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In December 2018, Lisa and I traveled to Elephant Nature Park, near Chang Mai Thailand, to volunteer with rescued Dogs, Cats and Elephants. We had no idea that upon leaving the park, we would have a rescue story of our own. Over dinner on one of our last nights in Chang Mai, we were reminiscing about the inspirational artist Frida Kahlo who spent the majority of her life bedridden due to polio and a bus accident. Though her body had limitations, she was strong, her mind was creative and fearless, she famously said “Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly?”
With this thought, we headed home down the dark streets of Chang Mai. In the shadows, there was a 4 legged figure hobbling across the street on her 2 front paws , illuminated by the lights of busy traffic rapidly approaching. Would the poor soul make it? We had to do something. We both instinctively stopped traffic, the cars and motorcycles slowed down temporarily as she made it to the other side. What we saw was indescribable and heartbreaking. This beautiful dog had been paralyzed on her hind end and dragging her feet for so long that the bones and flesh had worn away. Her legs were hot from the brewing infection. Yet despite this, she greeted us with a sweet temperament and gentle eyes. She was grateful for the treats we happened to have in our bag, and as the vet later said, “she knew we were saving her...”
She entrusted us to pick her up as we took her to the closest 24 hour vet. We have sponsored her care there and 6 weeks later, the flesh on her back 2 paws have healed without needing amputation. We found out that she has a lumbar fracture and dislocation. She is missing several bones in her paws. She is incontinent, but she is young, approximately 1 year old.
She arrived to the United States this April. She is learning to walk again at Two Hands Four Paws rehabilitation facility in Los Angeles, a rehab for spinal cord injuries for dogs. We truly believe that she has great potential to walk again.
And so this is how Frida got her name- after the artist- and though Frida doesn’t have use of her back feet (paws) quite yet, with the support of her human angels (the doctors and therapists and you!) ,she will soar to great heights! We look forward to begin this journey with Frida in providing her the love and security of family and the gift of mobility.