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MU Veterinary Team helps Dog Paralyzed in Tornado Walk Again

May 22, 2011 was meant to be a day of celebration.

Joplin High School teachers Steven and Debbie Leatherman had just returned home from graduation ceremonies, honoring the achievements of students they had known and nurtured for the past four years.

Tornado sirens had been sounding and a quick check of the local weather station prompted them to head to the basement with their 10-year-old cocker spaniel, Sugar. Once in the basement, they switched on the television downstairs and found themselves watching live coverage of a massive tornado barreling toward Joplin.

According to their son, Daniel, a student at the University of Missouri, their anxiety increased and they decided to seek the additional safety of a concrete-walled storm shelter within the basement. However, Sugar, sensing the increased fear of her owners, became panicky and bolted back upstairs to her own “safe area,” a spot under one of the beds.

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Posted on Aug 16, 2011.

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