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Happy Tail: Holly’s twitch is no glitch to her family


Brenda and Wayne McAlaster of Warman, SK, have always supported animal adoption, so they attended an animal welfare fundraiser, which included a silent auction. One of the items had been donated by New Hope Dog Rescue in Saskatoon – and the couple bought it.

Holly the dog

Read Holly’s story in Brenda’s words.

Now aware of the rescue, they began looked at its site on the web. They had lost their dog, Pal, due to an illness and really didn’t want to go through that devastating loss again, but looking at adoptable pets constantly reminded them just how many dogs were in need.

“One day a picture of Holly and part of her story were on Petfinder,” Brenda says. “I looked into those eyes and was lost.”

Holly wasn’t a “perfect” dog. The Border Collie mix had a constant twitch in her right leg that limited its use. The twitch also affected her muzzle. A vet couldn’t determine the cause but suggested she might have been a distemper survivor or perhaps her problem was due to a trauma to her shoulder.

But while the twitch might bother some folks, it didn’t bother the McAlasters, even given that she would require ongoing therapy. They adopted her.

‘”Once in a while she shows a glimpse of who she once was,” Brenda says. “She will bound across the room to grab a ball, but stops dead and looks at you, as if she is saying, Can I? Should I? Am I able to? Then she goes and lies down.

“Holly loves to walk with you; but if you run she tucks her leg up like it isn’t there. She is frightened by sudden noises or unexpected events. She is cautious with strangers but her confidence is growing.”

She goes to Doggie Daycare once a week to give her social interactions with other dogs, but her favorite interactions are with her adopted “Mom” and “Dad.”

“We bought Holly everything we could think of to excite her, show our love, to make her comfortable,” Brenda says. “What does she love the best? My moccasin that she keeps her nose in. A bone to chew on. Oh yeah, and us. She loves us. She wants to sit on us, by us, at our feet; with us in the car. Despite whatever happened to her in her early life; she loves her people.”

Holly has lucked out because the McAlasters don’t see her twitch as any big deal. “We don’t consider her disabled … gimpy … handicapped,” Brenda says, “we consider her ours.” After all, she’s family.

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