“Tunia”—A Fight For Survival

The flood of 2011 in the Southern Tier of New York State was devastating for both people and animals. During that bewildering time in September of 2011, many animals were displaced and homeless. This story is about a little dog named "Tunia", short for Petunia, a chocolate poodle mix.

Tunia was a senior girl approximately fourteen years old when she was wandering aimlessly on Route 434, the Vestal Parkway, in Vestal, New York during the flooding. Tunia was shivering cold, soaking wet, and ravenously hungry. The Vestal dog warden picked her up and took her to the dog shelter at Vestal Veterinary Hospital. The Veterinarians and staff fed her, dried her off and warmed her up. There she also received a physical and was diagnosed with anemia, a urinary tract infection, and a heart murmur. On top of all that, she was not spayed, was hairless, had an eye cataract and a mouthful of rotten teeth.

Willow Sullivan, founder of Willow's Wings an animal rescue and adoption agency, came to Tunia's rescue. Willow was astonished at the energy of Tunia and her will to survive. Even though her body was in such poor physical condition it did not stop Tunia from lighting up the world around her by dancing, on her two hind legs, like a ballerina. Willow was determined to save the frail four pound little Tunia, so she authorized treatment for all of Tunia's ailments.

Tunia was spayed and her dental surgery rendered her toothless, but her heart murmur improved when her dental infection was resolved.

Tunia is now nineteen years old, has re-grown her hair and is totally blind. According to Willow, everyday Tunia shows the world that there is still a spring in her spirit as she demonstrates her little ballerina spins. Bless the strong little creatures and the selfless people who care for them.

Willow's Wings web page is www.willowswings.com.