by Amanda Stronza on Thursday, March 2, 2017

“She came crawling—literally crawling, because her back legs were completely immobilized—into our research camp,” Vogel told The Dodo. “She was unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help.”

However, unable to provide her with immediate medical help, as the nearest vet was an eight-hour trip away, the team cared for her in the best way they could. They knew she had survived incredible odds to make it to their camp, and thus everyone was focused on helping her make it. “The camp is in a remote region, filled with elephants, but also lions, hyenas and other predators,” Vogel said. “Poppy had somehow made it to us, emaciated and soaking wet from the rain.”

I've spent much of the day with Poppy (between jetlagging and working on my laptop, always beside her at the clinic),…

Posted by Amanda Stronza on Thursday, April 13, 2017

Despite the long route, one worker, named Graham McCulloch, traveled the dangerous road and made a ferry trip across the Okavango River with Poppy to seek out a vet. Poppy, who was only about 7 months of age at that time, was going to need surgery on her crushed spine if she were to ever walk again.

“He said the chances were ‘slim’ she could make it through the surgery or recovery afterward,” Amanda Stronza, one of her rescuers, said. “But she had so much life in her, and I knew we needed to honor her will to live and the hard fight she had already fought to find us and stay alive. I couldn’t agree to euthanize her.”

Poppy update from Botswana! She is getting better every day! After just two days of loving care at the vet and some…

Posted by Amanda Stronza on Monday, March 6, 2017

Thus, in order to help Poppy, Stronza set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the surgery. Seeing the plight of this helpless dog, people were generous, and they raised more than enough money to help Poppy.

No new news from Poppy today, but I thought we all might appreciate her sweet face. <3 Will share updates when I have…

Posted by Amanda Stronza on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

With the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and the help of plenty of physical rehabilitation exercise, Poppy’s improvement and determination to live amazed everyone. A trip to the specialist in Johannesburg determined that her spine was totally severed between two vertebrae and surgery was not going to make any difference to her spinal cord, according to an update on her GoFundMe page. The best choice for Poppy was a set of wheels that would enable her to move around.

Happy Birthday to Poppy's lovely and beloved mom and my best friend, MaryBeth Hastings! With love and gratitude from Poppy and me, and from all of us who love Poppy. <3 amanda

Posted by Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts on Saturday, September 29, 2018

People around the world were so moved by the spirit of this resilient puppy that they wanted to adopt her. Then, one of Stronza’s friends, MaryBeth Hastings, in Washington, D.C., saw Poppy on Facebook, and her two daughters immediately fell in love with her.

Posted by Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts on Sunday, November 18, 2018

This determined pup is now thriving in her forever home. In January 2019, Poppy even got new wheels. Indeed, she has such a beautiful face and wonderful nature—she knew she needed help and managed to reach the right place at the right time.

Poppy got new wheels! It’s clear that she takes a toll on them!

Posted by Poppy the Puppy who Stole our Hearts on Saturday, January 5, 2019

Watch the video of this resilient pup, who was helped by many and had the will to survive: