Fiona is a fighter. At roughly four months old, she shivers every couple of minutes against the pain. Her big, brown eyes stare up when you rub her under her chin. And that tiny tail of her's will wag slightly before it hurts too much and she rests it gently back on her blankets.
Fiona is lucky to be alive. On Saturday, she was found lying on her back in the street, staring blankly at the night sky by Detective Eric Bradley and Sgt. Chris Jacobson of the Lodi Police Department.
Around 11:15 p.m., Bradley and Jacobson were out participating in a DUI saturation operation on West Kettleman Lane and Church Street when they saw a car swerve, Bradley said.
Bradley and Jacobson immediately pulled over to the side of the road to see what the car attempted to miss.
That was where they found the puppy, Bradley said.
At first, Fiona did not move when Bradley poked her, he said.
"I thought she was dead," he said. "She was bleeding pretty badly."
But as he began to touch her again, the puppy shuddered out of her shocked state and blinked up at him.
Bradley and Jacobson scoured the neighborhood for a few minutes for an owner, but none was found.
Then she began to urinate and bleed simultaneously, Bradley said.
So Bradley scooped her up, and he and Jacobson rushed her to an emergency veterinary clinic in Stockton.
It was initially believed that the puppy would need surgery, but after she was transferred from Stockton to the Oakwood Veterinary Hospital on Lower Sacramento Road in Woodbridge, veterinarians determined that the two small fractures she suffered on her right femur would not need to be corrected by surgery.
"She is so young that the fractures will most likely fuse together and she will be just fine," said Jennifer Marchi, one of the veterinary technicians.
Fiona — the name Bradley gave her because in Gaelic it means "beautiful," and it was fitting as it was St. Patrick's Day — is currently a little sleepy-eyed due to the pain medications she is taking.
But within a week she is expected to be back on all fours, Marchi said.
Marchi added that Fiona is not much of a talker despite her young age.
In fact, Fiona has yet to make a peep while she has been at the hospital, Marchi said.
"I can tell you, her barks are pretty quiet," Bradley said. "About 10 minutes into our drive to Stockton, a little bark came out of the back. But it wasn't much."
But even with the pain medications helping her through her traumatic experience, Fiona is already showing remarkable signs of improvement.
She is eating and keeping her food down, and she even occassionally rolls over and turns around in her cage, Marchi said.
As she was slightly sniffing her IV line, Bradley reached in to pet her. Fiona's tail began to thump and she cradled her head in his palm, gazing up at him with her big, brown eyes.
She even nudged herself forward a bit, but could not prop herself up all the way just yet. She needs rest.
"The goal is to make sure that as she is getting better, she doesn't just think she can jump up and go," Marchi said. "Puppies don't realize that it takes time to get better."
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.