On March 30th, TAF was called about a stray female dog with an atrocious leg injury. Some sick person had tied a shoestring around the dog’s leg and knotted it so tight that it had severed her skin clear to the bone. In fact, the shoestring was so tight and had been on for so long that it was actually changing the shape of the bone. Infection had already set in and the necrotic (dead) flesh was oozing with blood and puss… it smelled like rotten meat. The poor dog’s leg was so swollen and purple that it looked like it was going to pop from the pressure.

Thistle was hospitalized at the ER Vet for a week straight and underwent two different surgical procedures to try and save her leg. During this time, she also received antibiotics, pain medications, anti-inflammatories and medicated foot soaks twice a day.After a week of hospitalization Thistle was back in our care where we followed the same medical regimen that was prescribed by the ER Vet. In the short time that we had her with us, Thistle started putting on weight and was filling out. We thought that she had made it and was on her way to a full recovery. It was then that hell was about to break loose…

The Canine Influenza Virus was already wreaking havoc at the ER Vet and other veterinary offices in Chicago and we knew that there was a high probability that our dogs would pick it up if not there, somewhere. There are just too many dogs that live and travel through the areas that we occupy. Dogs can be contagious way before they show any symptoms and people walking by always want to pet an adoptable dog.

Well, sure enough, Thistle was exposed to the Canine Influenza Virus and since her immune system was already compromised, her health deteriorated fast as she was once again hospitalized on 4/8/15. Days later, Thistle was diagnosed with pneumonia and once again hospitalized.

During this time, the infection in Thistle’s leg was raging on and she was losing her battle to survive… if she was going to make it out of the hospital alive, immediate amputation was her only option.


When Thistle’s new mom met our pup, her eyes became a little teary when Thistle ran to her. The affinity for a new mom and her dog family member was obvious and within a few minute it was clear that Thistle was “the one.” When it came time for her adoption photo, Thistle just peacefully leaned against her new family with a gentle smile on her face… Thistle knew she was home. Undoubtedly, she will love her family every step of the way.