Dog found on highway survives, thrives, and goes home

Karigan the dog with a cast on one leg behind a bookshelf next to a smiling person sitting in an office chair
Karigan was barely alive and couldn’t move after likely being hit by a car, but after lifesaving care and surgery, she’s thriving in her new home.
By Sarah Thornton

Squeak-squeaky-squeak-squeak. It’s the sound of playtime, and Karigan is ready to go, go, go. She’s off like a rocket, sprinting across the yard after a soaring ball and squeaky-squeaking it all the way back to her person for another throw. There is nothing so exhilarating as a good game of fetch, as far as Karigan is concerned, and she won’t let anything get between her and a fun time.

Karigan is a survivor, and every one of these moments of pure joy is precious — they almost didn’t happen. She’d been found on the highway, unable to move on her own and only hanging on to life by a thread. It took teamwork and TLC to get Karigan back on her paws and into a loving home where she can play as much as she wants.

Flying into action

The people who discovered Karigan rushed her to the nearest veterinarian they could find in the desert of New Mexico, where such resources were few and far between: a spay/neuter clinic run by Best Friends Network Partner Turquoise Paw Rescue.

All signs pointed to a run-in with a vehicle. It looked like her left front leg was broken, and she was in shock. On-site veterinary staff and volunteers — which included Best Friends Animal Sanctuary veterinarians and caregivers — wrapped her in blankets and worked quickly to get her comfortable and stable. But she needed to get to a full clinic as soon as possible.

[Dog who temporarily lost sight has friends to lean on]

A generous volunteer offered his time (as well as, crucially, his Cessna airplane) to fly Karigan out the very next morning. And, having made it through the night, soon the young dog was soaring through the sky to Best Friends Animal Clinic in southern Utah.

Upon closer examination, veterinarians confirmed Karigan’s broken leg, as well as a concussion and pulmonary contusions (damage to her lungs). They put her on fluids, antibiotics, and other medication to get her fully stabilized. She needed several surgeries to set and put pins in her leg, and she would be in a cast and require lots of rest for a while.

But Karigan was safe and well on the road to recovery.

Happy tails and sweet dreams

A year after her close call, Karigan is living her best life. It only took a month after she had fully recovered for someone to fall in love and adopt her. And now the only sign of her harrowing past is a slight limp — not that that slows her down one bit, of course. She barely even notices.

[Dog found barely alive gets help and a home]

With a lush, green yard to roll and play in, and people who love her to snuggle up next to on the couch, Karigan is pretty content. Car rides, trips to the beach, and endless hours of fetch (squeak-squeak-squeaking all the way) fill her days now, and she is not looking back.

And even when playtime is over, Karigan and her family don’t waste a single precious moment; cuddling up and tucking in for bedtime just mean it’s time for sweet dreams of everything that waits in the future. There is a whole lot to look forward to now.

Create a happy ending of your own

If you’re ready to provide a happy ending for a homeless pet like Karigan, find the one you’ve always dreamed of at a shelter near you.

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