After a month in the vet's office, she was placed with foster parents, Chris and Charlotte, who would continue her care. However, instead of healing, the little pup began to fail again. She went into seizures so severe, no one could touch her, let alone help her.
After being rejected by the local emergency clinic, she was taken back to Hawthorn Animal Clinic in Mt Vernon, where her life was again on the line. The seizures, it seemed, had robbed this small puppy of her very soul. Dottie, who would be renamed Spangler, did nothing but walk in circles with dull eyes and no reaction to others or to toys. Her seizures continued out of control. Any touch resulted screams.
The vet recommended she be put down. In fact, everyone said to put her down. They had valiantly tried to save her life and failed. Time to end her suffering. Brenda Vanderver, co-founder of PC, asked her foster parents at the time what they recommended: Save her, or let her go?
It was Chris who insisted she saw a dog inside and said, 'Lets try just one more time.'
With the catheter still in her leg to help ease her to the other side, Dr Green and her staff gave Spangler one more chance. The miracle? She finally responded to treatment and was pulled from the jaws of death one more time. But what would life be like for the fragile pup who was now blind, on seizure medication and still unable to be held or touched? She would fall into endless circling that was heart breaking to watch.
Back at her foster home, the sisters worked with Spangler to get her used to touch again. They would try to play with her and just touch her on the back for a quick pet to show her no one would harm her. The day came when they thought they could do no more and told Brenda it was time to move her to higher rehabilitation. Her next foster was Suze Littlefox Wright.
Suze had NO idea what to do with a blind, neurologically challenged and broken pup, now 4 months old. The tiny pup needed to be prepared for life away from foster care. She needed to be housebroken, taught how to navigate a dark world and learn to be…well, a puppy. Enter Blind Dogs on Yahoo groups, who helped Suze learn a new trick or two. And there was one single outstanding fact that would help her: Spangler, who screamed and nipped anyone who tried to touch her, accepted Suze's touch without question. For whatever reason, Spangler allowed herself to be wrapped in blankets and rocked like a baby. The date: October 15, 2012 - nearly two months to the day of her rescue from the ditch.
That wasn't the end of Spangler's amazing twists, turns and miracles. Another arrived within a week when Suze thought Spangler could see something. What, she didn't know, but she could see. Meanwhile, she worked with Spangler on going outside, up and down stairs, in and out of doors.
By the end of November, no one doubted Spangler could not only see, but were amazed to see photos of her also gracefully going up and down stairs and even flying off the porch to follow Abby and Austin, the resident rescued canines. By Christmas, she was playing with toys and happily running and barking with the 'big dogs.' Austin was 42 pounds of Catahoula and Abby was nearly 100 pounds of Ridgeback mix. Spangler hovered at a mere 15 pounds, but she ran with the big dogs , right in the middle of them, and became stronger and stronger as the days went by.
Things were not a steady uphill improvement. Spangler suffered from more seizures as she grew, she was adopted and returned not once, but twice, she fought infection. But each time, the pup showed her grit and determination to survive and to become like any other dog. Only she wasn't like any other dog: She was The Spangler, now star of her own Facebook page and showing others to live life with joy, love, forgive and never give up!
That's why she was nominated to become Dog of the Week….to show people life was always worth living, that able is inside the word disabled, and to encourage people to give dogs like her a second look. Like 'The Spangler,' many loving but special needs dogs remain behind or are quickly returned. People look past them to dogs that fit their idea of how a dog should look and act.
Yes, she just won Dog of the Week, but she's always been a winner, as well as teacher. The best news is that just as this honor arrived, Spangler finally found her perfect forever home with Barb and Steve Bowers. She has two new sisters and a brother - all special needs. She leads a busy life helping in the garden, with the laundry, lawn mowing and promoting shelter dog adoptions.
She can no longer be called 'foster.' Now she is not just the dog of the week, but a beloved family pet for life! To 'The Spangler,' that's exactly the purpose of every dog…..
To help other dogs like Spangler that PCPP has helped click the donate button below.