And as this gentle giant pondered these questions, the frantic call of a lady at Bishan Park shattered the tranquility of the Hari Raya holiday of Oct 1st, telling us she had found a golden retreiver lying on his side, panting heavily, unable to move. As she had no experience with dogs, she called upon the help of a passerby, Battura, who claimed to be a dog lover, and we asked him to stay to monitor the situation.
From the description of the symptoms, it was clear the dog was in a state of shock either from dehydration or heat exhaustion given the sweltering heat. That dog needed immediate help and fast ... but being a public holiday, all vets were closed and even the 24 hour vets weren't answering our calls. Transport resources were not available either, and it was after about 45 minutes of frantic calling that we managed to make arrangements.
As we made our way down, we called Battura who unfortuantely felt fit to call the local pound, who arrived on the scene. Knowing full well what the outcome will be, we checked with the officer who gave a very pessimisstic assessment of the dog ... so we asked Battura not to hand over the dog as we were on the way to provide medical aid.
His next reply stunned us all as he retorted that he felt offended that we had wasted 45 minutes of his precious time and was determined to give him up. What a stupid pompous arrogant fool of an ego maniac, knowing full well he was handing the dog a death sentence ! It will serve him a lesson if in future any of his loved ones were in that dire situation !
Fighting against time, we had to scramble again to stay the grim reaper's hand, and was fortunte to reach the supervisor who agreed to detour the van and hand the dog to us. When we received the dog, he was clearly in a lot of distress. His chest was heaving like a ship in a storm and he was panting like a runaway train. His eyes was glazed over and he was not cognitive and did not respond to motor stimulus, all classic signs of dehydration or heat stroke. Frankly we were not sure if he would last very long
We immediately ice towelled him down and raced him in our car turned 'vet mobile' to a volunteer's
place where he was given a subcutaneous drip of Hartman's solution. With the constant hydration, his breathing slowed a little and he seemed a little less distressed. Externally there didn't seem to be any wounds or injuries but he groaned audibly when we moved him and in the space of that time, he had also thrown up twice, which led us to believe he had some internal injuries
After stabilizing him, he recuperated at our Adoption & Rescue Centre for the night and was given another drip at midnight and the company of our caretaker who stood watch over him into the wee hours of the night. To cap off the day's drama, we named him Beano for his cute bulbous nose
The Day After
Morning saw Beano drinking and peeing on his own and standing with some help which was encouraging. At the vet, a battery of tests and xrays were done on him and as suspected but unexpected, xrays showed at least 6 fractured ribs, spondylosis (spinal arthiritis) and bone fragments in the stomach ...
The severity of his injuries hit home and we can only imagine how much pain he was enduring, no wonder he could not even stand and his breathing was so laboured. He must have been hit by a vehicle and through sheer will power was trying to make his way home through the park before collasping. It was a miracle the fractured ribs did not pierce his lungs or cause organ damage
After a day of drip at the vet, and with his body wrapped in a bandage brace, Beano was back at the ARC, but he would not eat nor urine, and he was not responsive to any human stimulus, it was as if he was depressed and life seem to be draining from him
More drama was to follow as we received a call in response to our procedurial ad in the papers. The man claimed to be the owner wanting his dog back. He said he normally unleased his dogs in the park, but Beano being old and slow, would always languish behind and they would walk ahead and then wait for Beano to catch up. He also said the local pound would usually call him to claim his dogs after they got lost ...
He probably did not understand the severity of the situation and fell silent when we explained how close Beano came to death. To verify his claims, we brought him down to see Beano and it was immediately obvious he was the owner. Tail wagging furiously, eyes lighted up, Beano even tried to stand, it was as if the spark of life was reignited
It was also obvious the owner loved his dog but in such a misguided way that it was a bitter sweet irony. If ever there was a need to prove a dog's unconditional love for his master, this scene was the epitomy of it, that despite how a dog is treated, he loves his master, literally to his dying breath ... And loath as we were to return Beano to him, fearing that he would not be nursed properly or the situation may repeat, our hearts told us Beano belonged to his master, and with that life spark ignited, his recovery will be much faster and better in that place he calls home
We kept in constant contact with Beano's owner to check on his recovery progress and the owner also had his personal friend, a vet (coincidentally from the same clinic that Beano was admitted to) come to take a look. We have been told that Beano's recovery has indeed acclerated and he is now walking gingerly to pee and is eating and drinking well.
We will be visiting Beano soon to see how he is getting on and to ensure he is getting the necessary follow up treatment for his spondylosis and fractured ribs
With regards to the practical aspects, the owner being a retiree has requested for partial subsidy of the medical bills, and we will be using part of the proceeds that some kind souls have already sent to help defray the cost
Action For Singapore Dogs Society
and sent to :
Blk 402 #06-246
Clementi Ave 1
Please indicated 'for Beano's treatment' behind the cheque together with your email so that we can send a receipt