Nirvana's Path

by Lee Chambers

Nirvana has experienced more in her first year of life than most dogs. The husky mix with the bright eyes lived in Texas before arriving at Dakin as a Dixie Dog in October. When she came off the truck, Nirvana seemed like a social and playful dog, but underneath all the fluff and fur, Nirvana was feeling a constant hidden pain.

When interacting with Nirvana, our vet staff noticed that she was limping. They took x-rays, which revealed painful bone growths in both her shoulders, due to a developmental disease that occurs in young, large dogs.  The condition was similar to living with a rock in your shoe.

Vet techs Abby and Jake tend to the patient.

The best relief for Nirvana’s pain was surgery, which was performed on Christmas Eve.  Before long, Nirvana was back at Dakin to begin a long recovery that involved volunteers and staff under the supervision of Medical Director Dr. Dena Long.

Nirvana was allowed limited exercise, and after short walks was given hot pack treatments. Her team also helped her with physical therapy by giving her peanut butter and cookies to reach for so she could stretch her limbs. And when her muscles became inflamed, she would get cold packs to combat swelling. In addition to this treatment, a few times a week Dr. Long gave Nirvana acupuncture to aid in the healing process.  

Dr. Long, assisted by Lorie, offered acupuncture to Nirvana.

Even when she became available for adoption in mid-January, it was made clear to interested adopters that Nirvana’s physical therapy sessions would need to continue for the foreseeable future.  There was also concern that her hips/hind end might need surgical attention when she got older.  Where would we find someone willing to take on such an effort to help this extraordinary dog?

We took to social media, and her story gained interest.  The first post introducing her on Facebook was shared by more than 150 people, and we hoped her future adopter might be among those touched by the sight of her sweet, smiling face.

Nirvana loved wearing her favorite toy on her face!

Finally, just before Valentine’s Day, Nirvana’s future family came forward.  After meeting her, then having consultations with our medical staff and Dr. Long to confirm Nirvana’s needs, a local couple made the decision to welcome her into their home and hearts.  Now renamed Lucy, our friend is being lovingly cared for by Dawn, George and their son, Michael.

A family at last!  Nirvana (now Lucy) with Dawn and Michael


Our heartfelt thanks to everyone whose gifts helped Nirvana heal.  You joined the team of people whose love for this extraordinary girl, and animals like her, helps get them on the road to adoption and the happy ending they deserve.

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