Inspirational Fleur – the NHS hero’s dog whose 1% chance of survival defied all the odds and went on to be her owner’s lifeline throughout the pandemic.
The Naturo Superdog Awards, taking place this November at a red carpet event in London hosted by Stacey Dooley, will honour and celebrate our nation’s most exceptional dogs. As partners to these Awards, we have already started receiving a mountain of worthy nominees and are making our way through these beautiful and emotional stories which will touch hearts and need many a Kleenex to get us through!
One such entrant is the gorgeous Fleur. A cross between a Collie and a Dalmatian, who sports the most adorable spotty ear and black eye patch, Fleur embodies what these awards are all about.
Fleur comes from Bucharest. She suffered horrific injuries after a brutal spaying operation carried out by dog catchers went wrong. She was rescued by Valgrays Animal Charity after being found on a pallet, having been left to die in the street. She was lucky to survive such severe trauma to her body but began to heal thanks to the charity and was uploaded onto their site for re-homing.
Wendy, an NHS nurse, saw a picture of Fleur online and immediately decided this was the dog for her. It was love at first sight and they bonded immediately. Sadly, after only three weeks the extent of her injuries became apparent when Fleur fell seriously ill with a rotten bowel.
She was given a 1% chance of survival and recommended euthanasia, but a second opinion from Specialists at the Royal Veterinary College offered a lifeline. Instead of choosing euthanasia Wendy went with her instinct and decided to trust the second opinion.
Wendy remembers “After rare and complex surgery, and weeks in intensive care, Fleur made a full recovery. She only had a small amount of stomach and intestines left but as an NHS nurse I was able to adapt my skills to nurse her with feeding tubes and drains.”
The powerful duo beat all the odds and with immeasurable love and dedication from Wendy, Fleur slowly regained her strength and began to heal.
It was an achievement in itself to survive, but Fleur continued to surprise and delight Wendy. Her gentle character and loving nature in spite of such pain and abuse meant Fleur then went on to become a Pets As Therapy Read2Dog, going into primary schools to help children read and communicate. She also visits nursing and residential homes bringing joy to all ages with her astounding ability to share love, joy and companionship with whoever she meets.
Unfortunately, her job came to an abrupt halt last year as she, like many of us, was forced to give up her role and stay home. However, this is where she found perhaps her most important job yet. Wendy, an NHS nurse, was forced onto the frontline and stepped up to join the fight against the coronavirus pandemic that swept the world.
Experiencing the devastation of this virus first hand was a huge task for Wendy and began to take its toll.
“I am a nurse working on the front line and it’s been incredibly emotional, draining, physically and mentally working 6 days a week. At the end of the day, I come home to her and I can cuddle her tightly and cry into her fur. She is a symbol of hope and that we should never give up! Fleur is incredibly inspirational. We never gave up on her and she never lets me down. She makes me laugh and gives me a reason to come home where I can be recharged by her loving nudges, tummy rubs and walks to unwind.”
Fleur is indeed an exceptional dog. Her strength of character, ability to defy all odds, apply true grit, never give up and still provide unconditional love, light and joy to all those that surround her is humbling for us all.
Well done to Fleur & Wendy! Good luck in the Awards and we look forward to hearing about the upcoming film documenting her extraordinary journey.
Do you know an inspirational dog? Nominate them today for a SuperDog Award. There is no better way to show them the recognition they deserve!