This is a long blog, but it is well worth the read. It is a tale of courage, perseverance, and love. This is Spartacus and he has quite a story.
Spartacus was at a house that we were very familiar with. They had had 2 pit bull mixes. There is a blog from August of 2011 about one of their other dogs that passed from heart worm disease.
After Julia was gone, we continued to stop by. The pit bull that was still there was pretty aggressive and we could never get in his dirt circle. He was always at a pretty good body weight and the people would hang up the fly traps that we gave them and put hay in his house that we brought. We didn’t stop by very often because there wasn’t much to do except drop some supplies now and then.
One day, I stopped by and they had a skinny, black pit bull puppy. They told me that it had followed the son home from the neighborhood store . They had named him Black. Because we couldn’t take another pit at that time, we helped the guy get him neutered and vaccinated. They were doing a pretty good job with the dogs so we didn’t need to stop by that often.
One day about a month ago, we stopped at his house to drop some food and see how things were going. The son came out and took the food and then mentioned that “his boy was messed up”. I asked him which one and he told me it was Black. I asked what happened and he said he wasn’t sure, but his leg was messed up bad. He said he had taken him to the vet and spent $150 (which pleasantly surprised me). I asked him where Black was and he told me he was inside in the laundry room.
This is a family that I’ve known for 2 yrs., that have our phone number, yet they never even called us about this. If we hadn’t stopped by to drop food and hay, I don’t know what would’ve happened with Black. The guy said he’d taken him to the vet, spent $150 and they had stitched up one of his back legs. It was very loosely stitched and the the stitches were already coming out. He did have a cone on his head and was on antibiotics and pain meds. The guy was supposed to take him back to the vet, but he had no more money. He told me that Black had laid in the laundry room for a week. He had cleaned up after him. Black’s other back leg was very swollen and I was pretty sure broken. They had not had an x-ray of the dog taken. The guy acted mad like the vet clinic “didn’t do it”. I told them that Black needed to get into the vet immediately and get both of those legs looked at. They agreed and we loaded him up and got him back to the clinic.
Black was in terrible shape. We immediately got an x-ray and his femur was broken. He had laid there for a week with stitches coming out of one leg and a broken femur on the other leg. He had numerous abrasions and wounds. His broken leg was very bruised,swollen, and very painful.
We were told so many stories that we don’t even know what’s true. We heard everything from “he climbed the tree after a squirrel”and when the guy came out the next morning, the chain was hanging out of the tree and the dog was in the dog house injured. We were then told that he’d tried to get over the fence and gotten injured. The veterinarian said that she was almost sure that he’d been hit by a car and probably dragged. He had lots of abrasions and bruising and a couple of severe leg injuries. Black had apparently gotten off his chain during the night, gotten hit by a car, and somehow gotten himself back home with 2 very painful back legs, and crawled in his dog house. That is where the owner found him, injured, the next morning. Black was emaciated and we found out he had whip worms and hook worms as well. This poor, poor boy had so many health issues going on. We felt very sorry for him. Through all of this, Black gave us lots of kisses and tail wags! We renamed him Spartacus and we told him that he was leaving his old life behind.
When the vet clinic called the other vet clinic that this guy had originally taken Spartacus to and asked for the records to be faxed over, they were told that they had advocated an x-ray of that broken leg and the owner had declined it. I guess he didn’t have enough money for it, but don’t let the dog lay there for a week and not even pick up the phone and call us for assistance! Now poor Spartacus was in a real mess and suffering greatly.
Dr. Kennedy had to open up his wound on his leg and re-stitch it. It was a deep and significant wound.
The next day, I took Spartacus to Independence Animal Hospital for a consultation on his broken femur. They thought they could fix it by putting a pin in his leg. I left him for surgery. We had to save this boy-he’d been through so much and suffered so terribly.
We brought him back to Chain of Hope after a few days and set him up in my office. He is a delight! Spartacus is so happy to have so much love and care.
Spartacus was doing very well with his pinned leg, but no so well with the other leg. I’m sure because he had laid so long in the laundry room with a terrible stitching job and an open wound. While he was in for his first post-op check up on his broken femur , I had the vet look at his other leg. Spartacus was putting all of his weight on his pinned leg and did not want to put any weight on the other leg. He was running a fever.
We were hitting him with a lot at once, but he is a survivor. He was trying to get over his whip worms and hook worms, his leg was infected and his appetite was very poor. He began losing weight. His stitched leg was infected and Spartacus needed to be put under again and have that leg repaired again! This poor, poor dog. He was fighting with everything he had. His spirit was one of resilience and bravery. I know that Spartacus had many, many days when he felt so bad. I brought him McDonald’s cheeseburgers and Quick trip hot dogs. He was on two different antibiotics now and pain meds. Spartacus was a tough little guy and he was fighting like crazy to get better.
Spartacus should hate the world, but he doesn’t. He’s just as loving and affectionate as he can be. Unfortunately, there are thousands of pit bulls in this city that are neglected, living their entire lives on the end of a chain, basically ignored. If they become unsociable how can they possibly help it? They have every reason to be angry and upset when they are often chained in the far corner of the yard and fed whenever someone remembers. The majority of them are there to bark and detour anyone up to no good. Chain of Hope deals with a lot of pit bulls and I’m here to tell you that they are by far the most neglected and abused breed in this city. They live solitary lives on the end of chains all across this city. It is sad, it infuriates me, and we are doing everything that we can to change this mentality in the hood. It isn’t easy, but we will never give up. We will always fight for this breed.
Spartacus is healing. In another week or two, he will bravely face another surgery. This time, his pin will be removed and his other leg will most likely be cast or pinned-not sure yet. He is a trooper with a great spirit. He’s so happy every morning when we come in. We have introduced him to a few other dogs and he has done fine. He is resilient, happy, and very much loved by all of us at Chain of Hope. He spends lots of time with me in my office. We’ve become great pals! Thank God we stopped that day and we were able to intervene. The owners did sign Spartacus over to us, so he is up for foster and/or adoption.
Spartacus’s treatment has been expensive-about $1,000 so far. He had complications from not receiving the proper, timely care that he needed. I always tell him that he’s my brave little man. Thank you for donating so that we can help the Spartacuses of the world.
Think good thoughts, say a little prayer, send some good mojo for Sparty boy (as we sometimes call him now) to heal completely. He came into Chain of Hope a pretty beat-up little guy. He is doing wonderfully, already looking better. He has finally started gaining weight .He is a beautiful boy with a beautiful spirit. He has taught us all about persevering and keeping a good attitude through all of our struggles. Spartacus says thank you very much for saving me, Chain of Hope!