At the particular farm Dorothy was raised on, the dogs had no access to water and were being fed the decaying organs of their peers who had been killed. Still, Boehler said, the dogs started wagging their tails when rescuers approached their rusty metal cages. All 13 dogs rescued that day were very sick, and four of them died before ever coming to the United States.
Out of the survivors, Dorothy was the most ill. She had caught canine distemper, a serious viral infection that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. After a tough battle, Dorothy overcame the illness and only bears one side effect: a condition called myoclonus, which causes muscle spasms while she’s resting. Luckily, she’s still able to live a totally normal life with her foster mom, Jenny Lee.