Myrtle's Story

Myrtle as a pup injured and on the way to recover

She was a three month old stray living on the streets of Jersey City when her path crossed that of a 17 year old youth on his way to school. As he later stated in court, the young man was “angry” that morning and decided to take out that anger on an innocent puppy. He took the puppy and threw her in the air, and the force of her landing shattered her left front leg. The police and animal control were summoned, the youth was arrested, and the puppy was rushed to a local veterinarian. HCAL took responsibility for the pup and arranged for the necessary surgery to repair her leg. Although her surgery went well, the veterinarian cautioned that she would probably suffer from arthritis at an early age.

After her surgery, the puppy - named Myrtle by her rescuers - went to live down the Jersey Shore with Tom Gallagher, the brother of HCAL's treasurer, Maureen. Recently retired, Tom was able to devote the time to Myrtle's four times daily therapy routine, and swimming sessions in the bay also strengthened her leg muscles. Tom and Myrtle bonded, and several months later the Gallagher family adopted Myrtle.

Except for her therapy sessions, Myrtle had to be confined to a cage and kept quiet for over two months. Those are the critical months of development when a puppy learns to socialize with other animals and humans. Myrtle was robbed of that important time in her life because of an act of violence against an innocent puppy by an angry youth. That lack of socialization caused Myrtle to be fearful of strangers - a fear that remains with her to this day.

Myrtle present day...a true survivor!

Myrtle is now six years old. Her walk is a bit awkward, but it doesn't keep her from enjoying life with the rest of her rescue family - Chihuahua mix Noah, cats Emma and Tugger, and cockatiels Nutmeg and Baby. Her fearfulness keeps her from enjoying a lot that life has to offer a dog - walks in the park, pets from strangers, etc. - but thanks to the love given to her by her family, her life is a happy one.

Myrtle gives a big woof of thanks to the Hudson County Animal League for rescuing her. Love and licks go to her Dad for working so hard to strengthen her leg, and to the rest of her family for giving her the love and care that this wonderful girl deserves.

Back to the Happy Tails gallery...