In October 2013, Sandy Hagan of Pennsylvania was just scrolling through her Facebook feed when she stopped to look more closely at a picture of Mallory, a Pit Bull mix who had been rescued by New Jersey-based Rescue Dogs Rock. “There was just something about her whole face that caught my eye. It was love at first sight,” she said.
Hagan explained that she wasn’t specifically looking for a dog because at that time she had only recently lost her beloved Justice, who had passed away from renal failure. But there was something about Mallory that made her stop and look more closely. She said, “I love white dogs, and both Justice and Mallory had similar features: white dogs with black spots and a black spot around the eyes.”
When Hagan looked at more pictures, she learned that Mallory was suffering from a hind-leg injury that was most likely caused by abuse. After reading through status updates and comments, Hagan quickly discovered that Mallory was facing imminent amputation surgery because of the mangled leg.
She also learned that Mallory’s life before she was rescued was sad. Mallory had not received any veterinary attention for her injury, and she had been living outside. When a neighbor found out that Mallory was about to be dumped on the streets of Chester, Pennsylvania, she quickly intervened.
This Good Samaritan worked with Rescue Dogs Rock to secure immediate medical attention for Mallory and to find an emergency placement in a New Jersey foster home. Mallory barely had time to settle into her foster home before vets decided her leg had extensive damage and needed to be amputated.
After reading that first posting, Hagan continued to follow Mallory’s journey on Facebook. She said, “I just felt something. I connected with her. Before her surgery, they showed a video of how she walked, how her leg just hung. I followed her and watched as she went through her surgery.”
After the surgery, she saw how quickly Mallory healed, grew strong, and made friends with her foster family’s dog Bear. She saw pictures of Mallory playing with Bear and how the brave dog accepted love and affection from her foster family.
On Christmas Day 2013, Hagan filed her application to adopt Mallory, and she welcomed the dog into her home on January 11, 2014. With Hagan, Mallory lives a full life, which includes lots of walks and toys. Mallory also has an extensive and stylish wardrobe.
When Hagan first brought Mallory home, the dog was cautious, as a relatively new amputee. Hagan sought advice on how to handle walking her.
“I asked others if it was OK for Mallory to go on walks. I just wanted to make absolutely sure that it wouldn’t hurt her. I was told that it was OK. I take both dogs for walks, and Mallory does fine,” Hagan said.
As time went on, Mallory got strong and muscular. She also runs. Hagan said, “Mallory tears around and has a special way of maneuvering, especially if you throw a ball. She just tears around really fast.”
Mallory loves to play ball, Hagan said, but clarified, “It has to be her version — and that is to keep it away from me. When I throw it, she runs and she comes back to me, but doesn’t give me the ball. So she is teasing me with it.”
Mallory also enjoys spending time outside in the yard. Hagan said when Mallory goes out, she will often act cat-like, because she watches squirrels and birds.
“Mallory will get really low and crouch down. She will just sit and stalk and watch really long. Then all of a sudden, she runs forward and she thinks she can catch a squirrel. She never does, but she will stalk birds, too. Who knows what she is thinking?” Hagan laughed.
Hagan also has a pool in her yard, but so far Mallory hasn’t expressed interest in going for a dip. If Mallory ever does decide to venture in, Hagan said, “I have a life jacket for her.”
As for Mallory’s BFF, that would be Lady, a Pit Bull Hagan adopted in 2009. The friends enjoy walks, and they sleep together. Despite having outerwear for both dogs to protect them from the elements, Hagan said both Mallory and Lady sometimes join forces to protest going out. “My dogs look outside to see if it’s raining. If it is, they turn back around; they don’t want to go out when it’s raining or cold. I tell them to ‘come on.’ So they all put their coats on and head out for a walk,” Hagan said.
At nighttime, both Mallory and Lady sleep with Hagan. Mallory is very affectionate and enjoys human contact. “She has to have her head on me somewhere. She loves to be real close,” Hagan said.
Mallory also enjoys her time with Hagan’s grandson Corey when he comes to visit. “Mallory will sit on his lap, and she snuggles with him. Corey also likes to run around the yard with Mallory,” she said.
When asked if Mallory’s disability is obvious to others, Hagan responded, “No, not at all. Mallory is just one of those dogs who loves attention and demands to be petted. When someone comes over, she is always the first one to the door because she gets so excited. She jumps real high.”