Leonardo Battles Like a Ninja to Live and Thrive

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Leonardo Battles Like a Ninja to Live and Thrive
My Leonardo was named for a ninja turtle 4.5 years ago. While not my idea, I am so grateful because he has nearly died 4x since birth. Instead of dying, my brave boy has fought like the ninja he was named after to not only live but thrive.
At 9wks he was in ICU requiring surgery for an undefined illness. Medication and rehab kept the intense pain of a destroyed hip and femur caused by a brown recluse spider bite at bay, as he did tracking, obedience & rally. He was an INCREDIBLE therapy dog for children with anger & mental health issues.
December ‘15 a stroke rendered him totally paralyzed in all 4 limbs. Amazing everyone, he was up and walking in a week. He has returned to doing everything he did before the stroke. In June, we discovered he ate a sock in May but somehow didn’t go septic. Biopsies taken during surgery to remove the sock, diagnosed IBD & Lymphangiectasia (Crohn’s & Celiac in humans). I will continue to do anything needed for my AMAZING boy; which brings me to you.

Pet Name: Leonardo
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Posted By Patti Finley

158 Comments on “Leonardo Battles Like a Ninja to Live and Thrive

  1. What I lovely dog and a very heartfelt story. I know just how devastating IBD and Lymphangiectasia can be and how many dog parents have to put their dogs down just due to the expense of trying to find them the right food, especially after all the testing to see what their systems can and can not tolerate. Thank you to you and Leonardo for being an inspiration to all of us when the chips are down. Also, thank you to you and Leonardo for helping those young adults and teens with mental health issues.

    1. Thank you. You are so right, many owners cannot deal with an IBD dog and when you add the further complications of Lymphangiectasia it is practically a death sentence. I have his mother who has been battling both IBD & Lymphangiectasia for just under a year and the financial and emotional toll is unbelievable. However, after ALL that Leonardo has been through every challenge he has faced and beaten, we have become a team…an amazing team. I will do anything and everything I can to see that he continues to live his life to the fullest. And because he has been through so much we tell the kids a bit of his story when we meet with him so that they can see that they also can overcome their hurdles and come out on the other side smiling!

      1. Lynn, Leonardo’s mother has been battling IBD & Lymphangiectasia for just under 3 years not one year. Nearly a year ago she went out of remission and was dying at the same time Leonardo had his stroke. The day Leonardo was seen by my vet and the neurologist the morning after he went down I just looked at my vet in tears as we put his paralyzed body up on the table to do an ultrasound. I couldn’t lose him I was crying….I was losing Tia which was going to mean I would lose Willow, my Amish puppymill rescue who was feral when I adopted him, right afterwards as he is so bonded to her. We discovered that in addition to the IBD & Lymphangiectasia her pancreas was no longer producing enzymes to break down the food…she had developed exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) on top of the other two diseases and was starving even though she was eating 8 cups of food and 2# of lean beef a day. Fortunately, I have been able to give her enzymes one have hour before she eats anything…and before her four meals a day. With these enzymes she has put her weight back on, is in remission again and looks great!!! This is the rollercoaster ride I wish on noone…to watch a gorgeous nearly 100# dog waste away before your eyes and you are helpless as you try everything….

    2. My boy became a quadriplegic when he had his stroke. The rest if his days using a quad cart wheelchair until he had Histiosytic Sarcoma. Given a few days to 1 week He died 6 weeks later. I know what it’s like to fight for the health of your dog.
      You are a hero!! Your boy is amazing!!
      Many people don’t realize how well they have it keeping a dog going many years without health issues. ( never mind the thousands of dollars soenyvtongetbthem better.)

      1. Celeste, I am so very sorry about your boy. I know that Leonardo’s recovery from his stroke has been near miraculous and most dogs end up like your boy. Histio is our breed’s curse, I lost my second Berner girl to it. Thank you for you wonderful heartfelt words. My boy is AMAZING…He is a gift from God and I have learned SO much from him that I have been able to help others then with what I have learned.

  2. Patti and Leonardo..you two are a force to be reckoned with. Knowing your Mom as one of the most beautiful and generous souls around it does not surprise me she has and will continue to go to the ends of the earth for you. You are both in my thoughts and heart today, tomorrow and forever. Hugs..and keep fighting

    1. Thank you so much Holly for your beautiful testament to us. Thank you for your thoughts as we fight this next battle…and thanks for the hugs; they keep us going!

