Here is a picture of *Holly the Wonderdog (with her owner Don), another one of over 560 Alberta pets that Tails of Help has saved during the past 5 years – more than 160 already in 2018.

Read another great success story about *Holly, and about how donations to Tails of Help provided for her treatment:

* (some names have been changed to protect privacy)

The Amazing Recovery of Holly the Wonderdog

Don and his yellow lab, Holly, have been together since Holly was a puppy. A therapy dog, Holly was the embodiment of love and energy, bringing joy to the lives of everyone she encountered.


Captain ZigZag and Holly the Wonderdog, as they are known locally, made a dynamic duo as Don sang and made music on the busy sidewalks of Calgary, and Holly curled up next to him to energetically meet the people who stopped to listen. They went everywhere together, although as Holly grew older she stopped accompanying Don on his many bike rides.

As the years went on, times and circumstances changed for the pair. Don’s wife and other dog had passed away, and his children had all moved away. Around a year ago, Don and Holly had to move out of their home, and were couch surfing, moving from place to place until they got back on their feet. Still, the two rode the waves of life, greeting each new day with the enthusiasm and optimism that only a yellow lab can muster. “She’s the major love of my life now”, he said, a smile in his voice.

Gradually, however, Holly’s health had begun to decline. It had gotten to the point where she couldn’t gather the energy to react when a tennis ball shot passed her head, which was extremely worrying for her friend and protector.

One day, around Holly’s 11th birthday, the duo were riding the bus when a vet tech who had stopped to say hello noticed the smell coming from Holly’s mouth. Lifting up her lip, they saw that the dog’s teeth were completely rotten. The vet tech spoke gravely, explaining that this was an indication of very poor health, which, if left untreated, meant that Holly probably would not have much longer to live.

That reality was totally unacceptable for Don, who immediately got Holly diagnosed. The prognosis was dire: Holly would need surgery, which would cost anywhere from $1400-2000. This was devastating news; where would someone who lived on less than $800 a month come up with that kind of money?

Don and Holly were referred to the Deerfoot South Spay and Neuter Clinic, where they proceeded to get preliminary bloodwork done to see of Holly would even be strong enough to survive the surgery. The veterinarians at the clinic also put Don in touch with Tails of Help, who quickly approved his application, providing the funds for the treatment Holly so desperately needed.

Luckily, only 7 of Holly’s teeth needed to be removed, and she has recovered well. Today, her tail is wagging, her nose is sniffing, and she has regained her boundless enthusiasm for the world. Thankfully, her breath has also improved, making her frequent kisses much more enjoyable. The pair have recently been rehomed, and are enjoying the comforts of heat, water, and shelter in a place all of their own. “It’s amazing how the universe unfolds when you have a purpose in mind,”

Don mused, reflecting on how much has changed in a few short months. Don and Holly are back to playing their music, lighting up the lives of people as they pass. The two also continue to go everywhere together, and now, with the purchase of a new wagon for Holly to ride in behind Don’s bike, they truly can.