Rescuers from Australian charity Fight Dog Meat were horrified when they found Braveheart whimpering and bleeding by the side of a road to a slaughterhouse in Zhejiang province, China, last December.
Dog meat traders had hacked at her front legs and tied her to a pole, ready for butchers to buy. The plucky canine tried to stand up as rescuers approached but collapsed and screamed in pain.
The two-year-old mixed breed was taken for immediate medical treatment. However, the extent of her injuries and infections meant her damaged legs could not be saved and both were amputated.
But, within days, Braveheart showed incredible determination to survive and to walk once more – to the amazement of her rescuers and medical team.
The dog, named for the white heart-shaped patch on her head and her strength of character, learned to stand on her haunches. She began moving around using a makeshift walking frame with wheels and even walked on her back legs.
After an emotional farewell with the people who had saved her, Braveheart was flown to Scotland.
In April 2018 she started a new life in Inverness with Amanda Leask, her husband Tobias, son Kyle and fellow dog meat survivor Miracle.
Braveheart, now three, continues to thrive, and astounds people with her determination. She can get around well without her front legs, especially on long grass, and will have a new lightweight wheelchair from America to help with longer walks, taking the pressure off her organs.
In the long-term, it is hoped that Braveheart can adapt to using special prosthetic blades. Well-wishers have already donated more than £1,500 to buy them.
Amanda, 48, said: “When you have an animal looking you in the eye, saying ‘my life isn’t over’ you can’t give up on them. This dog has a tenacious appetite to survive.
“Braveheart has come from hell to happiness. She was meant to end up on someone’s plate but instead she is here.”