"Man's best friend" - our furry, four-legged pals have certainly earned this well-deserved title. Millions of people around the globe have decided to adopt a dog as a loyal, loving, and playful addition to their home. Because as any owner would tell you - dogs aren't just "pets," dogs are members of the family.
Unfortunately, not all of these lovable animals have owners to care for them. Instead, some dogs find themselves wandering the streets, fending for themselves. And sadly, that was the case for "Leo." He was living on a beach in Thailand - alone, injured, hungry, and in desperate need of medical care.
Meagan Penman, a model from Canada, was vacationing in Thailand when she came across a young dog (which she later named Leo) who was in serious need of help. She explained the situation on her GoFundMe page:
"While on vacation in Thailand I came across this dog in horrible condition. He lost the use of both of his back legs due to a motorcycle accident and the owner has done nothing for him. He drags himself around by his two front legs to get around, leaving his back legs extremely raw from the friction of the ground."
It was obvious that the pup would require a great deal of medical assistance - and until now, no one had stepped up to help. Despite it being a difficult task, Meagan knew what she had to do.
Because of the severity of the dog's injuries, local shelters were incapable and unwilling to take him in. That's when Meagan decided to bring him to a veterinary clinic in Thailand to receive the medical care he needed. She explained in a Facebook post,
"I wasn't too surprised when I saw Leo's X-rays. His back is broken and he is completely paralyzed in his back two legs and feels no pain whatsoever in the lower half of his body. He will never walk again but then again I think we all knew that."
Although it was becoming difficult and costly to provide this pup with the medical attention he required, Meagan wasn't going to give up on Leo.
Meagan decided to start a GoFundMe page in an attempt to collect the money she'd need for Leo's medical bills, and also to bring him back home to Canada with her. She shared on her page,
"Please help me raise money to bring this poor guy back to Canada where he can get the vet care he needs. He's less than a year old and there's no way I can just let this go without trying to help."
With the help and support of caring donors, Meagan was able to collect more than she'd asked for or expected. As she made the decision and commitment to take in this paralyzed pup - Leo prepared to board a plane and make Canada his new and permanent home.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."
Leo is certainly a fighter, and he will now live a life without limits or restrictions!
Meagan knew that she would be unable to provide Leo with the amount of time and care he needed - so, she found him a foster home shortly after arriving back in Canada. Leo is now enjoying life with his new owner, Jamie Smith, just 8 hours from Meagan's home in Ottawa.
Watch footage of this struggling pup as Meagan first saw him on that fateful day:
As they say, "Love, is love, is love" - and we all need and deserve love. Share this miraculous and heart-warming story with your pup-loving friends and family, and remind them to always reach out to those in need. Because after all, "We're all in this thing together!"