As he drove down a busy street, Sam noticed a small scruffy dog dodging traffic. Stopping quickly, and with the help of another good Samaritan, he was able to scoop the little dog into the safety of his arms before tragedy could strike.
As required by law, Sam contacted animal control to try to find the little dog’s owners, and he also contacted us. Country regulations require a 72-hour hold before a dog can be turned over to rescue. So we all waited … but provided initial veterinary care in the meantime, as the precious little girl showed obvious signs of illness and severe neglect.
Sam’s wife, Linda, chose the name “Millie” and they offered to foster her. It soon became clear that Millie had been a breeding dog who was dumped when she was no longer useful. Extremely sick with a mouth full of loose teeth and rot, she also had 2 chains of mammary tumors and lab work that was troubling. The doctors agreed that the best thing we could do for Millie was to take care of her mouth and, if she was doing well under anesthesia, also remove the tumors. With that plan in place, she underwent surgery which was successful. Millie was recovering nicely and painlessly.
Unfortunately, follow-up blood work showed little improvement and cytology results showed that her mammary cancer was extremely aggressive. And then Millie stopped eating, no matter what we tried or how hard we encouraged her. We knew we had to make the difficult decision to let her go, as it was the only kind thing to do for her after a life of suffering.
Sam and Linda were deeply affected by their time with Millie, even though it was far too short. This dear little dog would spend her evenings sleeping on Sam’s chest and Linda loved caring for her. During the week that Millie was with me for her vetting and surgery, Sam and Linda checked on her regularly and even stopped by to visit. They clearly adored her, and it was obvious by the way Millie would stare into Sam’s eyes that she knew he was her rescuer … and she was grateful.
But there is more. These wonderful people were grieving a previous loss. Millie provided them a distraction … and perhaps a different way to look at life and death. Sometimes we are allowed to hold something for only a short time – but the love is immeasurable and forever, and always a part of us. And we wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Sam and Linda, thank you for saving this precious soul and for giving her such a loving final chapter. And thank you to everyone, whose support and donations allowed us to help give Millie the care and kindness she so deserved.
“Saving one dog will not save the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.”