I remember when I was completing Lucy’s adoptions forms I asked, “by the way, do you know her breed mix?” One of the women told me, “the man who brought them in said his border collie and the neighbor’s Australian Shepherd were the parents”. I believe my ignorant response to the woman was, “oh, how sweet!”. Thinking back to that adoption and how naive we were, those puppies should have come with a warning label; “Warning: mixing this puppy and any amount of oxygen could result in chaotic and catastrophic events!” We had just adopted a border collie/aussie shepherd mix — that’s like giving any other puppy a Red Bull I.V. drip! I’m sure I heard the shelter volunteers laughing at us as we were leaving.
After Lucy recovered from her cold and she started showing her real self, I decided to do some research on her breeds. After learning just how energetic she would become, I then quickly looked into “Puppy Classes”. She was supposed to learn to obey her human (me) when I commanded “sit”, “stay”, “lay down”, etc. To “graduate” she had to complete a small obstacle course demonstrating her alert and studious response to my commands. Lucy and I worked our tails off and to the surprise of her fellow classmates she performed wonderfully and graduated her class with “Most Improved Honors”! She then ate the other half of our house after classes ended.
We all have those days we’ll never forget, one of mine was a Tuesday afternoon when Lucy was just over a year old; it was lunch time, a normal potty-time for Lucy. I took her out and she poo’d but, it looked funny. I took her back inside with intentions of going back out to look a bit closer at her deposit but as soon as we got in the house she vomited and it was full of blood. I ran outside and saw that the poo was also full of blood. Luckily everything moved into place quickly; my neighbor was home to keep The Kid, traffic moved fast even though it was a heavy traffic time and it was a good thing because Lucy was rapidly going downhill. Remember how I told you she was good at hiding an illness? She had not shown one single sign that she was feeling the least bit sick until that potty trip and that cost her precious time.
With a grave face, Dr. Rogan explained that Lucy had developed a disease called Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis. It begins with sudden and severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea and it can be fatal. He told me that in many cases most little dogs do not survive this attack but big dogs usually do however, Lucy was in bad shape and he was concerned.
Lucy stayed with our vet for the rest of the day and then moved to the emergency vet’s office for the night so she could continue IV fluids and medication. I don’t believe Hubs nor I got a single minute of sleep that night, Lucy’s prognosis was still unclear. The Kid knew his doggie was sick but he just couldn’t understand the severity of her situation. It was very upsetting for all of us, I could clearly see the kitties were also worried.
The next morning Lucy was back at our vet’s office for the day’s treatment. We returned that evening for an update and were prepared to move Lucy back to the ER vet for another night’s stay but instead our tail-wagging, smiling, happy border-collie baby came home! Dr. Rogan told us he had never seen such a sick dog bounce back so quickly. Her recovery was amazing, yes, even a miracle.
Only 36 hours after she first arrived, so close to death, Lucy left our vet’s clinic with medication, a strict diet and an incredibly thankful family. Thank you, Dr. Rogan*, for saving our little girl.
*A big thank you to our vet Dr. Scott Rogan and the entire team at his clinic, for the great care you always give to our furry kids, you all are great!