Resilient pup overcomes injury, learns to walk again

A profile of Yazh the dog
Yazh is back on all four legs thanks to the dedicated efforts of her foster family and the Best Friends veterinary team.
By Alison Cocchiara

When Yazh arrived at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, she needed a little extra help. A gunshot wound left her hind end paralyzed. The good news? She still had feeling in her back legs, so there was a chance she could walk again. And this resilient little black puppy did just that.

Best Friends’ goal is for all shelters to reach no-kill in 2025, and that means working together with animal welfare organizations to save pets like Yazh who need extra time or care.

The road to recovery

Yazh now confidently walks the road to recovery with all four paws on the ground, thanks to the Best Friends Animal Clinic team and her foster family.

“It was exciting to see her first tail wag after she arrived as a very scared puppy,” says Monica Kaiser, vet tech at Best Friends Animal Clinic. “Then it was exciting to help her stand with assistance — then all on her own! And seeing those first wobbly steps was truly exhilarating. I was holding my breath while jumping for joy inside. I'm so proud of her and our team and continue to be amazed by this happy pup.”

[Survivor puppy shows big love for life]

This sunny little dog never complains even though her physical therapy is extensive and continues to be a long progress. She basks in the glow of attention from her caregivers and is making huge strides in her recovery every day.

“Physical therapy exercises are done multiple times a day, every day,” says Monica. “Hydrotherapy is done a couple of times a week. Acupuncture is done weekly. So seeing progress is always thrilling.”

The final part of her treatment plan? A large dose of love, stability, and socialization provided by her foster caregiver, Deb Brown.

A healing home of her own

Moving in with Deb was just what the “dog-tor” ordered. Deb’s home provides the safety and stability Yazh needs to firmly get all four paws under her. She practices her adorably wobbly pup strut with gentle guidance from Deb every day and can now walk short distances in the house without assistance. She also loves a good game of fetch and happily romps in the yard with her canine big brothers using her trusty cart.

“Yazh is always happy!” says Deb, adding that Yazh doesn’t seem to realize she has to navigate the world a little differently. “She is fearless. She is just an absolute blessing.”

[Once-paralyzed puppy ditches his wheels]

While this rambunctious puppy is still a bit shaky on her feet and incontinent due to her injury and developing muscles, she doesn’t let that slow her down. And with ongoing care and support from Deb and the Best Friends team, she will keep gaining the strength and mobility she needs to thrive.

The best part? This little dog with the big personality walked her way right into Deb’s heart, and Deb knew she had to adopt her. Yazh is home.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

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