This was a very sad case, but this is what we deal with. We have a guy in the hood that has 4 dogs tied outside. Compared to what we usually see, he’s been a pretty good owner (aside from keeping dogs on tie-outs 24/7, which totally sucks). His dogs always have clean water, they are well fed, etc. He was really doing alright on his own and so we went there less and less often because we definitely had worse things to address and check on. The other day, Judy was going to be checking on something close to where this guy lives, so I asked her to drop off a big bag of food to him. We hadn’t given him anything in a long time. When Judy got there, the guy told her that one of his dogs was sick. He had lost his job and had no money to get him to the vet (we hear this all the time-I’d be pawning everything I own if I had to to get my sick dog to a vet). Judy went back to look at it and it had a large tumor hanging off of his abdomen. He also had a large mass on his left side. You can’t see it in the pictures very well, but it was big and bulging out. Other than those things, the dog seemed normal. He was active and friendly, jumping around and smiling. Judy called me about it and I asked her to go ahead and bring it in and we’d get him over to the Humane Society.
We got him over there and they suggested that we go get X-rays to see what we were dealing with, which we did. The next day, we were back at the Humane Society. The X-rays proved to be inconclusive and the doctor felt like she had to open him up to really know what was going on. It would be easier if we had the owner relinquish the dog to Chain of Hope because if she got in there and things were bad, she would probably euthanize him while he was already under. I went back over to the house and got Ingrid on the phone to explain everything to this man in Spanish. He understood it all and signed the dog over to us. The Humane Society started surgery in the late afternoon. Coleen called me part-way through the surgery and said that they felt sure he had cancer. She said the more they took out, the more poured out of his abdomen. It was also attached to his stomach and everything inside was just a mess. So very sad. We decided to let him stay asleep forever and I asked Coleen to kiss him on the head for me.
If this doesn’t prove that our job is sad and depressing, I don’t know what would. But this boy did not die on a tie-out cable, alone. We got to him before he was obviously suffering. Hopefully, we saved him a lot of pain and agony.