Families often acquire canines from breeders expecting that they’ll get a puppy with good genes and in the prime of health; they pay for the knowledge that the dog is a bona fide purebred rather than taking their chances with a rescued animal from a shelter, with potential health risks attached.
When one family adopted a special-needs bulldog puppy from a breeder who refused to take the dog back, though, a kindhearted veterinarian stepped in—and provided him with the kind of home he truly deserved.
The family that initially adopted the puppy (now named Huck) had been thrilled to take him home at first but immediately noticed that something wasn’t quite right. He had trouble controlling his bodily functions, and the family was worried that he had something seriously wrong with him.
When they brought Huck back to the breeder, they were quickly given a new, fully healthy puppy in his place. But the breeder’s initial refusal to take Huck back left the family worried that he would be mistreated—so they took him in to a local vet clinic, instead, to see what was wrong and hopefully figure out where to go from there.
The veterinarian at Harbor Point Animal Hospital in Mooresville, North Carolina, did some preliminary X-rays and informed the family that they suspected Huck had spina bifida. The condition, caused when the spine doesn’t properly develop in utero, can cause both mobility problems and bowel issues, which was the case with poor Huck.
Although the family wanted Huck to be happy, they ultimately decided that they couldn’t care for him and surrendered him to the clinic. Luckily, one of the veterinarians there was happy to take him home—and with special diapers provided, he’s been thriving with her and her family ever since!
Dr. Jaime Laity, the director and owner of Harbor Point, shared a post on the clinic’s official Facebook page explaining that she had decided to take Huck home.
“Dr. Laity has a very special announcement to make!” the post read. “Last Friday a 3 month old English Bulldog was surrendered to Harbor Point Animal Hospital. He is incontinent of both bowel and bladder and was believed to have Spina Bifida. Dr. Laity just couldn’t say no to that sweet face and took him home for the weekend.”
On Monday, this sweet boy had an MRI and his diagnosis was confirmed. Not much is known about the treatment of Spina Bifida, especially in veterinary medicine. After much research and speaking with a neurologist, there is a small chance that his condition may be helped with stem cell therapy- which is currently only used in clinical trials. So on behalf of Dr. Laity and everyone at Harbor Point Animal Hospital, we are proud to introduce you to Huck Finn! Due to his medical condition he cannot be left at home for long periods of time, so if you stop by the hospital be sure to say hello to our cutest employee!
Dr. Laity explained that Huck participated in a doggy daycare to help him learn how to socialize, but in between his time, there he hung around the clinic often so that she could change his diapers. Other than his incontinence, though, he grew up to be a perfectly normal dog—and has become quite the local celebrity for his friendly demeanor and positive attitude.
“People will come in just to see him and take pictures! Last week a client came in just to take a selfie with him and told us that his kids were going to be so jealous because he’s ‘famous,’” she said.
Apart from the diapers, she said that he was a happy, healthy, playful puppy. And as he’s gotten older, he still has to wear the diapers—but based on the adorable Instagram account dedicated to him, he seems to be living a life full of fun and joy.
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