Love Sponge Harry

Harry, the Dog who loves love! Anyone who has suffered a serious injury or had surgery can relate to the frustration of immobility and the gnawing drain of constant pain. It takes a very special dog to weather the storms of multiple surgeries and the subsequent rehabilitation without losing patience, becoming depressed, or shying away from handling. One such incredible dog is Harry, the dog who “loves love.”

Harry’s original owner passed away, leaving him in the care of his son. The son could not afford the expense of the necessary surgeries to relieve Harry’s pain and increase mobility in both of his hips and his right knee. He was surrendered to Cavalier Rescue USA and fortunately, a very special foster family was ready to dive in headfirst and help this special needs dog as their first ever foster.

Natalie and Kyle began volunteering because they wanted to help dogs in need, and what better way to start, than with Harry? “We talked about it and agreed to go for it” says Natalie, “Even if it was going to be harder than the average foster situation, since it was our first experience, we wouldn’t know the difference.”

In six months, Harry has had bilateral Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) hip surgeries and surgery on his right knee because his kneecap was originally behind the joint and opposite of where it should have been. After these initial surgeries, Harry also had to have surgery to repair his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which is one of two ligaments that crisscross in the joint between the femur and the tibia. The surgeon suspected that his ACL tore due to that part of his body bearing more strain and overcompensating after the earlier surgeries.

His rehab has included follow-up veterinary visits, laser treatments, underwater treadmill sessions, and swim therapy in a jetted tub like those used for human physical therapy. Wherever Harry goes and no matter what circumstances he’s in, people just seem to fall in love with him and want to go the extra mile. For Natalie, the extra work associated with his surgeries and rehab appointments haven’t felt like extra work at all. “He’s so easy going about it all and so patient. You can see how much he wants to get better and that motivates me to work that much harder for him,” says Natalie. “Kyle tore his ACL 2 years ago so we approached Harry’s rehab much the same way – but Harry was a much better patient that my husband,” she says with a laugh. The controlled activity and a healthy diet has helped Harry lose just over 7 pounds, a change that will be much easier on his newly healed joints and ligaments.

One of Natalie and Kyle’s favorite things about Harry is that he just, “loves love.” He can’t seem to get enough snuggles or give enough kisses and makes happy little snorting noises while doing both. The couple also has a 13-year-old Cavalier named Charlie and a 7-year-old Chihuahua mix named Oliver, both of whom have become fast friends with Harry. Harry lets Oliver snuggle on top of him and has even won over Copper, a pretty Shiba Inu who seems to like Harry better than any other dog she’s ever met.

Harry has had an amazing Cavalier Rescue USA foster family, and thanks to Cavalier Rescue USA and our supporters, he was able to have top-notch surgeries and treatments that have relieved his pain and given him back his mobility. His care cost close to $7000, but his smiling face and ability to now happily move about and live a normal life make it worthwhile.

Harry has been adopted and is on to the next chapter of his life! His loving and resilient nature is sure to inspire others and lead to a long and joyful life with his new forever family.