    1. Cindy,

      Thank you for your kind words…We will need healing thoughts and prayers as we move forward to meet this new challenge.

    1. Wendy,

      Thank you for your beautiful words. They remind me of the LIVE STRONG bracelets my husband and I wore as he fought but lost his battle to lung cancer. The words are VERY powerful.

    1. Tammy,

      Thank you for your kind words! Addiction foods has already begun helping my boy get better. He is now on one of their dog foods, Kangaroo & Apples and their appears to be at least a few more flavors of kibble he will be able to eat.

    1. Marge, thank you . I love Leonardo so much and he has done so much for me that it has been an honor and privilege to go to the ends of the earth for him, his mother and my nearly 11yr old Amish puppy mill rescue.

  3. Patti, u r amazing and Leonardo is so lucky to be in your loving home. Berner hugs and Coton kisses to you and Leonardo.

    1. Debbie,

      Thank you so much for these beautiful words …I have never heard the term cotton kisses but it will be one I will never forget!

  4. Patti, what an amazing, wonderful LOVING MOM you are ❤️ And Leonardo, you have stolen my ❤️ What a handsome strong boy you are. You are both an inspiration to all!!! My prayers are with you ❤️

    1. Jerri, Yes he is! He has fought with everything he has in him to live! Also when he is working as a therapy dog for the young kids with anger and mental health issues, they think it is SOOO COOL that he is named Leonardo as we play up the theme including sports cards and ninja turtle stickers!

  5. A journey so difficult to travel, but Leonardo and Patti have worked together as a team and overcome so many hard times already. The passion Patti has for Leonardo is so inspiring. Wishing you happier times ahead.

  6. Angel sends many tail wags and special puppy thoughts and prayers for Leonardo as do Karin and Steve Coopersmith. Karin and Steve were blessed to also have a Berner baby with IBD. She (Kassie) was amazing and loving and we know that she is pulling for Leonardo as she looks down on all of us. Patti, you are truly a special mom for a special boy.

    1. Karin, thank you and Angel and Steve for your kinds words thoughts, and prayers. I didn’t know you had fought this battle, at least there are many more options and some amazing dog food companies with GREAT food now that you didn’t have with Kassie. It’s not easy by no means as I fight this with Leonardo’s mom, Tia, who Angel got to meet.

  7. You guys are fighters. Patti you have done an amazing job with your pups.
    God bless you all.
    Such an amazing story. ❤
    Hugs from Courage and I.

    1. Gina, thank you! Your words mean more to me coming from Leonardo’s brother’s mom. You have done a great job with yours. <3

  8. Patti is the best mom ever!! Rescues… well bred dogs… it doesn’t matter to Patti! If it’s her dog, there is nothing she won’t do to give her babies the very best lives possible! Leonardo is just one example of her commitment to her pups!!

    1. Lisa, Thank you so much for your wonderful words. As one BARC mom to another we will always share a common bond even when our BARC boys leave us. Willow is a fantastic “uncle” to Leonardo!

  9. I wish you good health! I have an IBD dog and we’ve been through so much the last two years trying to keep him healthy. It’s a struggle, but you have to keep trying for them!

    1. Virginia, Thank you for you lovely words. I wish you your dog remission so you can get off the roller coaster ride for at least a little while. But you are so right, it is a struggle but we have to keep on trying for them!

  10. Wow! I just watched your video! You two have been through so much together! What an amazing boy, touching so many lives! I hope he can get the food he needs.

    1. Rachel, Thank you. We have indeed been through so much together but it has made our bond that much stronger. He is such an AMAZING boy!

  11. Your love and devotion to Leonardo is inspiring… and I know he fills your heart with joy, despite the health issues!

    1. Carol, Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I love this boy in a way I have never loved another. His AKC name is Ayehli’s I’ll Paint a Smile on Your Face and he does…every day all the time and to so many people besides just me.

  12. Hi Patti,

    Bristol and I are rooting for you and Leonardo. You are a great Mom and Leonardo is a miracle! We wish you both the very best and send Love and prayers to you both. If I can ever give you a hand, call me. I am in Louisville.


    1. Helen, Thank you so very much. Mahatma Gandhi stated, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” For me the treatment of animals starts at home be they large or small these creatures were put here for us to care for them…

    1. Dottie, Thank you!!! Leonardo is certainly my heart dog! He captured my heart when he was a tiny puppy and he has held on tight to those strings ever since.

  13. So glad you’ve discovered what his system will tolerate. There truly is healing power in the right food! Sending all my love to both you and the adorable turtle!

