Not chasing tennis balls anytime soon.
Yesterday a dog apparently crawled underneath someone’s truck in a parking lot where I too was parked. When the family returned to their vehicle and tried to leave, they said they felt a hump and knew instantly they had run over something. It was the dog, of course.
A few of us approached to help but no one wanted to get too close to the pitbull, who was dragging her hind leg and trying to find a quiet spot. I talked to her and since she appeared friendly, I decided to kneel down and hold my hand close enough to her face so she could respond one way or the other. (How brave I am now that I have health insurance and can get seen by a doctor if a dog bites me, heh. Thanks Obamacare!) She gave my hand a kiss so I moved in to pick up the tether she was dragging. Someone had wrapped a chain around her neck 3 times and attached a leash type tether to it, which appeared frayed at the end, as if possibly she’d broken free.
I attempted to get information from the family who had accidentally run over her regarding any possible owner. There was no known person with the dog. Another woman asked if we should call animal control to pick the dog up and of course I said no, knowing that would be a death sentence. Just then the driver of the truck came around the corner and announced that she had called AC and they were on the way. So I decided to stay with the dog and see if pleading for her life might do any good. Nothing to lose.
When the ACO arrived I was so pleased to see how gentle he was with the dog and how compassionate he appeared to be. I asked if there was any chance at all the dog would not be killed and he told me in a very straightforward manner that there was no hope of that. He explained how much he hated that fact but that he wanted to be honest with me. I told him I could not send an apparently young, friendly and otherwise healthy dog to be killed. She at least deserved a veterinary evaluation. I am currently broke but I still have a couple hundred dollars in the bank, courtesy of donations that readers have made to the blog’s expense account over the years. I made an executive decision and decided no one who donated to the blog expenses fund would mind if I raided it under these circumstances. I am going to pay it back over time and a woman in the parking lot offered to chip in as well.
The kind ACO managed to get the dog onto his stretcher and unwind the chain from around her neck. He loaded her into my car for me and said I could call him later in the week and he would come by to pick up the stretcher. He scanned her for a chip, found none and wrote up a found dog report. I asked if he needed to take her picture and he said the pound doesn’t have that capability. He explained to me that someone could potentially reclaim her but added that anyone attempting to do so would need to have a very good explanation for why the dog was loose with a chain wound around her neck. He thanked me profusely for helping the dog and asked me to let him know what happens with her.
I called the emergency vet clinic on the way and they took her to the back immediately upon arrival. I was asked to fill out paperwork, which I did, scrawling “I have financial limitations.” across the top. After awhile, the vet who had examined her spoke to me about his findings. The injuries did not appear to be grave and he explained that despite the fact that I was being handed an $800 estimate for care that would be ideal, much of it was precautionary in nature. I was given the option to go through the estimate item by item, picking out the services I could afford. He strongly recommended at least one x-ray. I picked out $200 worth of services, including an x-ray. This is that x-ray:
Radiograph of dog pelvis showing 2 fractures (click to enlarge)
The dog’s pelvis is fractured in 2 places but they will heal on their own, with approximately 6 weeks of cage rest. The vet said, “She got lucky.” I was never so happy to hear 3 words. The vet told me the story of the Good Samaritan from the Bible and thanked me for not leaving the dog in the lobby, which he said happens regularly. He gave me $50 off the bill. They sent us home with pain pills and home care instructions.
We already have too many dogs. Now we have one more, at least temporarily. I tried reaching out to some area rescues but have been turned down. She is approximately 9 months old and I am assuming she is intact, although due to the pain she’s in, I haven’t checked for a spay scar. Her belly looks wormy but she has not been starved and has a good amount of muscle on her. I assume she needs vaccines, heartworm testing/meds, deworming and spay surgery, once she regains her health. But that’s down the road. For now, I am taking things with her one day at a time. Yesterday was a good day.
In the absence of a shelter that actually shelters animals in need, at least we have the so-called irresponsible public. Thank you to the generous woman who offered on the spot to help with the bill, to all of you who have donated to the blog’s expense fund in the past, and to the kind ACO who wasn’t afraid to tell the truth when it mattered. I will keep everyone posted on this dog’s progress.
For as long as this dog is with us, she will need a name. I decided to name her in honor of the little girl whose family accidentally ran over the dog. She was so polite and well spoken and she impressed me with her sincere concern for the dog. She waited with me for awhile until her family left. While we were waiting for AC, she spotted an ambulance coming down the road and said, “I think that’s them!” This fills me with hope. I want that world to exist in this little girl’s lifetime. I want it to be true that animals are treated as sentient beings with the right to live and that when a stray dog has an emergency, the local shelter takes swift action to help protect that dog from further harm. And so, this dog will be called Jade.
Billy can not stand for any dog to be without a tennis ball.