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Friday, June 17, 2016

Saving a little dog's life

Yesterday, I visited some trail cams that I don't check that often. I didn't check all the memory cards right away but the first one I looked at had photos of a small dog (without human accompaniment) on them. I know someone who has dogs that looked like the one on the cams so I zapped her an email with the photos. I jokingly said in my email that her pups had been taking "road trips".

This was the first photo a little after midnight on 6/14. I saw this one first (yesterday morning) and sent it to the owner.
Well, she didn't check her email for another 12 hours, and then she called me immediately. One of her dogs, an elderly epileptic male mini doxie named "Bounder", had been missing for days. In the fading light of dusk, the owner searched the area near my cams but found nothing.

After hearing that her dog was actually missing, I went through the thousands of photos on my memory cards with an eye to detail. Most of the thousands of photos were of this little dog walking back and forth over a half mile stretch over a 24 hour period on 6/14.

He walked that trail section all night until sunrise on 6/14.

Then, thank goodness, I think he laid low during the heat of the day, reappearing in the evening of 6/14.
He resumed his pacing back and forth until 10:29 on 6/14, when my trail cams got their last photo of him.

To be honest, I knew that a bobcat had come through around that time so I didn't think that the dog was alive. However, I'm not one to give up hope too quickly.

This morning, I asked the owner for a photo of her dog so I could spread the word via social media that he was missing. A close friend of mine saw my post, and she called with the idea that she and I go search for him today. The owner could not get out of work today.

By the time I was ready to go search (after R's 20 million exercises), it was hot, and my energy was lagging. But my friend's enthusiasm spurred me to go. She was on foot, and I was on my bike. We both did the same loop but in opposite directions. When we met in the middle, we agreed that she'd go home, and I'd search just a bit more in a new direction where I have no trail cams because no large wildlife goes there. We thought it was a failed search.

After we parted, I rode only 1/2 mile in the new direction when I came upon the dog lying in the middle of the trail. He was not moving, initially didn't register my presence, and was covered in flies. I was sure he was dead and said "Oh, Bounder" really sadly. He heard me, and his eyes flicked toward me. I freaked out - he was ALIVE!

I'll be honest - I had a minor panic/surprise/upset attack before I did anything useful for him. When I'd pulled myself together, I went over, talking to him, and noticed that he even smelled like death. I swatted all the flies off of him, and I got water on my fingers. He licked them thirstily. We did that for a while, and then he lifted his head. I made a cup out of my hands and let him drink more water from my hands. He was SO thirsty.

I lost all track of time so I don't know how long the two of us sat in the middle of the trail. I checked my cell phone which had the lovely words "no service". I gathered myself, lifted up the fairly small dog under my arm, and pushed my bike with the other arm. I stopped every 5 minutes or so looking for cell service because my spine was not going to allow me to carry the dog all the way to civilization.

Finally, I had cell service and texted my friend. As I sat there waiting to see if it went through, I took a photo of the dog standing for the 1st time! He'd been lost in the woods where there are NO water sources for 5 days. And, he's an elderly epileptic who hadn't had his anti-seizure meds for all that time, yet he was spunky enough to stand.

My friend came running after she got my text. Thank goodness because my spine was giving out. And, the little dog couldn't or wouldn't walk. My spine was screaming so thank goodness for my friend. My friend had a backpack to carry this little guy up to her truck. We both felt like things were fairly touch-and-go until we sat in the shade giving him water while we called his owners. That was when he really showed us that he was ready to fight for his life.
The owners weren't nearby but gave us permission to get the dog vet care. Then we realized that neither of us had any money or credit cards. So, my friend drove him to the vet while I sprinted home on my bike to call the vet with my credit card info so they'd start his care until the owner could get there.

The vet thinks he's going to be fine after lots of liquids, rest, and the resumption of his epilepsy med. I get a lump in my throat every time I realize that I helped save a life today, the life of a precious little dog who has an incredibly spunky heart.

Yes, there are miracles!

43 comments:

  1. Huge (but painless) hug for you, KB! This story is a miracle in so many ways, but many of them trace back to YOU.
    I hope Bounder has a full recovery, and stays home telling stories of My Brave Adventure for the rest of his charmed life.

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  2. You are Bounder's guardian angel. What a great feeling to know that this little guy has a chance for more sunrises and sunsets.

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  3. What a great story. Glad it had a happy ending.

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  4. That is the best story I have read in a long time. A true miracle. You are an angel

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  5. What a wonderful story. A miracle so welcome after these horrid days of grief. So compassionate of you and your friend to look for this dear little dog. And you did indeed save a life today. And that makes this world a better place.

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  6. Wow! That's amazing that you found him! What a miracle!

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  7. I can't even imagine how you must have felt when you saw him...he is one lucky and blessed little guy.

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  8. Chills running down my back as I read this post - you were that little pup's guardian angel. We hope his owners were as grateful to you as we are. What an incredible story!!!

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  9. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing and going the extra mile to save this pup's life.

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  10. OMG that is a miracle and soooo happy that you were able to save him. That is a special dog and you two are wonderful humans for volunteering to search for this poor dog. Good Karma will come your way for that! Way to go!!!!

