Alicia aka Ivy came to us as a fighter fund pup, we were told she was blind from taking a hit in the head with a blunt object. No big deal we thought, we love special needs and blindness isn’t a biggie, they adjust well and someone will fall in love and adopt her so quick. After all she’s adorable!

It took us only a few days to know there was more going on and she saw a series of specialist who determined she had a skull fracture from the blow. It was pretty obvious by the giant scar and skull malformation that stretched from just above her eyes to almost her ear base. Ivy was determined to have brain damage that affected much more than her ability to see. She is blind in her left eye and has poor facial tone so she drops food and water out of her left and it just doesn’t function quite right. She has pretty limited vision in her right but thankfully can still see some. Ivy also has gait issues and drags her left foot and has some other neuro issues like social seizures and impulse control issues. Ivy’s biggest issue is the brain damage caused her esophageal muscles to be damaged because her brain doesn’t tell them to work quite right she developed megaesophagus as a result (basically a very enlarged esophagus that food can struggle to move through and into the stomach). Ivy eats in a bailey chair with a special diet to help the food move down into her stomach but she’s prone to regurgitating which can lead to aspiration pneumonia, thankfully we’ve caught her 2 episodes very early and she recovered quickly however it was evident on x-ray’s she’s had it before, likely in the shelter as she has lung scarring. Oh yea, and she has a grade 3 luxating patella on the left from the abnormal gait. It sounds like a lot right? but yet Ivy lives her best life! She demands snuggles whenever possible and I’ve become accustomed to carrying her 40lb butt just about everywhere, from day 1 all Ivy wanted was to be held and snuggled and loved. She’s been a trooper with all of her medical needs and is pretty cooperative most days! She has some bad days but most are good and we make the best of the good days! She loves to go outside and she adores fuzzy blankets and her sweaters! Tug is her favorite game ever and she will happily grab whatever to try entice a tug game with pir residents, sometimes it’s a toy hit usually it’s a pillow or blanket or sock! Her brain damage makes her body temp a little wonky so she loves to be dressed up, and we have fun with it!

We went into this journey thinking we were fostering a healthy but blind puppy and we got so much more, so much more medically and loving. This journey has been unexpected but also so amazing and we absolutely adore Alicia, aka Ivy and I wouldn’t change it for the world. She was meant to be with us and we are honored to give her the best life possible.


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