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

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hope for Hubble

In an animal welfare organization, we cross paths with many animals who suffer from neglect and abuse, often through the hands of humans. We try to take such animals from the hands of their abusers and give them hope and a bright future, away from their agonizing past. Today, we bring to you something different; a story of a family who's great love and courage helped save their dog's life.
Hubble, a miniature Schnauzer, belongs to a loving and caring family. They shower her with everything a dog could ask for; protection, nourishing food and endless love and cuddles. One morning, the family was going about doing their usual activities when something bad happened - Hubble had a seizureInitially, the owners thought that Hubble was misbehaving by acting funny, but when it became evident that there was something seriously wrong with their dog, reality hit them and everyone was in frenzy with worry, confusion and sheer terror. Because they love Hubble dearly, the owners were terrified as they couldn't understand what was happening to their beloved dog. They had never experienced this before! The family acted quickly and rushed the dog to the vet. By then, she was paralysed and could neither walk nor stand. All she could do was lie on her side and move her eyes. She could not even lift her head. She was only 4 years old.
Hubble being carried by her Mommy
The vet carried out some tests and assessed Hubble's condition and concluded that she had a stroke caused by stomach cancer and advised the owners to euthanize her. Instantly, they crumbled inside and couldn't bear to consent – Hubble was a young dog and despite not being able to move, they could see the life in her eyes, her will to live. Fortunately for the couple, the husband's colleague had heard of Zeus and asked them to contact us for help and advice.
That night, after our work, we immediately rushed down to the vet where, together with the family, we met the Dr, who again advised them that Hubble had a stroke, was paralyzed and had stomach cancer. He didn’t think that she would recover and again, advised the family to put her down. The family was shattered and tears welled up in their eyes.
Hopeful Hubble
We told the family that we would have a word with them outside. We then told them that we did not agree with the Dr’s prognosis and recommendations. We told them to seek a second opinion and we recommended them our regular vets, the Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre group. The family is Chinese educated and could not thoroughly understand what the Dr was saying. All they knew was that he was saying that their dog was unwell and should be put down and they were terribly distressed by that.
As the clinic was closing, we said good bye to Hubble and told her we would be back for her the next day. We then told the family to discharge her from this clinic in the morning and seek a second opinion with our regular vets. They agreed and seemed a little less worried. Hubble’s eyes followed us out of the clinic as we left, pleading with us to take her home.
In our volunteer effort to counsel and facilitate pet owners, we have often come across owners who, in a state of distress or confusion, make a rash decision that they regret for years to come and as facilitators, albeit voluntary ones, we often offer advice and provide solutions to pet owners. The decisions are not for us to make, but we would gladly share our experience with them.
The next day, the couple discharged Hubble from the vet and took her to see Dr Anthony Goh of Mt Pleasant Animal Medical Centre. He looked at her diagnosis and recommended acupuncture, in the hope that it would help with her nerves and told the couple not to make any decisions yet, but to give Hubble two months to recover and monitor if she makes any progress. Everyone was elated and thrilled that there was hope for Hubble. We knew in an instant that their love overwhelmed the thought of putting Hubble down; they would do whatever it takes to save their furry companion.
The prognosis given by the first and second vet were poles apart.
During her stay at the vet, we gave Hubble Reiki healing sessions a few times and continued even when she went home. We showed Hubble's owners how to massage and exercise her too! Now, almost two months later, Hubble is able to kick her legs (as if she were swimming) to propel herself forward. She can now stand up on rough, non-slip surfaces and can even lift and turn her head to look around for short periods of time! Little by little, slowly but surely, Hubble is getting better. The life in her eyes and great will to live gives us all the fighting spirit to go on. When she first stood up all by herself, her owners cried tears of pride and joy, like parents of a child taking his first steps. The human-animal bond seen here is amazing as they encourage each other. We applaud Hubble's owners for their patience and courage in walking this rocky path alongside their dog and we hope that others will be inspired by their story.
The owners are from a working-class family with young kids to support. However, they want the best for Hubble and have done what they can to pay for her vet bills. Zeus Communications has offered to help them financially by raising funds so that they can give Hubble acupuncture sessions and a wheelchair! Doggon' Wheels are specially designed for dogs who have difficulty in walking and will provide Hubble with some mobility. With this wheelchair, hopefully it will also help retrain and build up her muscles.
The wheelchair costs USD$300 (USD$235 + USD$65 shipping charges)
We'd like to appeal to all our readers to give Hubble a chance of a bright future. She wants to be like other dogs - running around and playing like she used to.

We also hope to be able to sponsor 3 sessions of acupuncture and 3 sessions of massage therapy for Hubble. The acupuncture costs $85 per session at Mount Pleasant Hospital, while the massage therapy costs $65 with Natasha, who specializes in Canine Massage Therapy and has also helped with our stray animals such as Venus
If you would like to donate to Hubble's special wheelchair or contribute to her treatment, do drop us an email at dogs_ink@singnet.com.sg. By doing so, you're giving this young dog the hope that she needs, to be normal again.
That's what our work is all about - we facilitate and offer help to people who genuinely love their pets. This is an essential part of our job as animal welfare volunteers. Animals come to us hurt and broken; we try our best to usher them into a happier, more promising future, together with human companions who love them dearly.

Written by Jo-Ann

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"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