Chain of Hope received a call from a man in northeast KC. I actually already knew Roger because the mail carrier had called me about him about 3 yrs. ago. His dog had had 9 puppies and he was overwhelmed. I ended up going over and taking the puppies for adoption and helped him get the momma and the other female at the house spayed and vaccinated. I hadn’t seen him in about 3 yrs. when he called about his neighbor’s dog. He said that he was on a big chain and that he thought the dog had mange.
We headed over to check it out. Roger said the dog belonged to a Hispanic family and he thought the grandpa was home, but he didn’t speak English. When we walked around to the back of the house where the dog was, we were appalled. There stood a brindle and white pit/boxer mix on a heavy chain. He looked old, he was sway-backed and we could see all of his ribs, hip bones and shoulder blades. His abdomen, however, was huge. It looked like we could pop it with a pin. I knew that this was advanced heart worm disease. I’d seen it many, many times and have held many dogs with severe heart worm disease as they left this world. This dog was also filthy dirty and was missing hair on his back end. He looked terrible and I’m sure felt as bad as he looked. Poor guy.
When the abdomen is so swollen like this, it is the end of heart worm disease . The heart and the lungs can no longer pump properly and the body begins filling with fluid. It’s a horrible, slow death. I said several blogs ago that Chain of Hope works very, very hard to get these dogs in advanced heart worm disease relinquished and then put down humanely, surrounded with love and care. This was, unfortunately, another case of this nature. Roger told me the dog’s name was Demon. Ridiculous. I walked over and gave Demon a package of Moist N Meaty, which he seemed to enjoy.
I began trying to get hold of a couple of people that translate for me, while pounding on the front door to get the grandpa to answer. He would not answer the door. Roger was dialing, trying to get hold of someone Spanish-speaking. I was pounding on the door and storm windows as loud as I could. I went back to check on Demon and he was laid out flat in the driveway. He had labored breathing. He was dying.
I called his name and Demon lifted his head and looked at me. I told him to hang on-this would all be over soon. I beat and beat on the window yelling “el perro” (dog) and finally the grandpa came out. Roger had gotten hold of someone who spoke Spanish and they were speaking with the grandpa on the phone, explaining everything. Grandpa signed Demon over to Chain of Hope and I carried him to the van, putting him on April’s lap. She held him all the way back to the vet. I called ahead and told them that we were coming and to have sedation ready, that he was dying. We got Demon in there and gave him the sedation. I loved on him and laid in the floor with him and told him what a good boy he was. The vet came in and in a couple of minutes, Demon was finally free.
Because of you, our supporters, Chain of Hope was able to intervene to give Demon a humane passing, surrounded with love and care. Otherwise, he would’ve died on the end of his heavy chain, alone. When I say thank you for keeping us out there, I sincerely mean it. As hard as our work is, I am so thankful that we are out there making a difference every single day. Remember, this is just one case from one day and we have hundreds and hundreds.
I began walking down the hallway. The vet tech was preparing the tag that attaches to the euthanized dog’s body, and she yelled at me down the hall, asking what his name was. ” His name was Angel”, I said as I went out the door.