Once in a while, something happens in my life that leads me to take my blog on a more personal journey. This is one of those detours.
On a night in April 2015, a small dog was rushed to us at Acadia Veterinary Hospital. He was in such poor shape when he was initially found, laying abandoned and alone in a fire pit, the rescuer even thought he’d already passed away. He was so weak; he could not walk or even lift his head. Luckily this is not the end of Cashew’s story.
Upon his arrival, he was quickly assessed and immediate actions were taken to get his temperature up as he was hypothermic. IV fluids were begun immediately to address severe dehydration. Blood was taken and showed severe anaemia, as well as many irregularities in blood chemistry. This dog was also incredibly undernourished, weighing in at about half his ideal weight. However, by the next morning, it was obvious that this little fella had a strong will to live. He was now readily lifting his head, sitting up and had a ravenous appetite. Not out of the woods yet, but promising.
Meanwhile, though I was not working the evening he was brought in, I had been made aware of what was going on. It was no secret around the clinic that I had been keeping my eyes open for the right little pup to become part of my family. So once I heard what was going on, I had to come by and see this poor little fella. It took all of 5 seconds to know that his place was with me. We named him Cashew. The following day I returned to pick up my “new-to-me” pup and begin the next leg of his journey.
The next months were challenging. Cashew was not used to a normal existence. He was extremely nervous all the time. He’d learned to trust no one. It also seemed food had been pretty scarce, as he would inhale and choke on his food, and he’d taken to the habit of eating his own stool. But given the fact that food was not always readily available to him, a pup does what he’s got to survive! He slowly regained his strength, became more mobile, muscle mass returned. A switch to a “gulp-free” bowl helped stretch out his meal time. And with food readily available, the poop-eating dwindled off. The good thing about a very “food-motivated” dog, is that training tends to go very well. Even though we estimated he was a few years old already, he was very eager to learn. In less than a morning, he had “sit” down pat. With constant reassurance, love, and a reliable food supply, our little Cashew has blossomed.
Cashew has been in our lives for well over a year now, and we still see progress every day. Please keep this in mind when you decide to adopt or “rescue” a dog. These dogs need loving forever homes; however, rescue dogs have baggage. You need patience and understanding. There will be challenges; you will get frustrated. But, in the end, you will love them and cherish them like none other – and they will feel the same way about you because you changed their world forever.
Written by Acadia Veterinary Hospital