There is nothing like the resilience of a happy-go-lucky puppy.
Seven-month-old Chloe lives in Florida, and the yard of her home faces a wildlife sanctuary. Due to elevated waters following Hurricane Irma, the swamp rose, pushing the alligators that live there further onto land.
The young mutt was in her yard when her human, Jo Ellen Kleinhenz, heard “this terrible yelping noise, just this awful, awful sound,” she described in a story by Florida Today.
Watch an interview below:
Kleinhenz ran outside to find Chloe partially submerged in the swamp. She was being dragged in deeper by the alligator, and was holding onto a branch with her teeth in order to keep her head above water.
The panicked dog mom and a passer-by circled the swamp to try to reach the pup, yelling all the while. Amazingly, the gator eventually let go, allowing Chloe to swim to shore – but she wasn’t out of the woods yet.
Kleinhenz rushed her dog to the Courtenay Animal Hospital, where they determined she had extensive injuries. Dr. Elizabeth Chosa said in the story:
“She had a penetrating abdominal wound, so I think the gator had originally bitten her in the stomach and pulled her down. She had a crushing injury — penetrating wounds and broken bones — in her back left foot. And she had a few other bite wounds on her left shoulder.”
In addition to her crushed foot, the pup’s stomach and lungs were filled with swamp water and debris. That night, Kleinhenz didn’t know if her beloved pooch would even survive the injuries, but miraculously, she pulled through.
As her puncture wounds healed, vets ultimately decided that it’d be best to amputate the leg with the broken foot, too.
Courtenay Animal Hospital posted on Facebook:
“We tried really hard to save the foot that the alligator had chomped/crushed but it was not healing well and was causing her tremendous pain. So we made the difficult decision to amputate her leg on Friday.”
But despite the terrifying ordeal, Chloe refuses to let anything get her down!
“Chloe is already running around like she never had four legs! She seems to feel soooo much better without that painful foot. Less than 24 hours after surgery, she was already moving around really well and learning to potty on 3 legs. The hardest thing now is keeping her quiet & still enough to finish healing!”
While the pup is still on the mend, her optimism proves that she still has a long and fulfilling life ahead of her.
“We could all take lessons from Chloe in resilience and spirit- she is sweet and strong and positive no matter what comes!” the hospital posted.
And her proud mom undoubtedly agrees.
“She’s such a survivor. She’s so strong,” Kleinhenz told Florida Today.
What an inspiration! If you’d like to help support this pup in her recovery, visit her GoFundMe page.
(h/t: Florida Today)