Mercy’s Jour­ney


Given how many Pi­noys aban­don pets who are ill, 23-year-old Coleen Sarte is a ster­ling ex­cep­tion. She per­son­ally ad­min­is­ters ther­apy to her dog, who suf­fers Swim­mer Puppy Syn­drome (pec­tus ex­ca­va­tum). This means Mercy was born with a flat chest and ab­domen, which pre­vents her from stand­ing or walk­ing—those like her can only get around by flail­ing their limbs in a swimming mo­tion, hence the name of the con­di­tion.

Coleen first noticed the prob­lem two weeks after her Shih Tzu gave birth. Mercy could not bend her hind legs, pulling her­self along as best she could. Then she sud­denly stopped nurs­ing and just lay there, list­less. When the vet told Coleen it was a con­gen­i­tal prob­lem, she re­al­ized that Mercy would need spe­cial care for her en­tire life. It didn’t help when a sib­ling ac­ci­den­tally poked Mercy in the eye and dam­aged it so badly, even the vet thought Mercy would be blind in that eye. She was also the runt of the lit­ter, only re­ceiv­ing her vac­ci­na­tions at three months of age be­cause she was un­der­weight for her age. De­spite all this, Mercy re­cov­ered—re­gain­ing the sight in the in­jured eye with just some scar­ring— and be­came very cheer­ful and sweet.

To­day, Mercy is very ac­tive de­spite her con­di­tion and size. Coleen con­tin­ues to try and help Mercy learn how to walk, tak­ing her into the sun every day and pur­chas­ing vi­ta­mins to help give the lit­tle one a fight­ing chance.

And from the looks of it, this lit­tle stal­wart heart may just win her fight.

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