When the vet team at Bryson Veterinary Clinic first met Guppy Hanson, they could tell she was a survivor. The days-old Shih Tzu and beagle mix was born with a leg deformity and had been rejected by her mom. Her humans dropped her at the clinic, thinking there was no hope for the tiny puppy.
But her vet team believed the 4-ounce puppy could make it, so they devised a plan to help.
To nurse the fragile puppy overnight, staff members decided to bottlefeed her in shifts at home, but their plan didn’t last long. On Guppy’s first night, her caregiver decided she’d never leave. The puppy was right where she belonged.
“When my mom brought her home, I immediately fell in love,” Jess Lane told The Dodo.
Slowly, the tiny puppy started growing stronger. When she was finally big enough for X-rays at around 3 months, her family was able to get a better look at her deformed leg.
Results showed that Guppy Hanson’s leg was missing a shoulder joint and a few other bones.
“But as long as it wasn’t bothering her, the veterinarian said the leg could stay,” Lane said.
Guppy Hanson continued to thrive under the care of her family and their rescue dog, Libby.
“[Libby] turned out to be a great surrogate mother for Guppy,” Lane said. “She would clean her and love on her.”
At around 4 months, Lane noticed that Guppy Hanson didn’t really react to loud noises.
“We realized that she never looked at us when we called her name and that she always seemed startled upon awakening,” Lane said.
Guppy’s family took her to the vet, where it was determined that the little puppy was deaf.
But that didn’t stop Guppy Hanson from living a happy life. She continued to grow every day and slowly learned how to move with ease despite her limitations.
“She had issues climbing up the steps to the front porch,” Lane said. “But now that she’s older, she has learned to jump without her arm getting hooked on the steps.”
Guppy Hanson’s personality has also started to blossom. She’s playing more with the other pets in her house and figuring out her favorite hobbies, like digging.
“You’d think she would have issues digging with one paw, but she doesn’t,” Lane said. “She loves to dig.”
When she’s not digging, Guppy Hanson can usually be found chewing on her favorite toys and blankets, or enjoying a nice ride around the neighborhood in her stroller. At the end of the day, she soaks up all the love she gets from her devoted family.
“My son hugs her every day and tells her, ‘You’re the most beautiful girl in the world, yes, you are!’” Lane said. “He’s not wrong!”
Now, Guppy is 8 months old and weighs over 14 pounds. She’s changed a lot since she first joined Lane’s family, both in size and personality, but one thing has remained the same: her survivor spirit.
And her family is so grateful that they get to see her grow more every single day.
“She’s such a fun little girl,” Lane said. “I cannot imagine life without her.”