Juni’s Story: Recovery After Fire

Each dog that comes to us at The Long Dog Retreat has a story to tell; a story about abuse, neglect, a sudden passing of an owner, etc. Each story is unique, but there are definitely similarities to them as well. At the rescue our goal is for them to all leave having the same story: a new forever home filled with lots of love, a lap to sleep on, and good food to eat! In the past couple of months, however, we have found ourselves working with a dog with a pretty special story, one that has already captured the hearts of many and has also brought great inspiration. His name is Juni, and he has been the talk of the rescue for quite some time now. We are sure that you have heard bits and pieces of what has happened with him, but we wanted to give you all the full story of how he came to us and how he has been since!


Juni photobombing


Our first encounter with Juni wasn’t when he came to us at the rescue. His owner, Leslee Heath, had adopted one of the dogs we had at the rescue a few months before the fire. He was so excited to have a new sister to play with! Everything was going great, and we were happy with the success.

Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst and on August 12, 2016, Leslee’s home caught on fire. Firefighters went in trying to save everyone that they could, but Leslee, her mom, and 2 other dogs did not survive the fire. Leslee’s dad was immediately taken to the hospital and Juni to an emergency vet.


Juni after being pulled from the fire

After assessing Juni it was clear that he would need some extensive care. He had third degree burns all over his body, and most of his skin was dead. A call was made to the Long Dog Retreat to see if we would be willing to take him in and to help with the expenses as it would be too much for immediate family to take care of. The decision was brought to the board, and with evidence that Juni had a will to live, Juni was brought to the rescue.

Juni started his road to recovery with his first surgery that same night. In this first surgery Juni’s ears were amputated, his left eye removed, and lots of dead tissue removed from his neck and left side of his face. He was monitored throughout the night and was syringe fed due to the swelling in his face. The next day he was able to go to his foster home where he would have his dressings changed and medications given regularly. It was a good start, but there was still a long ways to go in terms of recovery.


Juni at the Emergency Vet


After first surgery








Over the next few days things really looked promising with no sign of infection from the wounds. Juni was also able to move around outside, getting moments of fresh air as well as getting the necessary potty breaks. Eating was a little difficult but thanks to the delicious taste of chicken Juni was able to get what he needed!

About a week after the first surgery Juni went in for a follow-up visit at the vet. There was still no sign of infection and the antibiotic cultures looked very promising. The style and frequency of the dressings was changed to accommodate the healing process and pain medications were continued as they appeared to be working well. Juni also had his first bowel movement since the fire, so that was also a great sign!


Juni with his foster mom, Becca

The following Tuesday Juni went in for another surgery to close the wounds in his chest. Everything went very well with this surgery, although it turned out to be more extensive than originally planned. The vet had found some scar tissue on his side that was not healing correctly  so it had to be removed. The tip of Juni’s tail was also removed in this surgery as it had died from the fire. Juni stayed the night at the vet and was able to recover well!

juni-4 Over the next couple weeks Juni continued to recover from his surgeries, taking his medications, having his dressings changed, and getting a lot of rest. It was clear that he was going to make a full recovery and there were no signs of infection. At the follow-up visit with the vet it was determined that pain meds were no longer needed and the sutures were removed. There was also great news that Juni would no longer need to be seen by the vet as things were healing so nicely! Yay for Juni!


After suture removal








Today Juni is doing very well and his strong-willed personality continues to shine through. His journey has been a long, but inspiring one and we are all proud of him and what he has accomplished. The next step for Juni is finding him a forever home, but it can’t just be any home due to his circumstances and what he has been through medically. The Long Dog Retreat has created a special application for Juni, so if you would like to apply to be Juni’s new owner please log onto their website thelongdogretreat.org or find them on Facebook at “The Long Dog Retreat Dachshund Rescue”.


Juni reading a book!

Also, we are still in need of some help for Juni’s medical bills. If you would like to donate you may do so on the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/junifiresurvivor or you may do it through Pay Pal by sending your donation to donate@thelongdogretreat.org and naming your donation “Juni”. Any amount helps! Thank you so much for viewing Juni’s story and for supporting The Long Dog Retreat Dachshund Rescue! Until next time!




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