Kera’s Long Journey for a Forever Family
By Karen Rider, guest blogger – Kera is a member of the Holiday House Pet Resort & Training Center Dog Daycare family and the winning photo of the resort’s recent Cuddle Contest
Kera is a “differently-abled” Siberian Husky who became a part of our family on January 4, 2020. She recently turned four years old, but we weren’t able to celebrate with her because she was at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Paramus, New Jersey for the final weeks of recuperation from reconstructive joint surgery for her ankle.
Kera’s long journey to find a forever family began with spending the first two years of her life on the streets in Egypt where she was abandoned by someone who had been cruel to her.
Both of Kera’s legs and growth plates on her right side were shattered by what appears to have been intentional harm, and she was left to die. Many animals would have laid down and given-up in that unimaginable pain. Not Kera. She survived on the streets without medical care, and eventually—fortunately—was found by a member of the military who brought her to a rescue in Egypt.
Kera’s injuries were not able to be sufficiently treated. Her left her front leg was non-functional and unable to grow to size, and her back leg had begun healing in such a way that caused muscles to stiffen, preventing bending at the knee and ankle. All a Husky wants to do is run; but, as a consequence of her injuries, walking or trotting caused her leg to tire so quickly that it gave out, causing her to collapse.
Kera was observed to be sweet and loving despite her horrible start in life. She was playful and wanted to thrive, but her limited mobility made her long-term prognosis poor. Through a philanthropist on social media who connects animals in need with caring people from around the world, Kera came to A Pathway to Hope Rescue.
Kera arrived in the U.S. and into the care of a cutting-edge veterinary orthopedist, Dr. Jennifer Bonczynski who researched a solution for her back leg. Kera’s foster family, who already had two large huskies, worked with her for a year to re-acclimate her to loving people and get the ankle joint limber enough for a surgery. (The knee joint is permanently damaged).
The search for a forever home for Kera was difficult—no one wanted a Husky that couldn’t run. In January 2020, our family found Kera online; something in her photo melted our hearts. The moment we met her we could see the fighting spirit in her. All of us wanted to bring Kera into our family. We worked diligently with her on daily range of motion and strengthening exercises to get the ankle joint ready for a complicated reconstructive surgery.
The surgery will give Kera the ability to “pad” with her rear right leg so that at least one leg on the right side can provide stability, balance, and coordination while reducing wear and tear of the legs on her left side. Recovery has been a seven-week ordeal. We managed the first four weeks, driving 90 miles back and forth to New Jersey. These last two weeks, Kera has stayed with her former foster mom, minutes from the surgery center, making multiple weekly visits easier on Kera.
It is a longer road than any of us every could have imagined, but we have stood by Kera’s side and are eager to welcome her home in just a few more days. In Sanskrit, Kera’s name means “beam of light.” Our hope is for Kera to finish her Canine Good Citizen training and become a Roxy Therapy Dog so we can visit schools to share her story, and her light, with others.