An orphaned dog who was brutally abused by her former owners has found a new lease on life as an Instagram star – after surviving being shot in the head and beaten with a hammer.
Three-year-old bull terrier mix, Bubbles, was brought into a dog shelter when she was just six-months-old after being shot in the head by a bullet that did not kill her and beaten with a hammer.
Owners of a mobile dog grooming service, Kilyn Horton Blanchard, 51, and her husband, Ike Blanchard, 56, from Houston, Texas, were volunteering at a local dog shelter in September 2017, when they first met a severely injured Bubbles.
Bubbles’ right eye was severely injured, she had an open wound on her face and scans revealed that her jaw was shattered but had started to heal incorrectly, meaning that she could only open her mouth half an inch. A CT scan confirmed that poor Bubbles had been shot through the right eye and the bullet had shattered her jaw and inner ear.
As soon as Kilyn and Ike met Bubbles they knew they wanted to care for her and have her in their life, so they fostered her and brought her home a few days later.
Now, over two years later, Bubbles is the light of their life and after four grueling surgeries to remove the bullet, her inner right ear, a portion of her jaw and the removal of her right eye, she has also become something of an Instagram sensation with 67,000 followers under the handle,
The couple set up the Instagram account to document Bubbles’ amazing recovery and her new, happy life – while also raising awareness about animal cruelty, and the need for more foster and adoptive parents for abused pets.
Despite everything she has been through Kilyn says that Bubbles is a loving and trusting dog and craves human attention.
‘We were volunteering at a shelter after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and so many animals were being brought into shelters,’ said Kilyn.
‘We were about to head home when we were introduced to a young six-month-old puppy that had suffered severe trauma. We were told that she had been shot in the head and when that didn’t successfully kill her she was beaten with a hammer.
‘She was just lying in her kennel but the moment we opened it up she came out and buried her head into my chest and just wanted to be held. We knew instantly that we wanted to be a part of her life. We immediately signed up to be her medical fosters and picked her up a few days later.
We did not know the real extent of her injuries when we brought her home but her right eye was severely injured, she had an open wound on the right side of her face, and the bullet could be felt under the skin, just behind the right ear.
‘X-rays revealed that her jaw was shattered and had begun to heal and the shattered pieces had calcified together and made it to where she could only open her mouth about half an inch. After a CT scan it was confirmed that she was shot point blank in the eye and the bullet shattered her jaw and also her inner ear.
‘The veterinarians knew that she needed to have a portion of her lower jaw removed to allow her to open her mouth freely. Her inner ear needed to be removed completely and the ear closed up to keep it clean.
‘The eye needed to be removed and closed up also to keep it clean. Her first surgery was quite extensive so it was best to split her surgeries into the most critical ones first. It was uncertain how well everything would go but we knew it was worth a try.
‘She had a total of four surgeries but she handled each one like a champ and now she enjoys life like a normal young puppy.
‘I am very proud of Bubbles. She has always been so loving and trusting but we took her out to be around people so she would not develop any fears of the outside world. Her attitude is absolutely amazing considering what she has been through. She loves everyone and really craves their attention.
‘After her recovery, her true spirit and energy really began to show. She loves every person she meets and wants to play with every dog she meets. She does not seem to carry any reminders of her past, or hold any grudges, she has put it far behind her and lives her life to the fullest.
‘Her energy is magnetic and really draws people in and they can’t resist coming over to meet her.’
Kilyn says that having Bubbles as part of her family has changed her life for the better.
‘Having her in our lives has changed it so much. It has opened our eyes to the cruelty that exist around us and the need for humans to step up and help the innocents that cannot help themselves,’ she said.
‘It has also introduced us to so many wonderful and like-minded people and we have developed some wonderful friendships.
‘We take Bubbles to a lot of events to let her socialize but also to talk about her story and make people aware that animal cruelty does exist and unfortunately is way too common. She loves meeting children and is so gentle with them.
‘Currently we are trying to get her working with different animal rescues to spread awareness of animal cruelty including going to schools and talking to young people about how to properly care for animals.