Daphne left this difficult world a few weeks ago. I have never told her story, but it is one you will never forget. This precious soul was beaten to within an inch of her life. This is Daphne’s story.
A woman had called for dog and cat food in the north east part of KC. Judy and Karen went over and when they got back, Judy started telling me about a poor little dog over there with a smashed face and it seemed to have difficulty breathing. The woman had told Judy that one night, someone had this little dog out in the middle of the street and was beating her with a baseball bat. We didn’t get very many details because when we asked the woman what had exactly happened, she said, “Well, I took that baseball bat and I marched up to his house and I tore up the inside of his house. That’s what he gets”, she said. She was more interested in telling us how brave she was to go “take care of it” than anything about the dog. Apparently this had happened a few months before. The woman did take the dog to the vet, but when pressed for details, she didn’t even know the name of the vet or what they did for her. I know it was the bare minimum because this lady had no money. They took her home and decided to keep her. This is not a good part of town. People are very transient and this asshole that did this to Daphne didn’t even live there anymore. We know nothing about him and he had seemingly no consequences for what he did.
Judy stopped by the next day and came back and told me that I needed to get over there-this little dog was in bad shape. She was starved and wanted to eat, but it took a lot of effort to crunch the food. Judy put down some canned food for her and she scarfed it up!
April and I went over. I could not believe what we were seeing. This little dog had a smashed face so bad that she looked like a duck bill. She had copious amounts of green snot coming out of her nose, her breath was terrible, she could only breathe from her mouth and she sneezed a lot. Our hearts were sick. We tried talking to this woman, but she was convinced that this dog was ok. This woman kept this little one outside, and it was cold out at night! This poor dog would lay up on the circle that the wound up hose made on the side of the house. We could not talk any sense into this woman. she wanted to keep her, thought she was fine and that was that. I think in her mind, she thought since this dog hadn’t died from the beating and she was up walking around that she was ok. She obviously was missing some brain synapses.
I hugged this broken little girl and told her that we were getting her out of there-just hang on.
How this little girl survived in that back yard, in the cold, unable to eat very well and full of infection, I will never know. I did know that she wasn’t long for this world. Our volunteer went that night and got her. When she got there, this poor little girl was curled up on her hose. I got in the next morning early-couldn’t wait to see this poor little thing. Not in a funny way at all, but we kept saying that she looked like Daffy Duck. Since she was a female, we decided to call her Daphne. When I got in there, I just hugged Daphne and hugged her. My heart was broken just looking at her and knowing what had happened to her. It can make you hate the human race when you see things like this.
Daphne looked terrible and I’m sure felt even worse. She only weighed 30 lbs, you could count all her ribs, she had teeth hanging out at weird angles and her tongue hung out the side of her mouth. She could only breathe through her mouth, she drooled a lot and her skull had been crushed in and was very misshapen. It was all very, very sad.
I ran to the store and bought her several jars of meat-flavored baby food. I figured it was very smooth and she could probably eat that better than anything right now. Her mouth had to have been so very sore. She loved the baby food! I felt so much sorrow for what Daphne had gone through. I wanted to do everything we could to save her and give her some happiness.
We elevated her bowls of food and water to help her not to have to hang her head down so far to eat and drink. Daphne had several kinds of intestinal parasites, which we immediately treated her for. Her skin looked terrible-she had sores all up her front legs. She had to be miserable. We spent the first few days , just getting her to eat (she was so hungry), getting rid of her parasites and settling in, We knew we were going to have to get her to a specialist. She sneezed all the time and blew green snot out constantly. She had sustained massive injuries in her head and mouth. Her sinuses were crushed, she could not breath through her nose at all. She could only open her mouth 2 inches.
I was working in my office one day and all of the sudden Daphne started screaming and crying. I ran to her room and she was in much distress. I couldn’t see what was wrong, but I knew something was hurting her badly. I scooped her up and got her over to Kennedy’s Animal Clinic. We discovered that somehow her bottom tooth had gone through her lip and was sticking out the top of her lip. No wonder she was freaking out. We sedated her immediately. Since she was sedated with this problem, Dr. Kennedy went ahead and got her on the table to repair what had happened and to get a good look at the extent of her injuries. As expected, it was terrible in her mouth. Many broken teeth, infection, missing bone, broken bone fragments. Daphne also had an open hole in the roof of her mouth and Dr. Kennedy flushed all of that out. There was old food caught up in there, etc. She got that all cleaned out and used some tissue from the inside of Daphne’s cheek to repair the hole in the top of her mouth. She had never encountered anything like this before and we greatly appreciate her help. We were hopeful that doing all of this would be enough to provide Daphne with the relief and healing that she so desperately needed.
It was at this time that Daphne met the real angels in her life. Tom and Kathy foster dogs that need hospice or special care for Chain of Hope. They had fostered an old beagle that we had rescued from a house where the owner had gone to a nursing home, had no family and the beagle was left in his house, basically abandoned. They had also fostered an old mixed breed dog that was found in the freezing cold, very skinny, along 350 Hwy on a winter’s night, barely able to walk anymore. They had those special babies for about a year and they ended up having to be euthanized just a couple of weeks apart due to their health problems. Tom and Kathy are a Godsend. Teena, from Dr. Kennedy’s office, called them the day Daphne got her tooth through her lip and had emergency surgery and told them about her and asked if they’d be interested in taking her home to recover and give her the TLC that she so deserved. They came to see her, fell in love with her instantly and said they’d be happy to foster her.
Daphne did better after the surgery for a short while. Her breathing was better, the snot and the sneezing were less. However, it wasn’t long before Daphne began having more problems.
She was back to sneezing constantly and producing a lot of green mucus. We took her to Companion Animal Dentistry in Lenexa. Dr. Crowder examined Daphne, did head xrays and scheduled her for surgery. She needed to get in there and clean up as much as she could. She said it would be a lengthy surgery, but that they would take great care of her. I do not know how this girl survived the beating that she was subjected to. There is a special place in hell for people that do things like this.
Daphne had major surgery at Companion Animal Dentistry. They were able to do a lot to help Daphne. She had numerous bone fragments in her crushed sinuses, she had impacted teeth, infected roots with no tooth there at all, The hole in her pallet had not healed all the way and so she still had a hole in the roof of her mouth, along with a couple of more that they found. They removed a pill bottle full of tiny bone fragments that were preventing her from healing and causing infection. Twenty nine of her teeth were missing already from the beating. It was a big surgery and many, many repairs were made. Daphne only had a few teeth left when it was all said and done.
Daphne went home with Tom and Kathy to recover. We all had high hopes that this would finally give Daphne much relief and let her have happy days where she felt really good! This little girl had been to several different medical establishments, been poked and prodded, endured unimaginable suffering, yet she was so happy to be here! Tom and Kathy loved her! Since Daphne had breathing problems, she would sleep on Tom’s lap all propped up so she could breath easier. Daphne also loved it when Tom massaged her gums with his finger! I’m sure he did this for hours on end, but Daphne loved it-it seemed to bring her a lot of comfort. Daphne had the best year of her life following her “big” surgery! She was up to 40 lbs., felt great, looked wonderful and had the best days of her life! Thank you to everyone who supports Chain of Hope for giving Daphne this wonderful, happy time in her life.
Daphne did great for about a year. She had one glorious, happy year. She spent many days laying in the sun on their deck. In February Kathy emailed me to let me know that Daphne was having problems again. It was all the same thing-constant sneezing, mucus, she was having a lot of trouble with her breathing. They brought her into Dr. Kennedy’s. She was obviously in distress. We all decided that we would sedate her again, see what was wrong in her mouth this time and give her a temporary tracheotomy to aid her breathing. Tom and Kathy said that she could not sleep anymore because of her breathing. Every time she fell asleep, she would not be able to breath well and she would shake herself awake gasping for air. This poor, poor baby. Dr. Kennedy found a couple of more broken teeth and removed them and put in a trach.
Daphne woke up fine from yet another surgery. She went home and was doing ok, but not great. In consultation with the specialist, Dr. Kennedy decided that Daphne should have a permanent tracheotomy put in. This way she had permanent help for her breathing. Tom and Kathy brought her back and that procedure was done as well. Daphne went home to recover on February 18, 2015. On February 20, Kathy woke up in the early morning because Daphne had pooped in her dog bed, which was highly unusual. Kathy picked Daphne up and put her up on their bed while she was cleaning up the dog bed. Daphne laid on Tom and Kathy’s bed and died.
I don’t know what this world has come to that somebody can do this to such an innocent, loving being. I do know that karma is a bitch and this guy isn’t getting away with anything. I believe that God will take care of his evilness.
We must focus on the positive, the fact that all of us together gave Daphne a fabulous year. She had tons of love, she grabbed our hearts, and she will be with us forever. We are grateful to have found her. She taught us resilience, joy, forgiveness of the human race, and total love.
Tom and Kathy-you gave Daphne the greatest gift of all. Thank you for willingly opening up your hearts, only to be broken yet again. You have made such a difference in the lives of so many. Because of you, Daphne left this world knowing that she was safe, loved and cherished. You gave her a priceless gift. Thank you to all of the people that helped Daphne-all of the vets and vet techs and Chain of Hope volunteers and supporters, too. What we do is never easy, we don’t expect it to be-it’s hard every day. It was our privilege to know Daphne and to love her. Run free pretty girl.