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In February of 2017, an 8 week old puppy came into the emergency room with burns covering much of her tiny, fragile body. She had been a victim of a house fire.
Euthanasia was a strong consideration. It made the most sense after all, considering the unknown prognosis as to whether or not this little puppy had any chance of surviving. And if she did survive, then what? What would life look like for her? Would her injuries hinder her ability to live a quality life? These were all tough questions to ask, but they had to be considered.
Not a lot was certain in those first few days. Her journey back to stable health would at best, be a long and difficult one.
And then there was the question of the financials. Emergency treatment and around-the-clock care would quickly add up a long lists of costs. Who would pay for all of it?
In that moment of uncertainty, a group of people stepped up and made one thing very clear: they would not give up on this little puppy without a fight. Asheville Humane Society assumed responsibility, meaning they would offer full financial assistance, and a critical care team was assigned at the emergency animal hospital that the little puppy was brought into, following the fire.
BB was well loved, right away.
At an age where a puppy should be exploring the world around them with four paws to the ground, following new smells, eating things they shouldn't, discovering new toys and making new friends, BB was in the ICU, receiving extensive treatments that required daily sedation in order for her bandages to be switched out. This was all in an effort to mitigate the risk of infection and promote the healing of damaged soft tissues.
But despite the intensity of her treatments, BB never missed an opportunity to serenade the staff with puppy kisses. As she would come out of sedation, she would immediately wiggle her way out of her bed and make her way over to the attending staff, her little tail swaying back and forth.
Her wagging tail said it all: it was her small but powerful way of telling everyone around her that she wanted to live.
“Her pain and quality of life were assessed throughout each day. In the moments when her medical team struggled to decide what was best, BB would reveal a tenacity and zest for life almost larger than her little bandaged body and wagging tail could contain,” says Jodi, one of the veterinary technicians assigned to BB's critical care team.
Jodi became especially close to BB. “I did not know how long her time on this earth would be but it was my goal to make sure she knew she was loved for however long she was with me,” says Jodi, who would take BB home with her on the weekends so she could continue thorough and around-the-clock care.
Jodi, like many of us animal lovers, can't think back to a time where life wasn't surrounded by animals in some form or another. But more than growing up with the family dogs, Jodi made a career out of working with animals, everything from working with birds of prey at nature centers to working with horses. Jodi now teaches Veterinary Medical Technology at a Vet Tech school and continues to work at the hospital that assisted efforts with saving BB's life.
It should come at little to no surprise that BB became a fast foster fail. At the point that BB took a turn in her recovery for the better, a time came when BB went home with Jodi and stayed for good.
Despite a brighter looking future, there was still uncharted territory that needed to be navigated. The thermal burns had left BB with large areas of bare skin that were extremely sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, rain, wind, direct sunlight, and touch.
As time went on, Jodi came to understand when BB was asking to wear clothing or be wrapped in a blanket in order to warm up. Though it was understood that BB would always have large areas of bare, sensitive skin that would be unable to generate hair growth, BB learned to communicate with Jodi when she was cold and needed an extra layer of protection.
When the first winter came, BB would not go outside. So Jodi secured her a doggy snowsuit that would offer full protection from the elements. This allowed BB to play in the snow for hours and take winter hikes with Jodi and her husband.
"I try to think back to life before it included this tenacious little piglet and it is honestly hard to remember. She lives by my side, if not touching me. When we walk she often boops my calf with her nose or leans against my leg while walking just to make sure we are close enough. She is my sidekick, my partner in crime, my copilot, my adventure buddy. I am grateful for her big heart and even bigger personality every single day. She is so goofy, loving, resilient, and snuggly," says Jodi.
And if this story so far wasn't enough to provoke tears in your eyes, there is more...
Just a few months before little BB was admitted into the hospital, another puppy who was also a burn victim was being cared for by the very same critical care team that looked over BB. This puppy, Aya, had a similar prognosis with an equally challenging road to recovery but was able to overcome it.
Once BB was healthy enough, her and Aya got to meet in person. What was supposed to be a quick, introductory walk turned into Aya and BB rolling around on the ground, playing, and chewing sticks together. They became fast friends and have been best friends ever since!
BB's instagram is not only a place for her to show off the latest trends in dog onsies, straight of the fashion runway, but to also advocate joy to others, encourage others to embrace their uniqueness and to help dismantle misconceptions about bully breeds.
"BB never lets her bravery scars hold her back and we hope she can empower others to do the same. We believe different is beautiful and that everyone deserves the chance to live their best lives," says Jodi.
You can follow both BB and Aya on Instagram. Huge thanks to Jodi for taking the time to share BB's incredible story with us. 25% of all bags sold featuring BB's story will be donated to Asheville Humane Society, the rescue that assumed responsibility for BB at the time she was surrendered to the hospital, allowing her the financial security she needed in order to heal.
All photos are courtesy of Jodi and are copyright protected.