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Lucy’s Leg Recovery Inspires Owners To Help Others Access Top-Notch Care

happy dog in field with toys
Lucy Davis, her left leg as good as new, eagerly looks forward to chasing another Frisbee.

More than a year ago, Lucy Davis was not herself. In fact, her left front paw was causing the border collie so much discomfort that she wouldn’t even put it on the ground. She held it up in front of herself everywhere she went. 

Her owners, Gary and Jackie Davis, sought help from their local veterinarian, who said Lucy had arthritis.

“We tried injections and various medications, but nothing worked,” Gary Davis explains.

Border collies are a breed known for their high energy and intelligence, and Lucy is no exception. Her piercing eyes and quick reactions are just what you’d expect. She and her younger adoptive sister Skye love to frolic together outdoors and are full of energy. 

So when Lucy continued to hobble despite multiple attempts to provide relief to her ailing limb, the Davises turned to NC State Veterinary Hospital.

The Davises, who split their time between houses in Raleigh and Charleston, South Carolina, were well aware of the advanced level of care provided by the NC State Veterinary Hospital because they had had other pets treated here. 

They got a referral to the hospital for Lucy, and things began to look up. After a thorough evaluation, it was determined that a surgical procedure would be beneficial.

Then-resident Annemarieke de Vlaming of the Orthopedic Service performed corrective surgery on Lucy’s leg, and the Davises provided carefully managed rehabilitation themselves. To say it was successful is an understatement. 

“It’s like there was never a problem,” Davis says. “It’s a year later, and she’s just like she was before.” 

It’s like there was never a problem. It’s a year later, and she’s just like she was before.” 

Now one of Lucy’s favorite games is to play Frisbee, with she and Skye racing after the discs thrown by her grateful owners.

“The hospital was just tremendous,” Davis says. “The service, the follow-up, the care, was great. We think the world of the vet school.”

The couple realized that the expense of the kind of excellent care that an advanced specialty hospital like NC State provides isn’t readily accessible to everyone, so they decided to try to help others who love their pets as much as they love Lucy.

Through their family foundation, they made a $10,000 donation to the hospital’s Companion Pet Assistance Fund, which helps clients facing financial challenges pay for the care their beloved companions need. 

“We have a lot of confidence in NC State,” says Davis, who noted they’re considering more support in the future. “It’s the only place to go.”

To make your own contribution to NC State, please visit