On October 15th, 2014, a litter of five German Shepherds were born. The last puppy to be born had a hard time entering this world. It had been stuck in the birth canal for a long period of time and was born hours after rest of his siblings. The breeder did not realize until a couple weeks later that there was something wrong with the puppy. He would just lie down and wasn’t able to walk. They took him to the vet and found out that he had suffered from lack of oxygen during birth, which left him with permanent brain damage.
The vet recommended euthanizing the puppy, since the chances of him getting better were very slim. The breeder decided to give him another week and took him home. Another week went by and the puppy did not improve. That Thursday night, the family said their goodbyes. They had decided to euthanize the puppy. The next morning they went to get the puppy from his bed and he wasn’t there. At first they thought one of the kids had taken him to their room for the night. Then they counted the puppies running around and there were five of them. Overnight, the puppy had learned to walk. The breeder told us, that it was as though the dog knew it was his last chance.
The puppy continued to improve, but it was obvious that he would have some major disabilities. His legs were very fragile and he was partially blind. The breeder was worried about his future and started to look for families that would be willing to adopt him.
I found out about this puppy at the same time that my best friend was looking into adopting a second dog. One December evening, we took a ride to visit the breeder, just to see the puppy. We never anticipated taking him home with us. When we got there all of the other puppies were running around, biting us and playing, and this little guy walked to my friend Agnes and never left her side. That evening we went home with the 8-week-old puppy in our arms. Agnes named the little puppy Szarik, after a famous Polish dog featured in a movie series.
When we arrived home Manny, Agnes’ other rescue dog and the new puppy bonded instantly. Manny brought him his stuffed animal toys and laid down next to him. It was as though they were meant to be together. To this day, Manny watches and protects him.
Agnes took Szarik to the vet and they did a CT scan of his brain. It showed damage in the cerebellum part of his brain, which is responsible for coordination and vision. The prognosis she got was not good. He would most likely be blind and need a dog wheelchair to walk. The vet once again recommended to euthanize the puppy. Agnes refused stating that he did not just start to walk, so he can be killed a few weeks later.
Over time, Szarik grew bigger and stronger. With Manny’s company, Szarik was getting plenty of exercise. His vision continued to improve to the point that he could find and play with his toys.
Today, Szarik is 18 months old and the happiest dog you will meet. He loves people and it’s obvious to everyone around him, that he is just happy to be alive. He is a fighter and is a living proof that the medical prognosis is not always accurate. There are life miracles, gifts from above, that no doctor can predict.
At 18 months old he runs like crazy, his vision is just fine despite the medical prognosis. His disability is still present when he walks as its a little funny due to his coordination. That doesn’t stop him from being a regular dog and doing everything other dogs do.
The biggest miracle of this story is not that Szarik overcame his physical disabilities against all odds. It’s his personality. From the moment Agnes took him home, he acted like a mature dog in the body of a puppy. He always behaved, listened, and never did any of the crazy things puppies do. It was almost like he wanted to say that he was thankful for getting a second chance in life. He was a puppy that no one wanted, but now everyone wishes to have a dog like him.
It was fate when we decided to go see the puppies on that December evening. Agnes says adopting this dog was one of the best decisions she ever made, that he is a gift from God. He puts a smile on everyone’s face. He taught us that there is no limitation in life and to always give second chances, the outcome may amaze you.
About the author:
Mira Alicki is a jewelry designer and goldsmith for the past 22 years. Her passion for animals led her to create her own line of jewelry and online store to benefit charities. 40% of each purchase is donated back to the animal community. You can find Mira on Twitter (@FIMHjewelry) or Forever In My Heart.