Rolling rescue puppy a reminder of animal rescue reality

Over the last six months, we've brought you several stories of a Twin Cities rescue group helping the homeless dogs of northern Louisiana.

Some of the dogs come to Minnesota in rough shape, but many are doing well. Now, there is one that has truly captured the hearts of his helpers in that they can't do more.

"She arrived Feb. 9, but I met her about 6 weeks ago by video when I told my rescue partner in Louisiana that we'd do our best to save her," said Lisa Booth of Good Karma.

At first, her uncoordinated actions seemed kind of adorable. But the awkward antics - an almost viral video cuteness - begged a question: Just what was going on with this lab mix puppy?

"Some defect in the back of the brain is what we're thinking," said Dr. Robert Melco of Paws and Claws Animal Hospital.

The answers weren't so cute anymore. Ariel is completely blind with an underdeveloped brain.

"We're thinking it's more in the hind brain, or back of the brain, but a neurologist will be able to tell us more what's going on," Melco said.

Good Karma Animal Rescue of Minnesota has made six trips to Louisiana since August with missions that began in the wake of massive flooding. The number of stray dogs there is stunning.

"It inspires me to do more," Booth said. "Every dog I see that needs our help, it just drives me back, time and time again."

But, Lisa Booth says she knows the reality of rescues and they have some really tough cases.

"We'll be talking more with a neurologist and we'll see what other hopes we can give the puppy. Maybe there's something that we can do," she said.

"This is hard work, and it's heart work..we do have dogs that break our hearts," Booth said. "We do the best we can for them and we're going to do the same for Ariel."

They hope to know more about Ariel's condition within a week or so. But at this point, she's not available for adoption.

The group has another trip to Louisiana planned for early March.