Hope.  There is so much contained in this tiny four letter word.  There is also so much contained within the tiny four pound package that is Hailey Sue.

Lately, I have been thinking about how random life can be, where chance fits into the universe, why things happen as they do.  Sadly, I have found no answers…sorry folks.

But Hailey Sue’s life found its way into Safe Hands by chance.  I know there are so many dogs like Hailey Sue living in squalid conditions with little chance, little hope.  It seems so random that Hailey was somehow selected to receive the gift of her freedom.

Hailey Sue is one of the many victims of bad backyard breeders, mini puppy mills, that exist all over the South.  Jobs are scarce, money more so, but somehow people manage to scrape together a few hundred dollars to buy small purebred dogs, the smaller the better.  Therefore, folks set up shop to accommodate and eek out a living.  The dogs are not so lucky.  Their existence barely qualifies as living.

How and why “her” breeder in Harlan happened to be discovered and investigated allowing her that chance to have a better life is a mystery.  But happen it did.  Originally held as “evidence”, the county court then signed her over to the custody of Safe Hands and six weeks ago she joined our ever growing family.

When she was rescued her physical condition was deplorable.  Skinny and bedraggled, she had two sets of teeth, a full set of baby teeth and her adult teeth too.  Her coat was matted, toenails overgrown and she was not eating well.  She was about 8 months old and had never had any toys to play with.  She had lived in a plastic crate her entire life.  Nearly full grown but bred to be small – she was not even four pounds.

But perhaps even sadder to me was her unhealthy obsession with feet.  What I mean is that she got so excited any time feet approached.  She did not have any connection with faces or people…just feet.  Living in a plastic crate, she would have seen feet coming to bring food or water – feet meant good things.  Living in a plastic crate, she would not have been able to look up into anyone’s face.  Faces did not mean anything at all.

Fortunately she was young and somehow still very open to happiness, joy and wonder.  She has flourished in foster care and while remnants of the past remain, she “grows” more every day. Hailey learned to attach to foster mom, follows her everywhere and developed confidence.  She lives life with enthusiasm and has true joy in her spirit.  Each day is an amazing adventure and life is good now.

But here is where the hope comes in. Hope is defined as a belief in a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one’s life.  Hailey has a serious heart condition called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) that threatens her new found life.  In short, this means there is a extra blood vessel that is attached to the heart in utero that should go away when the puppy is born.  Hailey’s did not.  Most pups born with this condition do not live to turn one without surgical correction.

Hailey’s heart needs help.  The PDA is causing problems and if we are not able to provide the surgery Hailey’s newfound life will be a short one.  The veterinarians say she only has months left.   The good news is the surgery has a very high success rate (only one complication at the U of M to date) and Hailey has had all the tests and work ups to be deemed an excellent surgical candidate.  The U of M is even donating the piece that is the “plug” to be implanted to fix her condition.  Still the surgery is costly.  The estimate is $3200 for the procedure.

Hope is also the feeling that something desired may happen, when the outlook may or may not warrant it.  We have hope that we can raise the money for Hailey to have her surgery which can be done on Tuesday, July 13th provided we have the funds.  We have hope that you will help give Hailey the chance she was provided to have a full and happy life with many, many more feet…or just maybe even faces!

If you can contribute we have started a chip in   (http://safehandshailey.chipin.com/haileys-heart-surgery) and are also able to take donations via mail at:

Safe Hands Rescue

PO Box 19623

Minneapolis, MN  55419-0623

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