Puppy survives being kicked, hit by car and virus
By STEPHANIE BUTZER
Oct. 16, 2017
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — At just about 4 months old, Brindle Bill still has loose puppy skin, big, bright eyes and a wiggly gait. He still whines when he's not the center of attention. He still loves snuggling, exploring new smells and winding his leash around people's legs.
It's hard to imagine the abuse and violence he endured just a few weeks prior.
While many people have cared for him since then, his first rescuer was 19-year-old Hannah Williams of Thomasville. She was driving with her boyfriend around 10 p.m. Aug. 9 past Myers Park when she saw a small animal limping in the middle of the road.
"There was a car in front of me and I see the car directly hit this thing in the middle of the road," she said. "I saw it shoot out from under the car and tumble down the road."
She stopped the car and walked toward the animal. It was Brindle Bill, and he was "squealing," she said.
As she picked him up, three girls approached her in the road.
"They were like, 'Oh my God, oh my god, that's that dog!'" Williams said. "I was like, 'What are you talking about?'"
The girls told her a teenage boy had tried to give the puppy to them earlier that day because he didn't want it. When nobody offered to take him, he and a few friends took it to the park and kicked it a couple times, the girls told Williams. The puppy had run away from his abusers toward the road when he was hit.
"It made me sick to think human beings could do something like that," Williams said.
She picked up the shaking puppy — which vets said was only 6 weeks old and barely 9 pounds at the time — and put him in her car. She wasn't sure what to do — bring it to a shelter? An emergency vet? She opted to take him home and ask her mother for help.
She and her mom posted a plea to Facebook asking for advice. Her mother's friend, Brittany Ensley, reached out. Ensley already had a dog at home, but fell in love with the puppy as soon as she met him.
"My first thought was, 'Oh my gosh, we need to find him a good home,'" Ensley said. "And then I thought, why don't I just keep him?"
But he was a sorry sight. His eyes were bloody, he couldn't stand up, and when he moved, he dragged his back legs.
"So I didn't get my hopes up, but I tried to be positive," Ensley said.
The Facebook posts about Brindle Bill also attracted the attention of Susie's Hope, a High Point-based nonprofit that fights animal abuse. Eve Roser, vice president of the nonprofit, said a friend texted her around 11 p.m. the day Brindle Bill was found asking if Susie's Hope could help. Roser immediately made arrangements for the nonprofit to cover Brindle Bill's medical expenses.
On Aug. 10, the day after the puppy was abused and hit, Williams' mother, Jeanna Goots, took the puppy to High Point Veterinary Hospital on S. Main Street to get a veterinarian's input on how Brindle Bill could recover. Or if he could.
In addition to obvious road rash, a radiograph revealed he had suffered from a fractured femur very near to his pelvis, which would require a plate and multiple pins to repair the fracture. It would likely interfere with his growth plates, they were told.
The veterinarian recommended amputation and scheduled the surgery.
The following day, just two days after he was abused and hit by a car, the puppy was thrown another challenge — parvo.
Canine parvovirus is a contagious, common virus in puppies that can be fatal. Brindle Bill's small body, already very weak, was growing weaker. In a last-ditch effort to save him, Susie's Hope paid for his care at Carolina Vet Specialist, where he was kept in an intensive care unit with 24/7 surveillance and care. The veterinarians said he couldn't have his amputation until the virus was gone.
Despite the odds, he recovered from parvo and Roser picked him up from the vet on Aug. 15. She drove him to another vet, where he stayed for an additional two days, before she picked him up again and brought him to her home to nurse him to health. On Aug. 21, Ensley was finally able to bring him home for good.
"At that point, I think he just needed love," Ensley said. "I think love heals everything. I really do."
Even though it almost killed him, the parvo ended up saving his leg that was scheduled to be amputated.
Roser said the veterinarian decided to instead see if Brindle Bill's body would heal itself after the puppy showed signs of using the leg after recovering from the virus. The vet had seen young animals recover from those sorts of incidents on their own. On Aug. 28, the vet checked the puppy again and confirmed amputation wouldn't be needed. He may have a small limp, but it wouldn't impair his ability to get around like any normal dog.
"This little guy — everything that could have been thrown his way, sadly, was," Roser said. "This is the best possible happy ending for him. Everything happened that needed to for us to have this optimal outcome."
As Ensley and Roser sat in the High Point Veterinary Hospital Monday afternoon, Brindle Bill — whom she has nicknamed Bumpy after how he hops up stairs — wagged his tail at every person that passed by and welcomed belly rubs by anybody willing to give them out. Like any normal puppy.
Ensley said she's often asked what kind of dog Brindle Bill is. He looks like a cross between a pit bull and a dachshund or basset hound. He has short legs and a longer torso, but a boxy head and the familiar patterned fur of a brindle pitbull.
"He's just 100 percent fabulous," Ensley said, scratching his ear.
Roser, who already has claimed to be Brindle Bill's godmother, said he has a tenacious will to live.
"Talk about the ultimate miracle puppy," Roser said. "The stars were aligned for him."
Information from: High Point Enterprise, http://www.hpenews.com