Heidi is my 6 year old German Shepard. She has not had an easy life. I was given her 4 years ago when her owner couldn't cope with her illnesses anymore. She has a gastric problem which causes her immune system to go into overdrive. Her zest for life has always kept her going, especially when she only weighed 18 kilos and the vet didn't think she would make it.

She has been my constant companion, travelling everywhere with me.Her friend is my young horse Scarlet. They have grown up together. They play together seeking each other out to play chase.

It seemed to happen slowly, Heidi started to limp and slow up. The vet just said it was her gastric problem, she lacked the ability to grow muscle. Heidi stopped wanting to come to work with me, instead of racing me to the field she stayed on the yard watching. Scarlet would want to play, but Heidi wasn't interested. It was sad to see her just laying around.

Then the "funny turns" started, she would fall over and appear to be in a different world. Each time this happened her balance and strength in her back legs seemed to be effected, she seemed to forget she had 4 legs, she stopped wanting to go anywhere.

In August 2011 I came home one day to find her unable to stand and use her back legs. I had recently changed vets and as they didn't know Heidi I dreaded the trip to see the vet. After examining her the prognosis wasn't good, the vet suggested Meadow Farm to see if physio was an option.

The next day I spoke to Rachel, within days Heidi had been seen by Sarah and Rachel. They were sure they could help her, give her back some quality of life. I just hoped they could help her walk, that would make me happy.

She had twice weekly hydro treatment in the aquatic treadmill, with physio exercisies to do at home every day. Fingers crossed.

Five months later as I write this Heidi is sound asleep next to me. She has had a tough day, up early to inspect the yard, escort all the horses out to the field, quick inspection of the farm boundary, game of chase with Scarlet. After breakfast in the truck out on the rounds, five yards to check and inspect then home. Horses escorted into yard, 15mins physio followed by half hour of rally training. Indoors, tea and quick power nap before late night patrol and bed.

Just a typical day since meeting Rachel and the team. They have given me back my best friend. She is back to her naughty but fun self. She became so energetic Rachel suggested TD Rally. We have had a few lessons and hope to be ready for our first competition in a couple of months.

I hoped Heidi would be able to walk, I never dreamt she would get a new life and having been told she could not build muscle, they have grown by 3cms.

I can not express my thanks to Rachel, Sarah and the rest of the staff. I have my best friend back. Heidi once again has her zest for life back.

My vet had to visit my horses recently, she didn't recognise Heidi who had ran to greet her. We were lucky to have moved to a surgery that believed in Meadow Farm. Their expertise has helped Heidi. We do not know what is wrong with her and if it will ever happen again, but I do know my lovely dog has got a future, that is thanks to Meadow Farm.

I can't express in words how grateful I am for everything you have done and continue to do for Heidi.

All our love
Heidi and Sam


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