When actress Elisabeth Rohm adopted her dog Homer, he came with some baggage. The golden retriever puppy (not pictured) was recovering from surgery on a broken leg, but long days spent sleeping in his cage at the Amanda Foundation
caused the healing limb to atrophy at a 90-degree angle. "The nerve damage was so extensive they thought I might have to amputate the leg after I rescued him," Rohm told PEOPLEPets.com Wednesday night at Chef Michael's
Be My Valentine Doggie Dinner Party in New York. "If it didn't grow properly, it'd cause him major problems in the years ahead."
Not ready to give up, the Heroes
star turned to Los Angeles-area wellness center Two Hands Four Paws
for three months of physical therapy. "I was taking some time off, so I had all the time in the world to go with him three or four days a week," she explains. "And they totally healed him." Through gentle massage and other therapeutic techniques – combined with Rohm's TLC – the nerves in Homer's leg started to regenerate, and the leg began to grow at the same rate as the others. "If the leg stopped growing, it could've caused back issues," Rohm says. "But they did an amazing job."
Now, the healthy 5-year-old pup who "thinks he's a teacup" spends his time hiking near L.A., eating heartily (he's 90 lbs.!) and protecting Rohm's 22-month-old daughter, Easton. "They're pals. He slept outside her door every night from the time she was born," Rohm says. "He's very sweet with her – like the gentle giant." Meet other star furballs on PEOPLEPets.com:Snoring Puppy, Scratching Rat Keep Celine Dion Up at NightBehind the Scenes: Carrie Underwood's New Pedigree PSA