    1. Susan, thank you so much! I am so excited about finding this food. Leonardo really likes it and it likes Leonardo… thank you for your beautiful words.

  14. Dottie, Thank you very much. Leonardo is my heart dog and SO MUCH MORE…he truly is the dog I have always wished for, the dog I always wanted so I could do all the different things I do with him…

    1. Patti
      I remember you from way back when in the early BARC days.

      You are so amazing and so is Leonardo!

      You both have my heart and of course my vote.
      Our girl Gold went through so much but not as a Ninja, more as a sweet fading flower.
      Your boy was born and bred to your side, bet that’s where he gets his strength and gentleness!
      All the best from all of us
      Sheira in CA
      In loving memory of BARCS Arthur who passed away 1 year ago
      And a heartful of Gold
      And now with Hunter, a crazy big rescued Great Pyrenees

      1. Sheira, Thank you so much for your kind and beutiful words. Yes, we indeed go back 10 years to the early BARC days… What I did for my Willow the entire group was doing similar with their BARC kids. Willow is a fantastic “uncle” to Leonardo. Your Gold did go through so very much…and so very sweet and precious.

  15. Patti I’m sure praying for the Ninja to rise up once more to fight his way back to health. Poor boy can’t catch a break!!! I’ve heard good things about this food!!, Gkad they can find something to help him…Hugs my friend!!! take care of that wonderful boy!

    1. Terry, Thank you…We are still fighting. I had him out in a field the other day and he had his nose to the ground….I so miss tracking with him! I hope that someday his legs will be strong enough to handle to walk in to a test as well as the test itself. As for the food, Leonardo LOVES it and it appears to be loving him!

  16. Patti, I applaud your commitment to your canine companions! They are as blessed to have you as you are blessed to have them. I don’t know of many people who can say they have done as much–these dogs are your whole life and it shows. I remember how Willow was in the beginning and I believe without your loving and patience, he would have escaped into his fear forever. Best of luck and hugs from me as you go through the journey of having an elderly dog.

    1. Debby, Thank you for these beautiful words. God blessed me with my three and he blessed them with me…they are practically my entire life in some way or another. You wouldn’t know Willow now…he has come thousands of miles from where he was…and again I have come a thousand miles from where I was when I adopted him…because of him…he has been a wonderful “uncle” to Leonardo…so patient and loving…and Leonardo loves and respects him….

  17. Patti, I am proud to know you and your berners who are all so very special. What Leonardo has done amazing. He is your heart dog for sure but you are his heart human!!!!

    1. Cheryl, I share the pride in knowing you. I still cannot ever thank you for telling me about the Panakare Tablets…they have literally saved Tia’s life. I know that I have an additional option in my arsenal with Leonardo’s IBD & Lymphangiectasia. He definitely stole my heart a very long time ago…but I should have known with the lightening bolt on his blaze that he was going to be full of energy that cannot be stopped…

  18. Have you read what this boy and his mom have been through?! And this dog still walks, talks, tracking, obedience & rally, an INCREDIBLE therapy dog for children but most of all, loves his mom. You both have done so much together and your journey is far from over. I am in awe to what you both have accomplished and look forward to what else is in store for you both. Leonardo is a beautiful Berner and an amazing ambassador to the breed. Give him a huge hug for me and wishing you both nothing but the best! xoxo

    1. Jackie, Thank you for these wonderful beautiful words. Leonardo is a miracle on four feet sent from God to do a lot of work and that work isn’t finished… I definitely will give him a huge hug!

  19. I personally know Leonardo, my Airedales train with his weekly in obedience class. Leonardo is such a sweet, loving, funny dog and his owner is one of the sweetest people I have met. These two deserve to win!

    1. Brittany, thank you for this beautiful testimonial. I LOVE being in our class; everyone is so kind, loving and understanding of Leonardo’s limitations. They are the most supportive group of people to me and Leonardo and to all the members of the group…I still swear i am going to kidnap sweet Morgan at least for a week so I can have an Airedale in my house again. I miss them and she so reminds me of my first, Gypsy. I get my Airedale fix every week…

  20. Leonardo has been such a special and wonderful Berner Boy! He has been through more than any animal should ever need to endure, yet with grace, eagerness, cooperation, total effort, and unmatched stamina. Patti, his human mom, has worshiped him, lovingly sacrificed for him, and is one of the true champions of animal lovers….particularly Berners. What wonderful ambassadors for Bernese Mountain Dogs, animal caregivers, and a wonderful team. We are blessed to have you both as friends and part of our Berner family….

