Pearls have been a source of fascination for centuries. They have been considered the most magical and feminine of all gems and are the only one created by a living organism. Pearls emanate a certain warmth and glow not found in other gems, due to their unique beginnings.
First and foremost, Pearla's story is a success story. One in which a severely ill dog beat amazing odds to survive.
Pearla was found discarded, emaciated, wounded and starving. But this little dog wanted nothing more than to survive. By sheer strength of will and the endearing fabric of her personality, Pearla forever changed the strangers she encountered. Together they joined in her fight to not only overcome her health issues but to enable her to become an ambassador for her breed.
Here is her story.
Last October (2009) an unsuspecting man found a severely malnourished and banged up pit bull in St. Paul's Frogtown, a part of town not known for its kindness to her breed. Heavy frost already blanketed the Twin Cities and the nightly temperatures were dipping into the high 20’s to low 40's overnight. Her emaciated frame bore swollen and bleeding puncture wounds about her head and neck. Not able to walk on by, Pearla's Good Samaritan brought her to an emergency veterinary clinic to have her wounds cleaned and stitched.
The person who found Pearla, while compelled to spend the money to stabilize and make her comfortable, was not in a position to keep her. However, he had a friend. As luck would have it the friend happened to be a veterinarian.
Pearla weighed a mere 32 pounds when she made it to Carver Lake Veterinary Center. That was a full 4 days after being found! Her first stool while in the care of the animal hospital contained a shoe lace-possible evidence that Pearla had been scavenging for anything she could eat to fend off starvation.
Pearla spent the next four months at CLVC, gaining weight, battling ringworm, fighting infections, and regenerating her coat. She also got to go home with Dr. Hunter for sleep overs. She really liked those a lot.
On Feb. 4, 2010, her first negative culture for ringworm came back, and the decision was made for Pearla to move out of the clinic, and into a home. A Rotta Love Plus (ARLP) was contacted and upon our meeting Pearla the decision was quickly made that she was an ideal candidate for our rescue program.
With her body on the mend, she went into foster care on February 13th. So loved was she by her veterinarian caregiver that accompanying her to her new foster home were three sweaters, two t-shirts, a fleece lined reflective coat, indoor bootie socks, and well-used outdoor booties (protection against MN winter snow and ice). She weighed 49lbs.
Pearla's weight transition is the equivalent of a healthy 180lb human, weighing 117lbs.
In foster care, it was time for Pearla to explore the world as a pet, instead of a scavenger or clinic mascot. Daily walks were hard on her tender feet, but great stimulation for her active little mind. Pearla learned basic leash manners, and started Level One Obedience classes. She learned to potty outside.
It is with great pride that I share Pearla is both a Canine Good Citizen and a certified therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International. All accomplished in just the 2.5 months she has been in foster care.
Pearla's health is still a balancing act. We are all at a loss for her continuing skin problems and intense itching. But she has come so far, overcome some pretty meager odds, and taught us all at ARLP that life is to be cherished and enjoyed to the fullest.
We will do our best to send her out into the world just as physically healthy and vibrant as the impression she has left on all of our hearts.
Special thanks to a very special foster, Paige. What a wonderful gift you have given us in Pearla.