At the age of 5 Dulcea lost both of her eyes and most of her teeth, but for the first time in her life she is happy and loved. Dulcea was released to rescue by a breeder who no longer wanted her. Her story is the most horrific we've known. Both of her eyes were badly damaged at the puppy mill. She was frightened and in pain. On the transport to release her to HUA the breeder dropped her. She ran away and could not be captured. She was on her own, blind and in pain in the worst of the December winter. For 13 days she was lost, cold, frightened and in extreme pain. She survived temperatures near 0 degrees for days on end. She was finally found in a yard in a hole under a bush. The woman who lived in the home was dog sitting and the visiting dog kept going to spot where Dulcea lay dying. When she was discovered her body temperature was 82 degrees and she was too weak to even lift her head. She was emaciated and dehydrated. She was taken to a veterinarian's office in that town where they kept her for a week in intensive care until she was well enough to travel. Because HUA volunteers put out flyers and let everyone know she was lost we were contacted to come meet Dulcea and bring her into our care. When we picked her up she melted into the arms of our volunteer, smiled and fell asleep, as if she knew she was finally safe and loved. Our volunteer rushed Dulcea to a vet clinic in Omaha where it was determined that her eyes and most of her teeth needed to be removed immediately. They were painful and causing horrible infection. There was no saving her eyes. The damage was very old and she had not had any vision for a long time. During the operation Dulcea's heart rate dropped and we thought we would lose her. But because of her will to live and the great care she received she pulled through. While at the clinic she was treated like a princess. She had a big soft warm bed of her very own for the first time in her life and the clinic staff showered her with affection. Soon she was well enough to go to a foster home, the first home she has ever known.
Dulcea, meaning "sweet" in Spanish, lives up to her name. We were afraid after all she had endured that her spirit would be broken and she would be frightened of people. Quite the opposite is true. She is recovering in a foster home where she loves to be held and give sweet kisses. She adores being on people's laps and loves to be cuddled. She is finding her way around very well and when her foster mom leaves the room she barks to let her know she'd like her to come back soon, as if she is saying don't forget me, I don't ever want to be alone, hurt and unloved again.
Dulcea is a one in a million dog. It is unfathomable that she has survived everything that she has had to endure. She is all heart, a pure spirit of love, devotion and determination. Because Dulcea is so physically fragile and has been through so much her foster mom is going to keep her permanently as a Sanctuary Sweetheart. HUA will provide for whatever she needs to remain happy and healthy, and Dulcea will get to stay with the person who lovingly nursed her back to health and who she adores with all her heart.