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  11. Oh wow, bless you for being there for this little one. :) I hope he'll be ok!

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  12. That is truly wonderful! What an adventure that little guy had! Thank goodness for your diligence and your trail cams!

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  13. All I can think of right now is.....OMG! You were definitely given your Guardian Angel wings today. Bless your heart! And thank goodness he's safe now.

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  14. Oh my gosh,, this story is incredible!
    Thank goodness for you and your cameras,, and you and your friend!
    love
    tweedles

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  15. Amazing story! That was lucky he happened to be walking the same trail as your cams, so you were able to spot him in time to rescue him! Serendipity indeed ❤😊. That darling little dog lives to tell his tale for another day 😊 xx

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  16. Wow KB! I can only imagine how you felt when you saw Bounder lying there! You truly were his guardian angel! Thank goodness for trail cams and YOU! Thank you for sharing a good news story! So heartwarming💜 Blessings to you and your friend today!

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  17. Oh, what a wonderful thing! Much needed this week. Good work to you and to your friend -- and to Bounder! Thank you for caring and for sharing this story with us.

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  18. You both are angels. If it wasnt for those wildlife camera's you would have never known where to look and this little guy would have surely died or be dinner for a larger predator. Thank you God for such amazing people in this world.

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  19. Your words pull me in so much I can almost believe I am there with Bounder. What a fortunate day for him, and that you went back, and you carry water, and a friend helped too.This is the stuff that dreams are made of, truly a miracle with a wonderfully happy ending.

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  20. Bless you, KB! Bounder is one lucky pup!

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  21. What an incredible story! This should be all over social media - it's so inspiring and heartwarming! Best wishes to Bounder for a complete recovery, and major high fives to you and your friend for caring so much and giving your all.

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  22. I'm so glad you two were on the case and that was a super save! We hope Bounder will be all okay now.

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  23. That's a great story. That little guy would have surely died without your trail cams, and sharp eyes.

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  24. What an amazing story, you and your trail cams we a blessing for this little guy! thank you for saving his life
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  25. That's a fantastic story. We're so glad he was found in time. Another great reason for all your animal cams. Oh, and good for you for caring so much to go on the search.

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  26. Wow! This is a beautiful story...and thanks to you and your friend, the little dog is alive. Sending thanks and congratulatory hugs to you both from Ohio!

    Pardon my occassionally caustic self, but you apparently did about 100 times more than the owners to safe this sweet dog. I hope they were at least appreciative...Maybe it's my priority setting that is astray, but if my dog were lost, I most certainly would take off work to look for him or her—it's called a family emergency:-)

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  27. Wow, that is a story with a wonderful ending. So glad you spotted him on the film and were able to search for him. His owners must be so relieved.

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  28. So happy to hear this story has a happy ending! I'm sure his owners are beyond thankful you were there for the little guy!

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  29. We have tears in our eyes! Thank you for doing so much to save Bounder's life! We're just picturing how thrilled his pawrents are to have him safe!!!

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  30. It sounds like you found Bounder just in time. I hope there is no permanent damage from the dehydration and days without his meds.....I have tears in my eyes and joy in my heart envisioning the moment he responded to your voice.

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  31. How fortuitous that you happened to check THOSE particular cameras! It sounds like he was nearing the end. What a wonderful story!

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  32. What a wonderful thing to do. You truly are an amazing person. What a lucky little dog and such a sweetie too. He certainly had God and a guardian angel on his side, aye?? What a special bond you two will now share, I'm sure!!

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  33. What a wonderful rescue story KB! You are a HERO. Thank goodness for your trail cameras to point you in the right direction. (This would be a great story to send to the makers of the trail cameras.)

    Thank you for being a wonderful person and dog lover and for NOT giving up on finding this cutie pie.

    Hugs,
    Lily Belle & Muffin

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  34. You & your friend made that miracle happen! Awesome job!

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  35. I am so curious as to why Boomer kept pacing that part of the trail. Do you have any theories? Was there a smell or familiarity to the trail for Boomer?

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  36. Charlie, I don't really know the answer to your question, except to say that there were no downhill trails that he could take. His only alternative was a very steep uphill (which was the general direction of his house). I suspect he was too tired and confused to choose to work very hard to go up a long steep hill. So, he stuck with the one trail that didn't go uphill - the one where he paced.

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  37. oh my gosh, what a heart jerking story!
    I am so glad it turned out like this.

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  38. These are my favorite kinds of stories -- And a perfect one to end my weekend!! I've no doubt that Bounder had given up, until you came and changed all that for him. I know that he and his owners are so grateful to you for this true miracle!!

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  39. Ohhhhhhhh KB.... yes, there ARE still miracles. Miracles & also those who make them happen!! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It has made my week!!!

    Hugs for a job (miracle!) well done~ Andrea
    XOXO

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  40. What an amazing story! It's so heartwarming to hear of people going above and beyond to help others.

    Thank you for being that person.

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  41. Oh, what an amazing and heartwarming story! I have tears reading this. What a little fighter he is! You are an angel!

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