When Anna Marie Giannini responded to an online advertisement for free puppies, she never expected what she’d find.
When Anna arrived to look at the litter of Tibetan spaniel puppies, she noticed that one was different than the rest. According to a post she shared on Instagram, after inquiring about the unique-looking pup, Anna was told that the owners planned to have her euthanized due to a spinal condition she had.
Of course, Anna wasn’t about to let an innocent pup be put down if it didn’t have to be, and that’s when she decided to take the small dog home and give her a second chance at life.
Anna quickly fell in love with her new puppy, who she named Tilly, and became determined to give her the best life possible.
While Tilly could run, play, eat, and live a happy life, she didn’t look the same as other dogs doing those things. You see, Tilly was born with an incredibly rare condition called Short Spine Syndrome – something that’s been recorded in just 30 dogs to date, according to Saratoga Spine.
According to Dog Time, Short Spine Syndrom is a condition characterized by “a severe shortening of the vertebrae column/spinal column.” In dogs with the syndrome, the vertebrae seem to remain in their cartilage form and don’t harden like they’re supposed to.
Additionally, some of the vertebrae may be fused together, which makes their spines less flexible than typical dog spines would be. It’s believed the syndrome is a result of inbreeding.
Despite their challenges, Anna and Tilly have taken on life together and are determined to make the most of things. Thankfully, Anna shared on Instagram that Tilly lives pretty independently and doesn’t suffer pain or many problems associated with her condition.
She wrote: “[Tilly] is perfectly healthy and not suffering at all…She is a happy bug and I put her on the internet to share her love and how hilarious she is with the world.”
Naturally, she’s incredibly glad that she gave Tilly and chance and saved her from euthanasia. I’m sure Tilly feels the same way.