Harley, October, 2000
This young black boy had been roaming a campground in rural Washington for quite a while. His rescuers - a young couple staying at the campground - noticed him chasing their pickup truck. They were concerned that dog would get hit by a car so they decided to stop and put him in the back of their truck so they could drop him off at the campground's office on their way back to their campsite. But the dog jumped out of the moving vehicle and broke his leg. The rescuers talked to camp security and were told that the dog's name was Harley. The staff also told them that Harley's owner was not taking care of him and would probably do nothing to help the dog. The young couple offered to take Harley to a vet to see what could be done for him. The camp staff told them if the owner should come looking for Harley, they would tell him what had happened.
Harley was taken to an emergency clinic and x-rayed. The x-rays showed that the left rear femur was broken and would need a bone plate. Harley's rescuers called the campground to relay that information to the owner. They were told that the person the staff at the campground believed to be the owner did not own Harley after all. The manager put up signs trying to find Harley's owner but nobody claimed the dog. The rescuers decided they would like to keep Harley. They paid for the emergency x-rays and pain medication, then consulted a specialist to see what could be done to fix Harley's leg. The specialist gave them a very expensive estimate of what the treatment would cost. They knew they could not afford to have Harley's leg repaired at that price and returned him to the emergency clinic - which is a county shelter as well - for euthanasia.
One of the clinic vets called the local Labrador rescue contact, who happens to be a LABMED Board member. The vet was sure that Harley's rescuers wanted to keep him and would be willing to adopt him but could not afford the surgery. MVLL contacted the rescuers, gave them the LABMED information, and recommended a vet clinic that would offer a substantial rescue discount. The shelter arranged all the adoption papers and transported Harley to the clinic for his surgery.
It was a complicated break and the surgeon had to work hard to get the bones back into place since Harley's strong muscles were contracting during the operation. The break required pins and an external fixator. LABMED paid for Harley's surgery and he went home with his new parents to recuperate. Harley's new owners paid the deposit on the fixator and agreed to pay all follow up vet costs.
Harley is still waiting for the vet to determine when the pins can be taken out; he is healing nicely though. Harley can get around quite well, with just a slight wobble on his hurt leg. He is getting an unimaginable amount of attention from his new parents and is eating it all up. His mom tells us that he is behaving himself most of the time and he's just being a puppy when he's not.
Update: February, 2001From Harley's Mom: "This fall we fell into the paws of Harley the black Lab with the broken femur. He is so great..., better then that in fact. With his pins out the pretty boy is bouncing all over the place. Roaming around the house in high spirits; it's nice to have a healthy puppy. He is actually going on jogs with me and would prefer to run. Ha, I could not keep up with him! But he is doing awesome."
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