They’ve given her love, medical treatment, food and a home.

Most importantly, they’ve given her hope for a new and better life.

Prompted by her eldest son, Nick Foughty, Niki Wright and her boyfriend, Jeff Freeh, recently took in a malnourished, sickly and abandoned dog they found on the side of a Perry County road and named her “Hope.”
“I’m a dog lover, and she really likes me,” said Nick, who is 10 years old. “When I found out her brothers had been put down, I was really mad, so I said, ‘Mom, I want to help.'”

So, with the help of his mother, the Excel Academy fifth-grader printed flyers outlining Hope’s story in hopes of raising enough funds to pay for the dog’s costly medical expenses. He passed out the flyers to his school mates, family and others.

“When we found Hope, she was in pretty bad shape,” Wright said. “She didn’t even have the strength to walk.”

The family brought 37-pound, 9-month-old Hope to Underwood Animal Hospital. She was treated for a skin infection that caused her to lose most of her hair, making it difficult to ascertain what breed she is. The clinic’s staff thinks she is a Great Pyrenees, veterinary assistant Marge Price said.

“This dog has had a poor diet and had been abused,” she said, “This family has really taken this dog in and given it a home.”

Hope joins a family with a soft spot for abandoned animals. They already own six cats that were rescued or adopted from local animal shelters.

“It’s been hard because it’s already a full house,” Wright said. “We have three kids, six cats and we’ve never had a dog before.”

Because of her severe skin infection, Hope’s medical expenses are vast and costly. She requires a special shampoo to treat the infection as well as several antibiotics and follow-up visits to the vet.

“She’s doing a lot better now, but she’s still got a ways to go,” Freeh said.

Nick said Hope quickly is becoming his best friend and that he enjoys feeding her, bathing her, playing with her and brushing what hair she does have. He said he’s in the process of making her a basket to keep her toys.

“I really want to keep Hope and make her better,” he said. “… I know with my love and faith in her she will make a full recovery.”