Canadian Meagan Penman was traveling in Thailand this summer when she came across a paralyzed dog who was dragging his legs along the sand. The dog was malnourished, covered in ticks and had deep wounds on his legs. Despite all this, his spirit was bright.
"The weird thing was that when I found him on the beach despite all the neglect he was so desperate for human contact," Penman told The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday. "He was still so sweet and begging for me to pet him."'
Penman was able to get the dog -- now named Leo -- veterinary care in Thailand but could not find a rescue group to take him. It was then arranged for the pup to be transported to Canada. A YouCaring.com fundraiser page was set up to raise money to help cover Leo's medical needs, and a Facebook page, "Help Save Leo," was designed to spread the word. A July Facebook post explained the severity of Leo's condition:
"I wasn't too surprised when I saw Leo's X-rays," the post read. "His back is broken and is completely paralyzed in his back two legs and feels no pain whatsoever in the lower half of his body. He will never walk again but then again I think we all knew that. He is still COVERED in ticks. Like thousands...but they should die off within the next week."
Donations came pouring in, and the $2,000 fundraising goal was soon surpassed. Leo arrived in Canada last month. He is currently being fostered by Jamie Smith of Sarnia, Ontario, while he recovers. He uses a wheelchair from K9 Carts.
"Leo is doing very well, other than some bladder stones being dealt with he is in good health," Penman told HuffPost. "He still has some weight to put on as well but he is doing great. Now that he has a wheelchair he is able to go on walks and release some energy, he even chased a squirrel for the first time the other day."
Leo still has the same exuberance he had that fateful day on the beach.
"His personality now that he is home is almost the same," Penman wrote, adding: "Now that he is home and cleaned up he gets as many hugs as he can possibly handle. The biggest difference I've noticed is that he has a lot more energy and his eyes are much brighter. He is the sweetest dog, he loves everyone and everything."
H/T Bored Panda