Once upon a time, a Lab/Great Dane mix was lying on the side of the road. She had been hit by a car and went unattended for three days, waiting for someone to notice she needed help and was in pain. Eventually, ActNow Rescue picked her up, naming her Miracle because it was a miracle she’d survived. The dog would need immediate surgery on her injured leg to try to save it, however.
Out in St. Peter’s, Rachel Pontious and her family had fostered for ActNow for years. When she found out about Miracle, she immediately agreed to foster the recuperating 90-pound dog.
“I don’t understand how anyone could leave a dog on the side of the road in pain,” she says.
The pup came to the Pontious family right after her leg surgery, so she was under “cage rest” for a few months, meaning all she could do was go outside to use the bathroom, which even proved challenging at times. At one point, one of the pins in the dog’s leg came poking out, and she had to have another surgery to correct it. It wasn’t easy for Miracle, but she continued to get better – and make friends.
Rachel’s 5-year-old son has autism and never developed a bond with either of the other two Pontious dogs. However, Miracle was different.
“She’s the only dog he’s ever shown interest in,” Pontious says. “She loves him, and he loves her. … She needed to be ours.”
The Pontious family has had the dog, now renamed Gertie, for a year. They assume she’s 2 or 3 years old and has “the sweetest demeanor.”
“She’s so gentle and loves everyone,” Pontious says.
The road to recovery has been a long one for Gertie, who still has two bad back legs. Her cranial cruciate ligament (similar to the ACL in humans) went out, and she had to undergo yet another surgery for it. But her life is improved drastically, now that she knows the love of a family and other dog friends.
“She loves to play with other dogs, chew on bones and go on car rides,” Pontious says. “She just loves attention and loves to eat. She’ll bark if it’s dinnertime and we haven’t fed her.”
Pontious also notes that Gertie’s very intuitive about the feelings of her people and is great at comforting those around her.
“She knows when I’m sad and how to cheer me up,” Pontious says. “I just love how sweet she is and how loving she can be.”
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