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From surviving to thriving: Stray dog adopted by Calgary couple after being found injured, emaciated

Wally, a border collie cross, is seen after his adoption. (City of Calgary) Wally, a border collie cross, is seen after his adoption. (City of Calgary)
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Calgary's Animal Service's Centre is sharing the heartwarming story of an adoption that helped a fearful and injured stray bloom into a happy and healthy dog.

Officials first shared details of Wally, a young border collie cross, in January.

The stray ended up in the shelter in October 2023, emaciated and suffering from a broken femur.

Now, months later, Wally has transformed.

Semi-retired couple Pieter and Corné say they came across a story about Wally while on a ski vacation in Kimberley, B.C.

“Seeing his story melted my heart,” said Corné in a Wednesday news release.

“I knew then that he was ours from that instant.”

The couple booked an appointment to meet Wally as soon as they returned to Calgary.

At that point, Wally had already been through a lot. He needed orthopedic surgery to repair the fractured femur, dental work to repair and remove broken teeth, twice-daily physiotherapy to help heal his femur, and he was neutered.

Wally's fractured femur compared to his healthy femur. (City of Calgary) Officials say Wally was shy and nervous during his  first meeting with Pieter and Corné , but by the third, the dog finally gave Pieter his paw, bonding the three of them for good.

According to animal services, the couple used the weekend to build a fence around their yard so they could bring Wally home on Monday – not an easy task considering it was January.

After just a few weeks together, Wally began to get very comfortable in his new home.

"When we wake up, the first thing we do is snuggle with Wally,” Corné said.

The collie gets to take regular walks in the Springbank dog park, where he runs unencumbered by his previous injury.

"We’ve just gotten so much out of adopting Wally, it’s joyful and our lives have changed for the better," Pieter said.

Kathleen Dickson, coordinator of animal care and clinic services, says the story illustrates the unconditional love that comes from adopting a dog from the Animal Services Centre

"Our team of Animal Behaviour Coordinators dedicate themselves to matching each animal with the perfect family," she said.

"It's our goal to ensure that every adopted pet finds their ideal match in terms of lifestyle, temperament, and compatibility. In this instance, we're proud to say we've succeeded."

If you're interested in providing a forever home to one of the adoptable pets at Calgary's Animal Service's Centre, you can visit Calgary.ca.

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