Heather Balzina spotted a hairless 5-month-old pitbull puppy at the shelter in Jacksonville, North Carolina and knew she had to help her.
In Need of a Miracle
“I could see that she needed out,” Heather told The Dodo. “My background is medicine and surgery from the military, so I knew her time was growing short.”
But Heather had to act quickly. The sick puppy was on the euthanasia list and set to be put down tomorrow.
Heather reached out to Adoption First Animal Rescue for help. “I said, ‘If you pull her, I will foster and vet her,’” Heather said.
When the rescue group agreed, Heather was elated! She pulled the sweet pup from the shelter and named her Amaani.
Heather’s first plan of attack as Amaani’s foster was to treat the poor puppy’s mange – the condition causing her fur loss.
But Amaani didn’t respond to the mange medication.
“I was kind of scratching my head, and after repeated visits to the vet, she was actually diagnosed with distemper,” Heather told The Dodo.
This was not great news. Distemper is often fatal for young puppies. But Heather decided not to give up and worked hand-in-hand with the vet to treat Amaani.
With proper medication, Amaani pulled through.
Heather explained to The Dodo, “Amaani means ‘hope, aspirations, wishes and desires.’ We actually named her while she was still in the shelter. She has definitely lived up to her name.”
After treatment, Amaani’s hair began to grow back. Heather noticed, however, that Amaani wasn’t growing at all; she was staying puppy-sized.
“I discussed her size with the vet and we believe the distemper has stunted her growth,” Heather said. “She’s not going to get very much bigger.”
Hopes, Aspirations, Wishes, And Desires
Recovering nicely, Amaani is enjoying foster life at Heather’s house, where she gets to play with all of Heather’s other dogs and learn how to live with cats.
“I have 10 dogs here,” Heather revealed. “She blends well with all of them, but her pal is the 70-pound Dogo Argentino. Amaani would actually chew on Lily’s ear, thinking it would come off, and Lily would just allow it. But she gets along with all the other dogs, and has really no interest in cats.”
When she’es not playing with her doggy friends, Amaani is the biggest attention seeker!
Heather said, “She’s a diva. She loves to be held with her front paws over the shoulder and be carried around. I even bought a pouch for her to carry in front until she grew too big for that. She’s a great companion dog. She will complete pretty much any household, just because of her size and her personality, and her ease of getting along with different personality dogs.”
Although Amaani isn’t quite ready to move to her forever home, Heather is already searching for the perfect home for this tenacious gal. Heather knows that Amaani will adapt quite nicely to whatever home she is given. To learn more about Amaani and how to adopt her visit Adoption First Animal Rescue.