Her spirit was broken and her heart was shattered. But staff and volunteers knew the right family could change all that. And so began a mission to help River heal inside and out.
The 1-year-old Great Pyrenees mix arrived at the Connecticut Humane Society this fall when her family was moving and couldn’t bring her along. Her confidence was at an all-time low, and she lowered her head when anyone tried to pet her. On top of all that, she was feeling pretty sick.
The medical team diagnosed River with an upper respiratory infection. It wasn’t your typical cure-it-with-antibiotics strain, but a stubborn and powerful one that left an already dejected dog feeling even more drained. She didn’t want to eat. She hurt from coughing. And she still didn’t understand where her family had gone.
Vets at CHS’ Newington Pet Wellness and Adoption Center mapped out a new treatment plan and monitored progress through chest x-rays, while staff and volunteers helped River learn to trust again. After a more than a month of love and extensive medical care, the wheezing and crackling in her lungs disappeared. She began seeking out affection, belly rubs and treats, and gained a little fan club of admirers. Even the camera loved her: Her expressive face (especially those eyebrows!) made for beautiful pictures that would be posted when she was available for adoption.
She began to connect with people again and earned an upgrade in her shelter accommodations—she was promoted to officemate of CHS Executive Director Gordon Willard once she was cleared medically. She finally showed off a big personality that matched her 85-pound stature.
But River didn’t have to wait long to find love. A local animal control officer who partners with CHS heard about River and thought she might be a good fit for his home. And was she ever! Her new family members welcomed her as one of their own and said that after only two weeks, it felt like she’d been with them forever. She even made friends with the resident cat.
Lifesaving medical care made possible by caring donors each year changes lives—of pets and their new families. And now River’s loved ones can’t imagine their world without her.