Living With Animals: Lucky

By Hope Bidegainberry on March 8, 2019
Beautiful golden retriever dog lying in the forest

“It takes a village”, sadly now something of a cliché, simply means the combined resources, talents and commitment of a group is often necessary to make things better. Things as big and overwhelming as the biggest and most overwhelming challenge imaginable. Things as small and dear as the life of a dog. Like little Marty.

Marty’s original family, living without much on a very fixed income, faced a hard choice when their pup showed signs of serious illness. Limited English-second language skills compounded the challenge since asking for help was itself a challenge. Wanting to do right but not sure what that was, they did something wrong, abandoning their barely alert pup at a pet supply megastore. Evelyn and Allen, shopping for their own animals, noticed the little guy and with the store manager tried to make sense of what was happening. Announcements over the store’s paging system brought no owner forward. Kind, caring people, it was agreed they would take him to their own trusted family veterinarian, Dr. Grewal, who found an exhausted, lethargic dog, clearly thirsty but unable to keep down water.

They took him home. His condition worsened overnight. That next morning they brought their foundling to Peninsula Humane Society. Diabetes is easy to diagnose in both people and dogs (a drop of blood on a handheld meter) but one has to know to look for it. If left undiagnosed and as such unmanaged over time, shock, coma and eventually death result. PHS’s Dr. Janowitz had to let the couple know their little rescue was very close to the end. They offered with the help of Dr. Grewal to provide the lifetime care he would need (diabetes is manageable, not curable) if PHS could get him through this episode. His condition was extreme, the prognosis guarded, but his little body and will were strong: insulin injections, fluids, supportive care, and a whole lot of TLC brought him around. Ironically while still under care, the original family came to PHS to admit what they had done. The story finally told through a translator, all agreed a new home with Evelyn and Allen was best for Marty. His new name is Lucky. The village does good work.  

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