    1. Steve and Karin, You are making me cry! Thank you for these incredible words. As you know, you learn and grow from every dog you own. I learned from all the years of owning Airedales. I learned from my first two Berner girls. I learned patience and gentleness with Willow or I would have lost him into a world beyond human comprehension. I learned from Tia the ungodly rollercoaster ride of IBD & Lymphangiectasia what we have been on and the need to save her at all costs not only for her but because I would lose Willow at the same time. However, I have never learned so much from one dog as I have from Leonardo. I have learned from what illnesses or issues he has bravely battled, I have learned the necessity of keeping an incredibly smart dog active in mind body and spirit, and I have learned the love of all the people he has brought me in contact with who have genuinely cared deeply for the both of us. I have tried to take all that I have learned and put it to use in my work doing Berner rescue; whenever I get a call or IM about a dog that has has a spider bite, FCE, and IBD & Lymphangiectasia. As God has given to me, I have received and have tried to return back to the community…I am blessed to call you friends.

  21. I have been fortunate enough to know this boy since he was a pup coming through out vet center. I was there when he came in for the spider bite. I fell in love with his gentle spirit and spent a lot of my time giving him love while in our care. He was and is my favorite dog that came through, we formed a special bond and I am happy to support this amazing dog.

    1. Christina, You spoiled Leonardo when it comes to him and being seen at the vet’s. Because you loved on him so much and loved on him so much, he thinks that EVERYONE behind the desk should come out to greet him, and they do! I love the photos I have with both of you, the mutual love shines through on the faces of you and Leonardo. I have just been AMAZED that a dog so young could touch and leave such a lasting impression on the lives of so many people. They say that Therapy dogs are born…not made; I believe that Leonardo epitomizes that statement. He makes me proud in so many ways not only because he is mine but because I know that I have played an integral part in his attitude, confidence, temperament and wanting to love everyone one from the time I chose which stud dog to breed his mother to back in March of 2012. Thank you for loving Leonardo for all these years even after you left the vet center. Thank you for supporting us in many ways….he definitely remembers you…..and loves you and do I.

  22. Sending hugs from afar – what a journey but this makes Leonardo all the more special – I have a girl who I call my million dollar puppy – been through a lot too but I wouldn’t be without her and would do whatever it takes to make sure she has an amazing life. I also have crohns so I know how difficult that is for a human let alone a Berner. A huge inspiration and wishing you all the best.

    1. Linda, Love right back from across the ocean. The Assisted Animal Therapy group we belong to has given Leonardo the wonderful award of being the most expensive dog in the entire group, past and present…including those animals who have been battling cancer and the costs associated with those treatments. I so agree with you with what you say about your girl, I wouldn’t be without Leonardo and have and will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure he has an amazing life. You can appreciate part of the digestive issues with Leonardo…now add celiac disease to your mix and that is what he and his mom are dealing with…him just recently; her for almost three years now. He has been a HUGE inspiration to me and others…thank you and wishing you the very best with your girl!

  23. what an amazing story and battle you have been through together. continue with that fierce spirit and make this world a better place!!! with only the best wishes from the land down under

    1. Petra, thank you for the wonderful words of encouragement. Leonardo is the kind of dog that won’t let me so anything but continue the fierce fighting spirit! He is one AMAZING dog with such a will to live!

    1. Danielle, thank you for the wonderful words! Leonardo certainly loves you and all you did for him when you worked with him in rehab for his hip .

    1. Eve, Thank you for such wonderful words. I thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers both now and into the future. Leonardo won’t let US give up!

  24. Leonardo you are an incredibly brave, kind and beautiful boy. Wishing you lots of love and best wishes, you so deserve them, you are an inspiration XXx

    1. Marjorie, Thank you for such lovely words. Leonardo is indeed the most incredibly brave, kind and beautiful dog I have ever known and I am so blessed to call him mine. Thank you for the love and best wishes, I am hoping that Leonardo doesn’t have to fight any more hurdles but rather get stronger so he can enjoy advancing in obedience, rally and hopefully be able to return to tracking…something we both loved doing together very much.

  25. What a amazing story..glade to see u doing better Leonardo. Kisses and hugs to u my furry friend. Keep fighting u are a survivor.

