On the 8th of November last, a boy arrived at our sanctuary in the boot of a car. As soon as the staff opened the boot they knew they were looking at a dog very close to deaths door.

He had horrendous wounds to his legs, which were at least two weeks old, that had become horribly infected causing serious pain. More dangerous was that he was in toxic shock, his body was ravaged and shutting down, due to the huge infection that ran through his system.

He screamed painfully as we transferred him to our own van. The pain this boy had gone through over the last couple of weeks didn’t bear thinking about. Thrown away and left to die.

Pagoda, as we named him, was soon in our vets hooked up to a drip, on pain meds and sedated, to allow his body and mind the chance to try and stay alive. It was touch and go for quite a few days and we will be forever grateful to the amazing team at Railway Vets, Loughrea, who never ever gave up on this boy and worked constantly to give him the round the clock care and attention he so badly needed.

After a week the infection started to ease and we could all breathe a small sigh of relief. But it still left Pagoda with a severely damaged leg but, again, our vets did everything they could from hot packs, to bathing, to small bouts of physio, in the hope Pagoda would regain some feeling.

One glorious day we got to bring him home to Heathlawn. With trips back to the vet every second or third day staff and volunteers did all they could to get Pagoda to walk on all four paws. After a couple of weeks and yet more consults with our vet team, we sadly came to the conclusion that it would be in Pagoda’s best health interests to have his leg amputated. The infection had done too much damage, in those early days, and had eaten through the bones in his leg.

But we knew that there is always life on 3 legs and that Pagoda would one day run in our fields pain free with a smile on his face. Pagoda took to life on 3 legs with ease and he did indeed run free and happy around our fields. He also stood tall and proud but, most of all, he forgave the cruelty and neglect he had suffered. He learned that to be loved and give love was an amazing feeling and he had the biggest of hearts.

He never once looked back because we wouldn’t allow him too. We promised him a family of his own and a sofa with cuddles. We told him to believe that there would be great days yet to come and to never stop dreaming.

And yesterday all our promises …all Pagodas dreams …finally came true.

Nicole, Keith and their family had been in touch over the last couple of weeks, expressing an interest in wanting to give Pagoda a forever home, if they were suitable. After a couple of chats we invited them to come and meet him. And it was most definitely a perfect match from both sides. Thanks to our friends at Coolronan Dog Rescue for doing a home check and the very next day a green light was given for Pagoda to go home.

Yesterday, Nicole and her oldest daughter Emer arrived to bring home a boy who very nearly didn’t get his chance to be a ‘forever boy’ but because of dedication, compassion, love and a need to help those in need, he was ready and waiting with all his belongings packed and ready to start his new life. It was a bittersweet moment as we helped him into the car, we watched as he made himself comfortable but this is what we do and who we are. We are the people who fix and mend, who love and let go.

And the best part of our work is saying goodbye. Pagoda no longer needs us. We have bought him as far as we can and it is always our greatest honour, with ALL our dogs, to take a step back and allow their new family the chance to take a step forward❤️

We heard Pagoda has settled in beautifully, he has found the sofa and even has his family already trained to pull out the recliner !!? He has been doing zoomies around the garden and we also heard that Dad Keith, who works from home, had a very productive day today (not) playing ball with Pagoda at every chance possible ??

Pagoda, you will remain deeply embedded in our hearts and the hearts of so many people here on our page, who travelled your journey alongside you, all of us willing you on in those early days to find the strength to overcome the cruelty inflicted on you, waiting for those dead eyes to shine brightly and for you to find true happiness.

We are indebted to our amazing vet team, to everyone who donated towards Pagodas lengthy vet treatment, to those who sent him beautiful gifts of jackets, toys and beds all of which went with him yesterday.


To Nicole ,Keith and Family . We have placed our boy in your care because we know you will love him as deeply as we do. We know you will care for him keep him safe and let him know every day that he is adored. We also know he will love you unconditionally and make you smile every day ❤️

Nicole has promised to keep us updated and in turn we promise to keep you all updated too.

Pagoda ……Go and live your life sweet boy ❤️

#adoptdontshop #rescuehound #tripoddog Burns Pet Nutrition