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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Celebrating Be Kind to Animals Week - Sofia's Story Part Three

  Part Three (Part Two here) (Part One here)

 Little Sofia is one tough sato! Dr. Mongil repaired her hernia successfully and without complications (and spayed her too!), and she recovered in her comfortable kennel at the shelter - located right in front so she can see everything that is going on. Gloria tended to her every need and tried to keep her quiet so she could heal, but Sofia had other ideas and would try to escape her kennel for playtime! Sofia's personality continued to develop and her love of the volunteers did as well, she would be first to greet anyone new visiting the shelter.

Clearly, the volunteers loved her to, and I would say she got a little too much love in the form of treats! During all that cage rest our little Sofia turned into "plump" Sofia! Once her hernia incision was well healed she went to visit Dr. Mongil again in preparation for her leg surgeries, and he declared her overweight! He wanted her to loose a little weight before proceeding with her surgery, but how would we help her do this when it was so difficult for her to walk?

Well, I had been doing some hydrotherapy here with my dog that has mobility issues, and I know how gentle it is on dogs (it is often used during surgery recovery), so we needed to find Sofia a pool! Since the temperature is just right in Puerto Rico for swimming this was a great solution. The pool would be good for her recovery from leg surgery as well, so a volunteer went out looking for the perfect thing!

Sofia and Gloria - first time swimming!

As you can see, Sofia was not too happy the first time in her pool, but I sent her a life jacket and she became more comfortable with the water. She lost her few pounds through diet (a few less treats) and exercise and was ready for her leg surgery!

Here are Dr. Mongil's notes on Sofia -

The 9th Annual PetRock Fest – Sunday, September 9th 2007 (rain date Sunday, September 16th)
" On July 29, 2010, the left femoral fracture was approached. The fracture was old and had become a hypertrophic non union with severe muscle contraction. The callus was broken down, a new medullary cavity was established and the bone was shortened. The bone fragments were aligned and then stabilized with a bone plate and screws. The fracture is now healed and the leg function is very good.

The right femoral.fracture will not be surgically stabilized, but has healed as a malunion. Sofia, however, seems to be pain free on that leg and is able to walk well with it.

I understand Sofia should live a normal happy life. The function of her hind legs is good and she is pain free."

Sofia spent the first few days recovering at the veterinary hospital, and then it was back to Gloria to continue her recovery. The good news was she would not have to have a second surgery! We don't know how long she suffered untreated, but all that was behind her now, she was one her way to running again!

Sofia arriving back at the shelter post surgery

Sofia with "nurse" Gloria, can you see her tail wagging?

Sofia was on her way to recovery, and Gloria and the volunteers were with her every step of the way. Her ability to forgive and trust humans again is so amazing to me, she has such a love for life!

Tomorrow, meet the "new and improved" Sofia!


  1. Yo no conosco a Gloria....pero para mi es un angel. Dios la bendiga y bendiga a todos los que laboran con Save a sato!. No hay nada como mi gente....como la gente de corazon grande de mi isla.! Sigan hacia adelante!.

  2. you are awesome Dr. Mongil for repairing Sofia's leg and Maria, for all you do, and always do for these Sato's, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. I admire you for all your hard work.. If I lived out there, I'd surely be volunteering.. I visited 10 sato's that were brought over to Worcester animal rescue league this past Saturday.. I was able to hold, pet, and hug 5 out of the 10 before my 5 and 3 year old became restless. I plan to go back there tomorrow to hold the other 5. They are the sweetest dogs ever. I adore them and wish I could take them all home with me! Sincerely, Wendy