  26. Caroline, thank you for your kind words. I am so glad that Leonardo is getting better physically. We still will be meeting the challenges of IBD & Lymphangiectasia and the rollercoaster ride that brings…hopefully, my experience with dealing with these two diseases with his mom for the past nearly three years will give me an arsenal of tools to use when his begins to get bad…but I know even then he will fight and fight..

    1. Heidi, Thank you for your kind words…I will fight with every breath I have to keep Leonardo doing the work he was put on this Earth to do!!

  27. Berners are a special breed with special owners. To read Leonardo’s story and how his human mommy is fighting hard for him makes my heart full. How blessed Leonardo is to have Patti and she him. Keep fighting the fight! Thinking of you and sending lots of strength and love!

    1. Kym, You are SOOO right when you say that Berners are special and we owners are special….I think that because their lives are so short they love us with every ounce of their being every second they are alive. I am so blessed to have Leonardo….and the fight he keeps fighting is absolutely unbelievable… Thank you!

  28. What an awesome, beautiful dog and an incredible mom!! Love to you both -Leonardo, keep fighting like the strong Ninja you are!!!

    1. Karen, Thank you for such beautiful words…. Love right back at you…and I don’t think that Leonardo knows any other way but to fight like the ninja he is!!!

  29. Leonardo is a fighter!!! This is an amazing story and so happy you could share it! If only I had known this back when Faith was fighting the same thing. You go Leonardo!! I know Faith is sending you her support from the Rainbow Bridge!!!

    1. Susan, Leonardo is indeed a fighter!!! I think with this latest war (IBD & Lymphangiectasia) some of of the battles will have already been fought by his mom over the past three years. As you know with Faith, every IBD dog is different but I now know some things at least to try that may not have worked with Tia but might with Leonardo and vice versa. When Faith was battling her war there weren’t the foods available like there are now…. practically everything had Chicken in it with only a few RX foods to try but not necessarily would they work…I know you went to the ends of the earth as was capable at the time with Faith and I do think that dogs that go before others can send healing positive energy… <3 <3 <3

  30. What a wonderful story about a fighter, who never gave up! This world has so much to offer, abd Leonardo has a mission to be fulfilled! All the very best for Leonardo and his mum!

    1. Romy, Thank you for such beautiful words!!! He does indeed still have work to do…I am not sure what plan God has for him but I will be there every step of the way to provide Leonardo what he needs to accomplish his work…

    1. Wendy, Yep, Leonardo the Ninja Turtle is indeed the leader..that and much more I discovered from the young children Leonardo does therapy work with…and he will keep fighting like a ninja and not a painter that’s for sure!!

  31. Leonardo and Patti have been a true inspiration To many and for so long.. a greater bond or devotion does not exist anyway any more strongly than this.. two wonderful fighters! ❤️❤️

    1. Robin, Thank you for such a beautiful testimonial to both Leonardo and I. We learned so many things from your Oliver especially after Leonardo has his stroke. I was surrounded by such love and support by so many ever since I posted that Leonardo could never have a hip replacement because the spider bite not only destroyed his hip but also his femur. So, instead, we have gone every week and often 2x a week for aquatherapy ….again something Oliver helped me with….<3 <3 <3

  32. Leonardo is a marvel and a true ninja warrior. Not only beautiful but loving,giving and smart – just like Patti! I am honored an dthrilles to know them and love them both

  33. He is a stunning Bernese and he and your family deserve to win the contest. Wishing you good fortune and happiness for the future.

    1. Carol, Thank you for your kind words. Leonardo is quite beautiful both outside and INSIDE! Thank you for the good wishes!

  34. Murray, I am honored and thrilled to know and love you even when you end up getting me enmeshed in HUGE projects for our breed. He truly is my marvel and ninja warrior and will be until his work on earth is complete!

    1. Ava, thanks for the words of encouragement…not only for this contest but also for him as he continues to recover from his stroke and as he wages his newest battle that will be challenging to say the least! I am just thrilled that I have found a dog food company that makes food that he should be able to eat and still try to keep the horrible symptoms of the IBD & Lymphangiectasia at bay for some time to come!

  35. Go Leonardo…in memory of my Berner Molly, my love, my BFF. You and your mommy are such an inspiration!!! Best of luck.

    1. Karen, Thank you for such incredibly heartfelt words. This breed is unlike any other I have ever had…In memory of all the Berners who have left this earth far too early, we will fight with every ounce of our beings and I will go to the ends of the earth to ensure Leonardo, as well as his mother Tia and my Amish puppymill boy, Willow have EVERYTHING and ANYTHING they need to continue to live strong, hopefully long and well lives.

