A puppy suffering from 'Swimmer Puppy Syndrome' was rescued from a trash bag on August 31 which a dog breeder had intended to throw away. A kind samaritan in Sanford, Florida took the puppy now named 'Little Harper' to an animal shelter where the veterinarians checked the dog and found that she had a flattened chest wall which prevented her from walking or holding her head up. Swimmer Puppy Syndrome forces puppies to lie flat on the ground with their legs splayed outwards rigidly due to their condition. Workers at the animal shelter recommended that the dog be euthanized but a regular at the shelter named Erica Daniel decided to bring the puppy home for one day and show it some love.
On the first night, Daniel massaged Harper's stiffened muscles in an effort to ease her discomfort. After a few hours, Harper perked up and attempted to walk around. Daniel was heartened by the puppy's seeming recovery and decided to keep the dog a little longer. With regular hydrotherapy treatments at the Hip Dog Canine Hydrotherapy & Fitness in Winter Park, Florida, Harper slowly learned how to walk with a natural gait by practicing in water. Harper is currently 11 weeks old and Daniel says that the puppy might be adoptable in a month's time and added, "The whole world was against her, but she’s such a fighter. She’s a blessing. She’s awesome."