TWO-year-old dog Levi returned to his County Clare roots recently after been abandoned and dumped at eight-weeks-old. Now part of a loving family and living in Wales, Levi visited the carers who helped him survive a range of illnesses, including one that proved fatal for his little sister.
Levi was one of three pups dumped over the wall of Clare Dog Pound on October 20, 2010.
“They were suffering from a severe skin infection, as well as having fleas, worms and being underweight. They were only eight-weeks-old at this stage and had already suffered a lot in their short lives,” explained Deirdre Ryan from Rover Rescue. The dogs were brought to Summerhill Veterinary Centre, Ennis for treatment and were found to have demodectic mange, which while treatable, requires regular specialised washes and care.
“I had a lot of adult dogs in my care at this time so I sought the help of Mandy Ellis, a friend and fellow rescuer, who runs a small rescue in West Clare and specialises in caring for abandoned puppies. The dogs were first washed at Peter Barks Dog Grooming with a specialised shampoo to start to treat their skin problem before Mandy took them home to start their recuperation.”
“It looked like their luck had finally changed but alas there were more struggles for these poor pups. Soon after they were rescued, they began to show signs of the deadly parvovirus, a type of severe tummy upset for dogs, which can be fatal in young pups. Despite the best of vet care, unfortunately the little girl was too weak and died whilst on a drip at the vets trying to get well,” Deirdre outlined.
Levi and his brother, Picasso, went on to make a full recovery. Picasso was re-homed nearby. After six weeks, Levi made the trip to Many Tears Animal Rescue in Wales. Here he was fostered by Clare Taylor, her husband and two children.
“He fitted so well with the family they couldn’t bear to part with him and he settled in to live permanently with the family and their other dog, Ali. Mandy had sent a write-up about the pup’s story to Many Tears and when this was passed on to Levi’s new family, they made contact with Mandy and me via email, sending us updates and pictures of Levi in his new home and the joy he has brought to the family,” Deirdre recalled.
Nearly two years to the day after Levi’s rescue, Clare, her family, Levi and Ali all made the long trip back to Ennis. Levi stayed with Mandy to reconnect with her carers and see the county where he was born.
“It was absolutely amazing,” said Mandy. “I have looked after over 1,500 dogs and pups and he is the only one who has come back so it was wonderful to see him, especially since he was in such a bad state when I got him and although we had him in fairly good shape by the time he went to Wales, seeing him again was fantastic,” she added.
“Levi is a real success story because he would almost certainly have died had it not been for the attention of Aidan O’Connell from Shannonside Vets in Kilrush. He was so good to Levi when he was sick with parvo. Parvo usually kills by dehydrating, so without Aidan he would almost certainly have died. He had him on a drip and monitored him until he came home. Without him, the outcome could have been quite different,” Mandy continued.
Deirdre was also delighted to see Levi. “It was wonderful to see Levi again and what a transformation. He is a stunning, handsome and very well mannered boy. He is gentle and sweet with Clare’s young children and even tried his paw at some agility at Ennis Dog Club during his visit.
“It is wonderful to see a pup, which had such a bad start in life, thrive through the cooperation and devotion of different rescues working together. Every rescue dog deserves a chance and with the right training and a little direction, they really do turn into the most loving and loyal companions.
“I would urge all the public to visit the pound or any of the animal rescues in Clare, such as Second Chance Animal Rescue if they are looking for a pet dog. There are lots of Levis in there just waiting for a chance to shine,” Deirdre concluded.