A special Pitbull named Gabriel began his life with the world stacked against him. Not only was he born with a serious congenital deformity, but he was in the hands of a breeder that did not care where he ended up. Thankfully for this lovable pup, his story would soon change.
Gabriel was sold at just 4 weeks of age to an owner that could never offer him the support he needed. After realizing that Gabriel would not be the “tough” Pit Bull he was looking for, this desperate pup was surrendered to the care of Heather and Kat Marchant.
“The guy who bought him told us ‘if you can fix him and make him meaner, I’ll take him back’”
From the moment that Gabriel was welcomed into the Pibble’s Plantation, it was clear that he had a long road ahead of him. Gabriel suffered from a severe case of swimmer syndrome, which is a congenital defect that caused his back legs to splay out behind him. This congenital defect can be repaired if it’s caught at a young age, but only with the help of intensive physical therapy.
Heather and Kat were very familiar with the therapy required for this condition, as they were already fostering two other Pit Bull puppies with the swimmer syndrome defect. Uriel and Samiel had found their way into the Pibble’s Plantation just two weeks earlier, and were in the exact same position as little Gabriel.
Not one of the Pittie pups could stand on their own, meaning they required around the clock care to have a chance at a normal life. Thankfully for this Pit Bull crew, they were in loving hands!
Heather and Kat worked tirelessly to offer their new Pittie crew the support they needed. By setting up multiple physical therapy areas around their home, they quickly got to work in strengthening the legs that held them back.
Since swimmer syndrome prevents a puppy from standing on their back legs, the first goal was to strengthen their front legs enough to allow them sit up on their own. With their front legs being so weak to begin with, the puppies spent most of the time laying on their belly. This made it extremely challenging to eat, move around, and do other normal puppy activities.
By creating daily exercises that forced the pups to use their front legs, the puppies were propping themselves up within a month. Not only was this incredible for their current quality of life, but this meant they were one step closer to standing on their own. With this huge milestone accomplished, the crew was ready to continue on!
It’s clear that this Pittie crew was in the hands of a dedicated team, as they were all standing up on all fours within 3 months of beginning their therapy. Just as it seemed like they could all go on to find wonderful homes, Gabriel experienced a major setback.
After noticing that Gabriel was limping on one of his front legs, they had an x-ray performed with their veterinarian. They discovered that Gabriel had a serious defect within his elbow, and it would only continue to cause him more pain as the days went by. With no other options on the table, they made to the decision to amputate his front leg.
Gabriel had already been through so much in his short life. Though you’d think it would all be too much to bear, this tough pup pushed through yet again and defied the odds. Within days of his leg amputation, Gabriel was running around with a need for speed!
Once Gabriel was completely healed from his surgery, he was ready to find the forever home of his dreams. Gabriel had already created a following of dog lovers that were interested in his recovery, one of which fell in love with him from the moment she saw his photo.
Terri and Anne knew from the moment they saw Gabriel’s picture that he was perfect for their family. With Anne having multiple sclerosis, they could understand his daily struggles more than anyone! Without a single hesitation, Gabriel was welcomed into this wonderful family home with open arms.
Gabriel has settled in well to his new home, and continues to participate in forms of therapy to help him improve his strength. Gabriel has truly found the forever home of his dreams, and we can’t wait to watch him thrive as the years go by!