A stray collie was collected by animal control services and brought into the pound a couple of months ago. Her coat was so matted that it was not easy to determine if she was male or female. She held her head down and as still as possible. This dog's ears were leaking black pus from entrenched infections. She looked as though someone had poured sticky black treacle down either side of her shoulders.
The pound kept her for the standard amount of time in case she was claimed by an owner. It is hard to believe that she was not treated medically during that time. I guess they'd written her off.
Collie Rescue picked her up, named her Lucy, as every dog deserves a name, and took her to a vet. The vet established that one reason she was so thin was that her ear infections made it too painful for her to open her mouth, or swallow.
Lucy was estimated to be around 8 years old, deaf and probably incurable. Her ear canals so calcified that antibiotic drops could not penetrate. Major surgery, with painful extended recovery. would be required to attempt to improve her ears. Outcome uncertain. Euthanasia was a serious consideration.
Against the odds, Lucy improved with oral meds. Although still deaf, she started to take an interest in her surroundings. I saw a picture of her, all cleaned up, lying on the couch, which she had to be helped up onto, across the laps of her new foster family.
There is a hospice program through collie rescue that supports the needs of dogs like Lucy, so that they can live their last few months or years in loving homes. The people who embrace these dogs are very special. It seemed to me that this was the best outcome that could be hoped for.
This morning I saw an email update from Karen, founder and current president of our group. Lucy underwent eight hours of surgery at UC Davis yesterday and is resting comfortably. The University Vet School financial aid department is donating $2,500 towards her care. They said that they have never had so many vets, students and faculty so compelled to offer help to a dog. Lucy, apparently, has a fan base and a following. Now she also has a chance at life.