When Herbie was born, it was easy to see that something wasn’t quite right. He was unable to lift his head and keep his balance, let alone walk, and made his way at nine weeks old to Road Dogs and Rescue in Los Angeles.
He arrived in a plastic bin, and rescue founder Nikki Carvey agreed to take Herbie in with the help of a generous foster family. His tiny head was the size and shape of a tennis ball, and a visit to the vet determined the puppy has hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain.”
Because of this, Herbie has severe balance issues and needs help from a neurologist and lots of physical therapy to build his strength. And that’s exactly what his caretakers are helping him do—it’s impossible not to fall in love!
After just a few days Herbie’s appetite grew and his spirits lifted. He still needed to be supported to eat, but boy is he a hungry pup!
At less than three months old, Herbie was too young to have a shunt inserted to drain some of the fluid from his head—instead, he began taking medications to slow its buildup. And doing water therapy. And trying acupuncture. And playing with his caretakers and foster family.
Herbie was even fitted for an itty bitty wheelchair to help him walk.
And he frequently practices putting one paw in front of the other on a little treadmill.
The amazing people at Two Hands Four Paws have been taking great care of Herbie and helping him overcome his most challenging physical hurdles, and we can actually WATCH him improve! He’s already holding his head up on his own!
As he continues to build strength during therapy, Herbie is one step closer to living his best life. At six months, he will hopefully get a shunt to keep the fluid drained, and will make the right person a very, very happy companion.
“Some people have suggested Herbie be euthanized,” Nikki wrote on Bored Panda. But as a rescuer, I believe that every dog should be given a chance. As long as they show they want to live and fight, I’ll fight with them.”
Visit the Road Dogs’ YouCaring fundraising page if you’d like to make a donation to the rescue.