Meet Tony and Cleo. These pups have also been known as Jack and Jill or Bonnie and Clyde. Their story has many twists and bumps in the road that brought them to their forever home.
The pups were found together in Texas during the summer of 2017 and taken to a facility in Odessa. Known as Jack and Jill then, the pups were only given a week before they would be euthanized unless someone claimed them. Their current fur mom, Deb, saw the duo online and said she was immediately “hooked.” The facility’s website explained that Jill’s hind legs were paralyzed after apparently being shot, which only made Deb love her more.
When she contacted the facility, which was about 500 miles away from her home in rural New Mexico, Deb learned that they would only release Jack and Jill to a rescue and had already found one that would take them. The pups were going to Raven Rescue in Missouri where their names would be changed to Bonnie and Clyde. While she was extremely relieved that they weren’t going to be euthanized, Deb still wanted to adopt them. She decided to take the trip to Missouri to pick them up. After the long drive, she was ecstatic to greet her new furry family members with open arms. She quickly renamed them Antony and Cleopatra, or Tony and Cleo.
Cleo’s road to recovery
The owner of Raven Rescue told Deb that she had taken Cleo to the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine to have the pup’s paralyzed legs checked, but they were unable to help. Deb then made an appointment at the only veterinary practice with board-certified neurologists in New Mexico, the Animal Neurology and Imaging Center (ANIC). Once they arrived at the ANIC, Cleo had a CT scan. The vet told Deb that she would need surgery, as x-rays indicated there was buckshot in her spine.
Deb agreed to the surgery right away; she knew it was the only way Cleo would ever be able to use her hind legs again. Cleo had “a great drive to move about and a spirit to match,” according to Deb, so the decision was a no-brainer.
The surgeon agreed to the procedure even though he wasn’t positive it would be successful, given that the buckshot was believed to have been there for about 3 weeks and there was no visible entry point. Plus, Deb said the buckshot was stuck to the sheath around Cleo’s spinal cord, only making the surgery more complex.
Cleo and Tony
While Cleo was awaiting the procedure, Deb had to leave the center to bring Tony home. While traveling the 250 miles to her house, she got word that the surgery went well.
Here’s the best part: during Cleo’s recovery, she began going to physical therapy and started walking again! Deb says the surgeon calls Cleo a miracle pup. Chloe “loves life” again and expresses that feeling when she slowly wags her once-paralyzed tail.
“Meanwhile her sidekick Tony who looks and acts like a Lab has become my boy,” Deb explained. “He adores Cleo and I truly believe he stayed with her when she was shot, protecting her and taking care of her in some way we will never know — until they were picked up outside of Odessa. He literally picks her up by rooting under her or by her collar when she falters.”
Tony certainly seems like a sweet boy and Deb says he likes to hug people. She went on to say that both of her fur babies have “barks bigger than their bodies.”
Deb really wanted to know more about her dogs’ genetics. For this reason, her step-children bought her two Embark Dog DNA Tests for Christmas. After both Tony and Cleo’s samples were analyzed, Embark found that they are, in fact, related!
“Now I know that they are real siblings and not just fur buddies and they will be part of my family for the rest of their lives,” Deb said of Tony and Cleo.