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Hospital Therapy Dog Paralyzed by Stroke Healing Thanks to Those She Helped

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After helping dozens of hospital patients, it’s a therapy dog’s turn to feel the love. 

Greta the Bernese mountain dog has been bringing smiles to the intensive care unit at Boulder Community Hospital in Colorado for two years, but her work was stopped short when the 4-year-old pup was left paralyzed by a stroke in her spine caused by Fibrocartilaginous Embolism, or FCE.

“My friend who happened to be visiting with me called me at work extremely upset and said you need to get home as quickly as possible, there’s something wrong with Greta,” Greta’s owner, Lori Cotton, told ABC7. “It is a stroke that can occur anywhere in the spine. It’s fairly common in dogs. In most cases dogs don’t make it through the first day because they’re euthanized, because they’re misdiagnosed.”

Luckily, Greta has pulled through after suffering the stroke last Monday. To help the generous dog back on her paws, Greta’s owner and friends have started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses, which has already raised $7,000 of its $10,000 goal. 

The money will go to the dog’s recovery, particularly to the three months to a year of physical therapy Greta will need to regain her mobility. 

While she has a long road ahead, Greta is already showing major signs of improvement, moving her legs again just a few days after the stroke. Cotton is grateful for the amazing support system stepping up to help her dog, and hopes Greta can return the favor by once again returning to therapy work when she is healed.

“The fact that this sweet girl who has given so much of herself is the recipient of such generosity and love says so much about the community we live in and the caring dog communities I have found online that are as passionate about their pups as I am about mine,” the owner wrote on Greta’s GoFundMe page. “I can’t possibly say it enough.”