To recap, Rosie and her pup were abandoned on a river near Eden, NC and rescued by a woman named Leah Mabry and friends. Leah had Rosie for about 2 weeks before Rosie escaped from the backyard of Leah's aunt. They were frantic to find her. Unfortunately, the way they found her was a phone call from my vet, advising them their dog had been hit by a van and was in critical condition.
When I rushed Rosie into my vet, the front desk receptionist immediately used the rabies tag Rosie was wearing to track down her owners. Even over the phone, we could hear the panic in their voices as they asked about her condition.
Rosie's injuries were so severe, there was nothing my vet could do. She needed an animal hospital. The problem was Leah and her family were in downtown Greensboro and we were 45 minutes away in Madison. I agreed to put Rosie back in my car and drive her to Oak Ridge, a small town in between our two locations. From there, Leah would rush the dog to the animal hospital my vet was calling to give them a heads up on the case that was coming in.
"Can you give her something for the pain?" I asked the vet.
"I'm sorry, no," she said. "We can't give anything that would interfere with the diagnostics." Seeing the stricken look on my face she added, "I don't think this dog is aware of anything. She's probably in a self-induced coma from the trauma."
Amusing Side Note: When my vet's office had called the rabies lab, they were told this dog's name was "Piggy." I talked to the dog the whole trip to Oak Ridge, on the chance that she was aware and could hear me and that maybe hearing her name would soothe her. "Good Piggy," I cooed. "Who's a good Piggy dog? You are. Yes, you are. Hang on, Piggy. Good girl." We only found out later that they got the name wrong. I'm sure, could she speak, this dog would have looked at me and asked, "Have you lost your mind??"
I hauled ass down 220. At one point the dog gave a long, shuddering gasp that sounded like a death rattle. I looked back and she wasn't moving. "I am going to have to hand these people their dead dog," I thought. But then she gave a whimpering, sobbing gasp. "Hang on baby," I said. "We're almost there."
I screeched to a halt in front a very worried looking group of people. They opened the back door to my car and it was obvious they were devastated at seeing Rosie in the shape she was in. Sweet people, they're trying to hand me cash and I'm like, "No! No! Just go! Go!" They wrap Rosie in a blanket, run to their car and speed away.
I'd been crying a bit throughout the morning but for the most part, I'd held it together. Pulling out of the parking lot after having delivered Rosie, however, I lost it. My body started shaking and I was trying to see to drive through these big, heaving sobs. Blair called to check on me and my flair for the dramatic kicked in.
"I'm f-f-f-fine," I said. "But the backseat of my car is covered in blood."
I get home and Blair is waiting outside with a bucket of soap and water and cleaning sprays and towels and and I don't know what all.
"You go inside, sugar," he said. "I'll take care of this."
He followed me inside less then two minutes later, emptying the suds bucket into the sink. "Uh, honey?" he said. "There was two drops of blood on the seat. I used some windex to get them up."
So sue me. You have an innocent, bleeding dog in your backseat and a couple of drops will look like a flood to you too.
Frankly, I had little hope for the dog's survival. One was I doubted she could recover given what seemed the extent of her injuries and two, even if she was treatable, I couldn't imagine what the cost would be. My vet had mentioned it may take thousands in surgery bills.
That's why I was overjoyed and amazed when I heard from Leah the next day. "Rosie's alive," she said. "She's in a coma and in bad shape but we're going to try to save her."
STAY TUNED FOR PART III: ROSIE'S AMAZING RECOVERY