Janja, Age 18 Months

Janja was born on the streets of Croatia, and at just a few weeks old this tiny puppy was found on a rubbish dump severely traumatised. Her rescuers took her straight to the vet where she was examined and given an MRI scan where she was diagnosed with a broken back. The vet advised that it was best for Janja to be put to sleep as she would never walk again and would always be incontinent. Her rescuers took her home to think about what the vet had said, but because this little pup showed tremendous spirit, rightly or wrongly they wanted to give her a chance of life as she had fought so hard to stay alive. This dear little pup wanted so much to live and as the months passed Janja never let her disability hold her back and was such a happy little soul despite having to shuffle around and wear nappies. Sadly, because her rescuers worked and led busy lives, they were finding it hard to cope with a growing puppy who was paraplegic and incontinent and needed so much attention lavished upon her to enable her to enjoy a good quality of life. They reached out to other animal lovers in the area, of which there were few, but some good people came forward to help. Janja’s life was shared with a network of foster homes which didn’t seem to faze her, and she continued to grow in strength and size. She was given laser acupuncture which helped and was bought a set of wheels so she could get out and about and run free. Janja was still a puppy and most of her foster carers didn’t have a garden, so she was only able to have 1 good walk a day which was not ideal for a growing puppy with so much energy. She did have the company of other dogs though which she really enjoyed. Her rescuers concluded that this life was not ideal for Janja although she coped well and continued to thrive – and was very much loved, but finding foster homes was becoming increasingly difficult. Her rescuers decided to reach out even further and sent emails to many English charities desperate for someone to help. Only 1 charity responded to the heartfelt plea, and that of course was Holly Hedge. After finding out all about her special needs and seeing amazing photos and videos of Janja out walking on her wheels and playing and having so much fun with her rescuers’ toddler, we decided we had to help as long as we were assured she could withstand the journey over here. We knew it wouldn’t be fair to put this brave girl into a kennel situation so put out a plea on Facebook for a foster home, but no one came forward. Then COVID-19 brought devastation to countries worldwide and Janja’s journey was put on hold. Meanwhile she was spayed and went through all the veterinary tests and vaccinations necessary to enable her to come into the country with a totally clean bill of health. Again, another huge ask was put out on social media for a foster home, and this time we struck gold.

A nurse who had been thinking of retiring, read Janja’s plea and rang for more information. After many questions, phone calls, emails photos and videos, and speaking to Janja’s rescuers, Julia and her husband Glen made the lifechanging decision to permanently foster her.

In March this year her Croation rescuers waved a fond farewell to Janja and with many tears wished her well on her 3 day journey to England. Janja arrived very bewildered at 3am on the 26th of March. Julia had given up her job and went on to occasional bank nursing when Glen was at home to care for Janja so there was always someone there for her. She soon settled in with her new carers and was enjoying life to the full with all the love and attention lavished upon her. Julia did a fundraiser and raised enough money for a brand new and much sturdier set of wheels so that Janja could run to her hearts content and go on new adventures with them.