Sometimes life throws you a few curve-balls. Yes, I know how cliché that sounds, but it is very true. As humans, we can usually pick ourselves up and/or get the help we need. If you are an animal, it isn’t always that easy, though there are moments when good humans can come to the rescue…
A couple weeks ago PAWS pulled a dog from ACCT had a nasty wound around her neck from an embedded ‘collar’ that had been recently removed. She had been found as a stray, wandering the city streets. I met this dog, Mingo, during one of my weekly volunteer visits to the Grays Ferry clinic. And while she was very sweet, she was also very much on the shy side. She was sensitive to being touched on her neck, and with a wound like hers, who could blame her? But I could also see the desire to be close to people, to get and receive attention. I had a feeling she’d come out of her shell once she warmed up.
After a couple more days in PAWS to make sure her wound was healing and to start treatment for kennel cough I scooped her up into foster. The plan was to continue to monitor her and treat her neck wound. Things went smoothly the first couple of days, despite all her coughing. She did great with me cleaning and caring for her wound, got along well with the other dogs (though she was mostly quarantined due to kennel cough) and came more out of her shell every day. But I noticed she would tire very quickly even after walking just a half block. On the 2nd day here I could tell that something just wasn’t quite right. She seemed to tolerate her walk even less than before, was laboring to breathe , had no desire to eat and would cough up any water she drank. I took her over to PAWS right away for an evaluation. After the vets looked her over it was decided that the next step would be for me to take her over to VSEC.
The staff at VSEC took Mingo in right away and started doing their thing. Which included taking an xray. This xray revealed what was really going on.
The trauma from having this very tight make-shift collar (it was basically twine) wrapped around her neck, for who knows how long, caused her trachea to narrow severely, causing a stricture. This made breathing, drinking and eating almost impossible. On top of all this, Mingo was suffering from aspiration pneumonia. The decision was made to give Mingo a fighting chance…she would undergo surgery to resect the tracheal stricture. The staff and surgeons at VSEC pulled together to make it happen and after a 4+ hour surgery, little Mingo was changed for the better.
She spent the next few days recovering at VSEC and receiving plenty of care from everyone there. They were so thorough with everything, from making sure she was comfortable, allowing me time to visit while she was there, calling every day for an update and then, during discharge, carefully explaining how to go about treating her at home. I give huge high fives and hugs to all those involved in her treatment. They really took amazing care of Mingo and she was a very popular little lady while there!
Mingo was released to me early this week and I am amazed at how well she’s doing, despite everything she has been through in the last couple weeks. She still has her feeding tube in, but I am using that for her daily meds…she’s eating chicken on her own and drinking water with a little bit of coaxing. The tube should be able to come out in a couple weeks, yay! Because she is still recovering, we obviously aren’t running any marathons, but I take Mingo for a couple short walks a day and she enjoys getting out. She’s also kicking the pneumonia’s butt…we will be going in for a new chest xray this weekend. She seems to be perfectly content to be back ‘home’, soaking up lots of tlc. So all in all, this brave little girl is a survivor, in more ways than one.
I can’t help to think what would have happened if she’d never found her way to ACCT, PAWS and eventually VSEC. I am appalled at the circumstances that lead her down that road but, at the same time, so very happy that there were amazing humans to help her get to where she needed to be. Mingo and I are incredibly grateful to ACCT, PAWS, VSEC and everyone in between, this sweet dog would not have made it without their help. Second chances are awesome.
There is still plenty of recovery time before Mingo is ready for her forever home and I will try to post updates on her progress as often as possible. Once she is officially ready for adoption, she will be listed in the ‘current fosters’ section as well as be promoted through PAWS and I will begin to take applications at that time. Until then, be sure to check out my Instagram (@lovefurall) for daily glimpses of all things ‘Mingo Dog’