Archive for October 5th, 2008

He Meant Something To Us

This is a little, thrown away dog. He was brought into the shelter “found” wandering around a local flea market. He showed obvious signs of distress and the vet was called in to examine him. Even in his lop-sided state, he was able to endear himself to everyone around him. They were perplexed as to what could be wrong with the little minpin. Was he having some sort of seizures? Did he have a disease? Had he suffered some sort of trauma?

They started him on seizure meds and something for inflammation. Then they called me. I don’t do much dog rescue anymore but the shelter manager knew I’d take pity on him. I admit I’m a breedist and if he would have been a cocker spaniel or a shepherd or countless other types of dogs, I wouldn’t have been drawn in so easily. We’ve always had a soft spot in our hearts for the minpins, dobermans and cattledogs who need help. I stopped by the shelter on my way home and took a look at him. I was made to wear gloves to be cautious since no one knew what was wrong. He was sweet and seemed spunky despite the brain damage. I began dropping hints to Scottie that night. The little thrown away dog got a name.

I picked Corky up first thing the next morning. I had spoken with my vet clinic and they were willing to give him a try. Anyone who saw his face fell in love, from the receptionists to the vet techs. He immediately became the clinic special project and after his initial exam by Dr. Campbell we all felt he definitely had a will to live and deserved the chance to do so. He allowed us to take some blood to send off to the lab, we discovered his ears were severely infected, that he could do headstands and he liked to chew on shoes. We also found he was blind. They set him up in the isolation kennel with a couple of rabbits and a cat. He had a big blanket and seemed comfortable.

I went by a few hours later to check on him and he was doing good. They’d given him a much needed bath and he’d eaten like a horse. My main vet was back from out of town so he got to meet him and felt we were on the right track with concentrating on the ears and seeing what the bloodwork showed. He snuggled with him and fell for him, as Corky fell around the office! I feel bad now for laughing but he was entertaining. Bumping into things didn’t stop him at all. Dr. Rick said if he was just a little brain damaged he’d certainly fit in at our house but wondered why I was putting myself into this position again. That position being, getting a dog that needs massive rehab and not a real good chance at being adoptable. It came down to the fact I couldn’t give the go ahead to kill him unless he was given a chance. I should use the proper term, euthanize, but the fact is, it is killing – even if in a humane way.

Our plan was to keep him hospitalized for a week or so to build his strength and see if the condition improved. That was not to be. I got a call early the next morning from Dr. Provan telling me Corky was not doing well. He’d had massive diarrhea and vomitting overnight and his temperature had dropped to 91. I hung up the phone and rushed to the clinic. Scottie met me there. When they took us back to the treatment area the little guy was pretty much comatose, laying on the table with an I.V. catheter in his back leg and his nose in the cone for oxygen. Everyone was stunned he had crashed so fast. Some of his bloodwork had come back but didn’t reveal anything conclusive. Now we began worrying he had one of the bad diseases, encephalitis, menangitis or even rabies.

I couldn’t make the call, yet. I told Dr. Provan if he went into cardiac arrest not to do anything to bring him back. The one thing I did request was for someone to hold him if that happened so he was not alone. They promised me they would and he had a tech standing with him at all times. I left to finish my pet sitting and made a call to MaryBeth (shelter manager) and Dr. Rick. He’s always my voice of reason and he’d already been alerted to what had happened with him overnight. We agreed on what needed to be done.

The intensive fluid therapy didn’t put him into congestive heart failure but did perk him up enough that I think he knew I was holding him. I held him and told him how sorry we all were for him being so sick we couldn’t help him. I kissed him and told him I was sorry he had to die. I have no idea of his story or where he came from or if anyone ever truly loved him, but for 2 days this thrown away dog meant a great deal to many people who had only just met him. His life was worth something to all of us.

The horrible reality of it is that we don’t know what was wrong with him. The state lab will notify us if we all have to go through rabies treatment.

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