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Norah's Happy Tail: From Skinny and Sick to Spoiled and Smiling

Norah came to Dallas Animal Services in the summer of 2021. When she arrived, she was dangerously emaciated and suffering from both Heartworm disease and kidney disease that were so advanced that, even at just 5-years-old, the DAS medical team determined Norah's prognosis was very poor. The shelter vets ran a variety of tests on Norah but couldn't determine the root cause of her kidney disease and suggested that a comfortable home to enjoy her final months was her best option.

Norah at Dallas Animal Services

That was when Norah met Whitney, a DAS staff member. "When I met Norah, she was hanging out in the DAS Shelter Manager's Office and greeted me gleefully with an enthusiastic tail wag that moved her entire body. I fell in love," says Whitney now looking back on that first interaction.

After Norah also stole the heart of Whitney's fiancé, they discussed her situation and decided that, though it would be difficult to say goodbye once her disease advanced, they wanted to offer their home and hearts to their new wiggly friend. Whitney also had a resident senior dog at the time who was suffering from kidney disease and felt confident in managing Norah's illnesses for however much time she had left. They took Norah in as a fospice dog in August of 2021.

Over the next few weeks, Whitney would take Norah into Dallas Animal Services regularly for follow up blood tests and without rhyme or reason, the results began to shift from dire... to hopeful. "We still don't know exactly why or how, but within a month of taking her in, her prognosis changed from extremely poor to a guarded positive as her tests results continued to improve, she gained weight, and became increasingly energetic," said Whitney.

By October, both her kidney levels and her weight had normalized and the DAS medical staff was able to clear her for Heartworm treatment, which she completed in January. Soon after Norah was completely healthy, she became a permanent adopted member of the family.

“Today, when I look back at the photos of her when she first arrived at DAS, tears well up in my eyes. She is such a chunky meatball of a dog now that I often forget just how thin she was when she came home with us.” - Norah's adopter, Whitney

Norah's health has truly rebounded; her weight at the shelter when she first arrived was just 52 pounds. Today she is a solid 73 pounds and the vet has actually indicated she may need lose a couple of pounds.

Norah has also paid it forward to her new family in more than one way. A few months after Norah arrived as a fospice situation, Whitney lost her 14-year-old dog Josie to chronic kidney disease."Norah's cuddles and love were extremely comforting to our family as we mourned that massive loss and seeing how she interacted with Josie was extremely heartwarming," said Whitney.

At first, Josie was pretty disinterested in Norah but once Norah began to heal and gain energy, she won Josie over in a singular moment of team work that solidified a real friendship. Josie had a longstanding nemesis in the form of a opossum, but at 14 years-old, she wasn't having much success. That's where Norah came in.

On Christmas Eve, Josie spotted the opossum on the top of our 6 foot wooden fence and started jumping at the fence and scratching, trying to get to him. Norah, who was completely across the yard, saw what was going on and bounded off to assist her friend. In one leap, Norah grabbed the opossum off the top of the fence, landed, and handed the terrified creature to Josie. "Josie was ecstatic, Norah was quite proud of herself, and we were horrified," Whitney told us. The opossum was perfectly okay with a quick intervention and ever since that moment, Norah had earned Josie's respect.

She's also served as a sort of emotional support dog to their current foster dog, Jonah, who was extremely undersocialized and shut down at first. She's been showing him the ropes and really helping him come out of his shell and turn into a completely different dog!

Norah came to the shelter requiring extensive medical care -- from regular bloodwork to her Heartworm treatment -- her odds, (and her expenses) were beginning to be stacked against her. Thankfully, Dallas Animal Services staff (along with her loving family) were able to provide the care she so desperately needed to survive.

That's why we're asking you to help us give pets like Norah a better tomorrow by making a donation for North Texas Giving Day this year.


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