Marilyn and I stopped by a house the other day to talk to the people about when we’d be picking up their animals for their spay/neuter surgeries. They had several animals and we were talking about all of them when the y0ung woman said that they had a sick puppy in the house. She said it had had parvo a couple of weeks before, they’d had it back and forth to the vet and then she told us that the puppy was basically “dying on me”. I told her to go get it and let us see it. She came out carrying a white pit bull puppy in her arms. Her abdomen was huge!!! It looked like it was going to burst. The puppy looked terrible. It was otherwise very, very skinny. She was dehydrated, lethargic and near death.
At first we were thinking that this young woman was a horrible person for letting this puppy suffer like this. But then she brought out numerous receipts from the vet. It was Dr. Swoope from Northeast Animal Hospital. He had previously diagnosed this puppy with parvo, but just a couple of weeks later he actually fully vaccinated this little girl. He had just seen this puppy 5 days before we were there. The woman told us that the puppy had a huge belly then and that he drew some blood and said he’d call them. He sent the puppy back home and this was the result. Unfortunately, we hear this about Northeast Animal Hospital a lot. I can’t tell you how many times someone in northeast will tell us about taking their animal to Dr. Swoope, scraping together money to pay him and the animal still having issues or as in this case, losing their life anyway. I can’t even imagine the suffering that this poor little thing had endured. It couldn’t eat, it couldn’t pee or poop, it was horribly dehydrated. These people had spent hundreds of dollars trying to save this puppy and now 3 weeks later, she was losing her little life. The people had no more resources, they had tried all they could. This was an incredibly sad situation. This was clearly an emergency, we needed to get her to our vet and we told the people that she was most likely going to have to be euthanized. She was too far gone.
Marilyn help her on her lap as I drove to Independence Animal Hospital. She would moan once in awhile, as Marilyn talked to her and petted her. We got her into a room and two different doctors examined her and both recommended what we already knew- euthanasia. Something was shutting down, whether it was her kidneys, liver, heart-whatever. Her abdomen was full of fluid, although she was otherwise emaciated. Her gums were white. She was clearly in organ failure. We ended her suffering that had gone on far too long. I named her Roo after the baby kangaroo in Winnie the Pooh.
We never know what we’re going to be faced with from day to day. For this woman to come out of the house with a puppy in this bad of shape was unsettling to say the least. Sometimes, the only thing we have to offer an animal is a humane passing. Outreach is a difficult job, an emotional job, a discouraging job, but a necessary job. Thank you for keeping us out there.
We will march on in your memory, Roo.