I try to draw from my experiences of the past to write for the blog. We are soon getting in a very, very sick dog and I was going to write something about rescue dogs in general but feel that I need to address this very unfortunate dog we are getting in for several reasons.
The Dane we are getting in next week has a very deep, open wound on his right paw. He is also missing a toe or two. The accident was probably him getting hit by a car or getting the paw run over by a bike or something. I am hoping this was accidental and not something the owner has done to this dog by his own hand. The thought of that would turn my stomach in spite of the cruelty and neglect I’ve seen in the past.
This Dane reminds me of a dog I came across when I was a vet tech down at the Animal Rescue League in East Liberty. I remember this dog, a Shepard mix, because he came off the animal control car and had his foot hanging from his leg. Someone had duct-taped his leg and the duct tape had been on the leg for several months, causing the foot to become swollen and gangrenous. The poor dog was in such pain but through it all he would hobble up to people and want to be petted and touched by people. That was all he wanted, it was that simple. The lesson is, no matter what happens to some of these animals, they just simply forget and forgive and want to be loved.
I don’t know that the dog’s name was because he was a stray. He was starved, in pain and scared but he maintained his sweet disposition and despite the horrible condition of his foot, he was just looking for someone to show him some kindness. Someone to pet him and tell him how beautiful he was and how special he was.
It was hard to find a vet that had the time and experience to do the necessary surgery. One vet said he didn’t have the time to do the surgery and he was late for his trainer appointment at the gym. Another did not have the experience and another was too bogged down with spays and neuters. One vet though, saw something in me and the dog and promised to do the surgery that night if he could. I remember Dr. Schultz calling me at 10 pm that night to let me know he had tried to save the dog but despite his greatest effort the dog had developed arrhythmias during the surgery and he put this poor soul down. I thanked him not only for doing the very involved surgery but also for staying over his normal 12 hr day and making the effort to try to save this dog. Where other vets didn’t even want to try, he did. For that I will always remember Dr. Schultz and his kindness and devotion to animals and his kindness to me.
I would like to think that someday when I pass away from this life that I will get to see that dog again and tell him that I tried. I would like to ask for forgiveness that I could not do more and whether he could see it in his heart to forgive me. But until that time comes I can honor his memory by doing everything in my power to save this new dog. They say that this dog is in bad shape but he tries to get anyone that passes by him to pet him and show him some kindness. Sound familiar?
Our vet, Michelle Stacksteader, will be doing the surgery for this little man. We are going to get him over to us and set him up for the surgery and if God allows it, get him through the surgery and hopefully into a new home. He will have 3 legs but he can still love life just as much as a 4-legged dog. The ideal situation would be to get him and his companion adopted together (oh, I forgot to mention that he has a litter mate) and that both dogs can now live a life fit for a dog. Their names are Cash and Fiesta. The shelter says she looks like a party girl.
Some days this job is really hard, some days this job just sucks but this day is the day I get to think back in my memories about a dog that didn’t get a chance and know I can try again. I can help this new dog and wait to see the old one. This day I can say, yes, I will fight for you, I will try to move heaven and earth for you and I will show you a little bit of kindness.
Jean R. Matvey