ClayIn early November we met Clay, an adorable little puppy who had been hit by a car. He was owned by a community member who couldn’t afford his care, so he surrendered him over to Gateway Pet Guardians so he could receive the veterinary care he desperately needed. Clay suffered a fractured pelvis in multiple places. He didn’t require surgery, but the vet prescribed three different pain medications and strict crate confinement for 4-6 weeks. He couldn’t walk, and was in a lot of pain. His foster mom, Nancy Radtke, was his guardian angel and helped him through this rough period.

Nancy made sure to give him his meds on schedule, kept him clean, rotated his bedding, and kept the food and water within easy reach. As he healed, Nancy would carry him over to the sofa to spend time with the family. And once he began to walk, Nancy had to limit his area of movement to prevent him from running. Nancy lifts him in and out of the car, and on and off the bed.

Nancy has fostered over ninety dogs and puppies in her career at GPG, and has conquered many challenges. One of which has been keeping Clay, the playful little puppy, calm enough for his body to heal. Nancy says, “It’s been my experience that most dogs seem to know their limitations when injured or recovering, but since Clay is a puppy, he wants to play and it falls on us to limit his activities. As he gets larger, he is more of a challenge to lift and move. At his last vet visit, he weighed almost 30 pounds. Thankfully, he only has about a week and a half left of crate rest.” Over the past several weeks, Clay has not only been healing, but stealing the hearts of everyone he meets. He has a sweet and gentle temperament, and even through the pain he showed nothing but love and affection.

ClayNancy wears many hats as a foster for Gateway Pet Guardians. She’s fostered puppies, adults, sick dogs, shy and feral dogs, you name it. In fact, this diversity is why she loves fostering. “Each foster is different. The puppies are a chance to give new and innocent lives the right start,  the adult dogs may have never known love, or may have been on their last day at AC, so they are getting a second chance instead of no hope. Injured or sick dogs bring the chance to heal and feel good again. Shy and feral dogs bring the chance to teach them that humans can be good and loving and they learn to love in return. We bring in animals who are broken – whether it is in body or spirit – and help them to transform into someone who is whole. Most adopters are not capable of handling them through this transition and we make sure that they’re ready for their forever homes. Ultimately we just save one life at a time and keep on going.”

Clay has a second chance at life, all because Nancy said “yes” and opened her home to help him heal. Clay will be available for adoption soon. If you are interested in adding him to your family, visit www.gatewaypets.com/adopt and fill out an adoption application. If you would like to save the lives of homeless pets like Nancy, visit www.gatewaypets.com/foster and learn more about becoming a foster parent.