Imagine living on the street with no place to call home, no warm bed, and not knowing where your next meal would come from. Now imagine those same situations, all while being pregnant. Olive, a small chihuahua mix, was doing just that before she came to Kate’s Rescue. A small dog with a big attitude is how I would describe her.

            After giving birth to one puppy at her foster home, Olive became very ill. Her health started to decline quickly after weaning her pup. Rapid weight loss set in, her jaw started to deteriorate, and her eyes became sunken due to emaciation. She was taken to the vet as the symptoms worsened, but the prognosis wasn’t good. Olive was diagnosed with Systemic Autoimmune disease.

            Much like people diagnosed with autoimmune disease, dogs have similar symptoms. There are numerous autoimmune diseases that affect dogs, Olive has Hemolytic Anemia. This specific form causes her immune system to attack healthy red blood cells. The veterinarian did not give Olive much time due to her rapid decline. The recommendation was a blood transfusion. Barely hanging on, Olive needed some help and very quickly at that. Brandy, one of Kate’s Rescue fosters, had a plan. You see, Brandy has her own superhero named Nico. Nico is a 9-year-old German Shepherd trained as her service dog. Nico would also be Olive’s savior with a donation of his blood.

             The first transfusion went well, and with additions to her diet to raise her iron level, as well as an array of medication, her health slightly improved. However, the improvement wasn’t enough, so Nico stepped up again and this time it worked. Although Olive is still thin, her health has improved a great deal. Olive is still with Kate’s Rescue and in June she will hit the one-year mark.

            She found her way from the streets, endured birth, fought a horrible disease that devastated her body, and she’s still here fighting. Maybe Nico passed some of his superhero strength to her, or maybe, in fact, Olive is the superhero.