My friend's husband was coming home from the fire department early one Sunday morning and saw Turnpike hiding in the tall grass along the turnpike. If not for his face standing out like a beacon he might not have seen him. When he stopped to go get him, he slipped off into the marsh and thickets so her husband called her to come help find him. They searched for nearly 3 hours with no sign of him but then they got an idea to shake dry dog food in a metal dish to see if that would trigger a response. It worked. Just a few yards off, he lifted his head up and they saw him for the first time. He tried to come to them but you could see that he was mixed with fear and desperation but he was too weak and injured to make his way to them so they literally had to crawl to him through the thick tangle of vegetation.
They got him home and since it was Sunday morning they knew there was no point in calling a vet. None would be available and it would have only added greatly to the expense of his repair. They set up a bed for him in the spare bedroom and got some IV fluids started. Rich and Terri made a makeshift splint for his dangling leg and fed him tiny mouthfuls of food every 15-20 minutes around the clock for the remainder of the weekend.
At the vets, it was determined that he was less than half of his proper weight at 32 pounds, he had a thin cotton rope embedded around his neck, a severe fracture that appeared to be several weeks old, numerous pressure sores and severely infested with internal parasites. It was not discovered until days later that his other hind leg was broken but less severely. The vets recommended that the one leg be amputated, that it had been broken for too long and would not heal properly. Terri and her husband discussed the expense of saving his leg at $4000 to keep it with titanium plates and screws or $500 to remove it. They opted to try and save his leg and hoped it would work. By the time they got him back from the vets, the bill was enormous but they have no regrets and say they'd do it again. In no time at all he was on the mend and looking like the picture of health. His body was healing but his spirit was crushed. This poor dog was so beaten and abused that the repairs to his mind took much longer. They have him now, where he walks on a leash, takes food. He will sit and mind pretty well but still has some fear issues, particularly with strangers. He is not bitter but he will run if frightened. He is not great with cats or small animals. He has killed 2 chickens but in both cases, the chicken got into his pen. He reads minds and knows your mood long before you get to him. He’s a high energy dog and needs an outlet for some of that energy. Flyball might be a good consideration.
May 19, 2011
Turnpike Needs a Home
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