  36. Leonardo and Patti have been through so much together. This has been an amazing battle. Hoping this works out for them!

    1. Laurie, The incredible breeder that you are; you know all too well the heartache this breed brings. At times you wonder if it is all worth it and can you continue. You have been a true ambassador to the breed. Thank you for such kind words!

    1. Shelly, unfortunately we believe it is much more common in our breed that we originally thought. I have two here at my house. However, when breeders are making the incredibly difficult decisions on which dogs to breed and not breed in an already too small gene pool, IBD ranks way down at the bottom. Yet, for a family who ends up with a dog with IBD the amount of work, money, and time that go into trying to keep their dog alive and healthy is overwhelming and often times unbearable…so too many young dogs with IBD are euthanized because the owners simply cannot deal with what it necessary to make everything “click.” Thank you for such kind words!

  37. He lives because he loves and you all love him just as much! What a fabulous fur child you were blessed with and what a fabulous family and Dog Mother he was blessed with! He is an incredible fur child! May you all live, love, and enjoy many more blessings in the years ahead!!!

    1. Joanna, what incredibly beautiful words. I am so very blessed to have Leonardo in my life. He has taught me so many things, through him I have done activities I have dreamed of doing but never had the “right” dog to do them. Through these activities I have met more amazing people, supportive of me when he faltered; happy for me when he excelled. I am being taught to be a skilled assistant to work and teach others learning to become an animal assisted therapy team. But most of all, first thing in the morning and last thing at night when I am greeted with his beautiful smile I thank God for giving me him and everyone who has worked so hard too many times to save his life.

  38. Leonardo’s name definitely suits him as he is truly a ninja! What a beautiful boy! Good luck to you both….you deserve this! You have been there and helped me so much through my baby boys battle and i am so truly grateful for that. Hugs to you both Xoxo❤️

    1. Michelle, thank you for these beautiful words. Words written through tears of having lost your baby boy far too young. I am glad that I was able to help you when your boy was so very sick and dying…you too are an AMAZING mom to your fur angel… Hugs to you…<3 <3 <3


    1. Stacy, thank you for such wonderful words…I would love to have Leonardo well into double digits…for now, I treasure each day as it comes…I treasure Leonardo and all the smiles that he brings, I treasure all the AMAZING support we have been shown in the past and am blown away by the support shown with this contest…I am just grateful to my late husband that not only did he introduce me to this incredible breed but he has left me financially able to care for Leonardo’s and his mother’s needs…I just wish he was alive to see my three…especially Leonardo…he would be as madly in love with him as I am….

  40. What an amazing Berner Leonardo is. He has been through so much and NOTHING can keep him down. You go Leonardo and continue to do great things. Love from Jack and Brody <3

    1. Doris, Jack, & Brody…thank you for your wonderful words… Leonardo certainly is AMAZING!!!…like a ninja there is nothing going to keep him down!!!

  41. Leonardo is my furry, four-legged cousin, and him and my aunt have become an incredible team. My other furry cousin, Tia, is Leonardo’s mom. I had the great fortune of being able to help raise Tia’s litter of pups- one of which was this ninja! My aunt (Patti) couldn’t resist keeping him as her own- they bonded from the start. That bond has only grown stronger over time.
    In the past 4 years, they have endured so much together. He has battled and fought his whole life- never once giving up (or even losing!). In fact, not too long ago, I was in tears over the possibility of him going to the rainbow bridge. He was paralyzed, for seemingly no reason. Vets were stumped, and Leonardo was misdiagnosed a handful of times. Miraculously, a week later, Leonardo was walking again and back to his normal, energetic self. He has been an amazing therapy dog, touching the hearts of many children and people. His exuberant personality, combined with his incredible fight for life, can do nothing but bring immense joy. <3

    1. Abby, it is because of your fantastic help with Tia’s litter that there are 13 fabulous dogs all over the US. Your work not just cleaning and feeding but most importantly socializing the puppies is what gave Leonardo and his 12 siblings their start. He wouldn’t have the confidence he exudes in everything he does and everyone he meets. You have been there every time I have called your mom to tell her of something else that has happened…only to say he has pulled through fighting and kicking with flying colors….He was a stinker as a little tiny puppy and he still is today…as he gives me that smile from ear to ear…. Thank you for these beautiful words…thank you for helping make him Leonardo…

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