Looking at AJ now it is hard to believe that she ever experienced as much pain and suffering as she did. In 2005, AJ was hit by a car and one of her legs was completely “de-gloved” meaning all the flesh was stripped off from being dragged on the tar road. When she was brought to the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, South Africa her guardians were told AJ would have to lose her leg in order to recover from her extreme injury.
The response AJ’s guardians had to this news was not the sort of response many animal lovers would give as they decided they did not want AJ if she only had three-legs. Most pet owners would happily help to re-cooperate an injured pet but for an unknown reason AJ’s owners were not willing. To try and accommodate the wishes of her guardians, physicians decided not to amputate AJ’s leg, but warned that the healing process would be long and slow.
While they had gotten what they wanted in terms of AJ’s treatment, her guardians ultimately decided to abandon AJ seeing that her leg and foot were still mangled. As if an injury and painful physical healing process were not enough for AJ to endure, she was now faced with homelessness and a potential life of endless suffering.
Luckily, the kind people who had been caring for AJ at the Mdzananda clinic decided to adopt AJ and have since given her the happy life she deserves.
AJ is one of the many dogs that have been rescued and cared for at the clinic. Bones, a former breeding dog, also resides in the clinic.
Marcelle van Zyl, from the Mdzananda clinic, tells OGP that when they took AJ in she was “thin but not emaciated” but the staff took to her immediately giving her “lots of love and attention” as well as making sure to regularly dress her wound.
It took several months for AJ’s wound to heal, but she responded very well to the rehabilitation process – mainly because it involved lots of snuggles and treats. Since her recovery AJ has taken on the role of “Queen” of the Mdzananda clinic.
“[AJ] rules the roots, loves playing with younger dogs and bossing them around,” but most importantly AJ keeps a close watch on her throne a well protected “spot under the computer table,” van Zyl explains. She also begun to take an interest in “any form of squishy toy, keyring and pillow.”
Fully recovered and well-adjusted to life in the clinic, AJ is beginning to find her “playful side” once more and return to the joys that come with just being a dog. I mean who wouldn’t love endless naps, treats and play time?
Though its been a long hard road for AJ, she’s ended up right where she belongs thanks to the amazing people at the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.
Lead image source: Mdzananda Animal Clinic