If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Friday, August 6, 2010

Twist of Fate

On Monday evening, on one of our regular feeding rounds, we came across an emaciated dog. We had seen him a few times previously, and have always made an effort to feed him more, but this time he had a deep wound on his neck. He lived outside a factory and the night guard there cared for him. He told us that one night when he came to work, he had seen the wound but was not aware how the deep wound came about. He had been trying to medicate it with some “Chinese powder” but to no avail.

We immediately told him we would come back the following night to take the dog to the Vet.

The next night when we arrived with the carrier, the Uncle had kindly put the dog in his office earlier that day and kept him inside to ensure he would not escape. He helped carry the dog out. We named the dog Little Joe. Little Joe was very friendly and submissive. Little did we know how unwell he was.

Guard carrying Little Joe out
When we arrived at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (Redhill), we were attended to by Dr Lesley Teo. Dr Teo commented that Little Joe was extremely thin, that he was a real sweet boy and estimated him to be between 2 to 3 yrs old. He was given some food but he refused to eat. This was not a normal behavior of a street dog, who would usually gobble up as much as they can, not knowing when their next meal would be. Little Joe weighed a mere 13kg.

Little Joe's neck wound

Dr Teo examining Little Joe. Look how emaciated he is.
Dr Teo told us that she would let Little Joe rest for the night and clean his wound the following day. He had a lot of dead cells around the wound, and he needed a surgery to remove the dead cells and allow new cells to grow. She reckoned the wound was at least more than a week old. Of course, in the process of the surgery, Little Joe would also be sterilized, vaccinated and ear-tipped.

At 9pm, Dr Teo called to inform us that she had done a blood test on Little Joe – results revealed that the poor little dog had severe tick fever and needed a blood transfusion as soon as possible. Our hearts sank. That explained why he had a loss of appetite, pale gums and looked like a walking skeleton. His tick fever and blood transfusion took priority and we felt sad that this sweet little dog had suffered so much. Dr Teo mentioned that with his deep wound and his tick fever, it was a miracle that he was still alive.

Immediately the search started for a doggie blood donor. We needed a big, healthy dog to donate blood, and of course, we had to do tests to ensure the blood types matched as well. We asked around and yes, miracles DO happen. Sharpei, our sweetheart, is to be a future blood donor, but having lived on the streets for the past six months, he needed to be beefed up and was not ready yet. Then again, there was Sharpei’s “brother”, Rex. Sharpei’s present foster, Stephanie, has another dog, Rex, a five year Labrador. Rex gives true meaning to the words, BIG, STRONG AND FRIENDLY! We asked Stephanie and she gladly agreed to take half a day off from work to take Rex down to the Vet and have him tested to see if his blood type matched. And the greatest miracle of all, it matched perfectly! Some call it coincidence, some call it fate. We say God works in wonderful ways. He had sent Sharpei to a foster home that had a sweet Lab who would then be a life saver to a street dog who came from the same industrial estate as Sharpei!

Rex the saviour
Dr Teo proceeded to draw a bag of blood from Rex. Rex was very relaxed and while blood was being drawn, Little Joe looked at Rex with such gratitude in his eyes, for saving his life.

Looking for Rex's vein
The gift of life
Little Joe becoming a mongrel x Lab with Rex's blood

Right after having his blood drawn, Rex was rewarded with food! His favourite! Bet Rex would love to donate and help more dogs knowing there was food at the end of it all. Rex was tough and after his food, he was back to his usual self, running around the clinic, while Dr Teo then started on the process of transferring the blood to Little Joe.

Rex's favourite part of the deal
We know street dogs are tough and hardy animals and over the years of rescuing street animals, we have often seen their will to live. Little Joe was no different; all they need is that little help and love and they blossom. Within a few hours of his blood transfusion, Little Joe was perkier and he finished all his food. Food was brought to him by little Sara and her mommy Lynette. His gums were pink, he was wagging his tail and there was HOPE in his eyes!

Dr Teo will wait for Little Joe’s condition to stabilize before she performs a surgery on him to remove the dead cells from his neck wound.

The neck wound after it has been cleaned

We believe he will recover very quickly and will soon be ready to head home to his factory, where the Uncle awaits his return.

Often we think, isn’t it sad that these street dogs have to be hurt, injured or sick before a human shows them love and attention? Had he not have had the neck wound, we would never have known how sick he was and he would not have received the medical attention he badly needed. We would just have thought he was submissive and timid and didn’t get to eat. However, because of the deep neck wound, we took him to the Vet and in the process, saved him from a slow death.

Little Joe receiving blood

We will keep you updated on Little Joe’s progress and he will be staying at the Vet for a few days. When his wounds have healed and he has put on some weight, we will then take him back to his factory. All he needed was some love and care to turn his life around. If you would like to make that difference in Little Joe’s life as well, please send us an email and show Little Joe you care too.

For an update on Little Joe pls click Update on Sharpei and Little Joe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Visitor Count

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown