Buddy20, January 2003
The New Year arrives in various ways. For LABMED, 2003 was ushered in by yet another sad case, this one from the state of Georgia. This male yellow Lab of one year was not only hit by a car, but left there to die. The driver did not stop and neither did at least 10 witnesses. By the time the rescuer, who was on her way to work, stopped the dog was lying in the ditch. With the assistance of a police officer she was able to take the injured dog to her vet.
This single Mom with 2 children and 2 dogs of her own, had no idea what to do when the vet diagnosed Buddy with a fractured left front humerus and fractured right rear femur. He added that the surgery would require metal plates to repair each bone. One thing the rescuer knew: this Lab was personable, gentle, loving, and much too good a dog to put to sleep. The prognosis was excellent if he could have the surgery soon. Needless to say, this surgery was going to be expensive.
With luck on Buddy's side, the rescuer found LABMED's website on the internet and began the process of requesting help. With the rescuer contributing a substantial amount, LABMED voted to help with the funding.
If you think this is the end of Buddy's story, not so!
The day after Buddy's hit and run accident, this same vet received a call from a woman looking for her lost yellow Lab. The surgery on Buddy was delayed due to her coming forward. At 6 PM that evening the owner and the rescuer were to meet at the vet's office. The owner never showed up. The rescuer spent 1 1/2 hours with Buddy that evening while he remained calm and gentle. Up to this point the rescuer had been given $30 in donations for Buddy's care. Buddy came through the surgeries like the champ that he is. In the meantime the rescuer was able to obtain another $145 in donations toward his care.
Since the next day was Sunday the rescuer had Buddy on her mind as she prepared for her Sunday School lesson. As she questioned what her part was in all of this, a bright idea surfaced. She would utilize the 20 teens, ranging in age from 12-18, in her class and they would organize and maintain a work day doing odd jobs for cash in the community, with all proceeds going toward Buddy's care. The long range plan was to continue these workdays throughout the year and sending the money to LABMED, once Buddy's care was paid for.
After church that day, another visit was made by the rescuer to Buddy. He was resting but was trying all morning to get up. The rescuer stayed for over an hour while her children sat on the floor with Buddy, whose tail never stopped wagging.
It would be 4 weeks before Buddy would be able to bear his full weight. The rescuer was able to take Buddy home after a few days, much to the delight of her children. A physical therapist was found to come in to help with Buddy's therapy -- for free!
End of story? Not yet. The rescuer was able to find an adoptive family for Buddy. In less than 2 weeks from the hit and run, Buddy was enjoying a new home complete with neighborhood pond, large fenced yard, and, best of all, 3 children, age 12-17. Plus he is living near the rescuer who visits regularly.
As the rescuer so aptly said: "This is truly a story with a fairy tale ending for Buddy."
To that I would like to add "if all dogs could be so lucky."