Every day we see cases that touch our heart but everyone once in a while we get a patient that comes with a story which leaves a lasting impression. This is Trooper’s story:
Mike Mecredi and Deb Richard from Duff, Saskatchewan, have been long time animal lovers who are always willing to help an animal in need. They were out feeding a horse that had strayed from home onto an abandoned farmyard. Mike came home one day and mentioned he thought he saw a puppy in the distance by a shed. They returned with a pail of food to encourage it to come to them.
Deb moved closer to the pup, which was hiding in an old shed. She dropped to her knees about three feet from the entrance of the shed and lightly called…’here puppy puppy’…and out came a dog, timid, but tail wagging, black, dull fur, very skinny. She could tell immediately the dog was pregnant. She slithered over to her calmly but as she was checking her out she felt a presence that made her look up. Standing two feet away stood a very big dog with a scarred up muzzle, no tail wagging, staring at her with a wary look. She could see he too was very underweight and that his back leg was very swollen and he had a large wound on his chest.
“I knew to swallow my fear immediately” said Deb, “I stayed on my knees, put my arms out in a welcoming position and lightly said again…’here puppy puppy’…he walked right into my arms and put his head into my chest and stayed there…I put my arms around him and hugged him telling him it’s okay now, it’s okay. That was a very tough moment, I could not help but cry, I could feel him giving himself up to me, and my heart broke into a million pieces.”
Having eight dogs already at home, Mike and Deb did not know how to proceed. The health of these new dogs was unknown and posed a risk to their existing pets. They fed the dogs, provided them with shelter,gave them with new names (Trooper and Sparky) and came back the next morning. With some encouragement they were able to get them both in their Jeep and rushed them to the vet in Melville. Although Mike was recovering from knee surgery and Deb on disability from a brain injury they found a way to commit some money for Trooper’s care. The vet assessed Trooper and realized he had two gunshot wounds, one to the chest and one to the leg which had broken his tibia (thigh bone). The vet knew finances were tight and offered amputation as the least expensive option. Repair was also an option but would cost much more. “ I was trying to figure out in my head how to justify to Mike why this dog deserved our help so much…then I heard that wonderful voice of Mike’s saying…’fix him…don’t take his leg, he deserves more than that…fix his leg!’…I could not help the tears that sprang into my eyes…and that is how Trooper got to meet Dr. Steve”
Trooper sustained a serious break and had open wounds which required the placement of an external fixator. The surgery went very well and all of Trooper’s wounds were cleaned and debrided. He was put on antibiotics for several weeks to take care of infection. Trooper was a lovely dog at the clinic and won over everybody’s heart. He looks tough with his scars but could not have been a nicer boy. He went home with his new owners for some well-deserved TLC. We will be rechecking him regularly for 12-16 weeks until his fracture site heals.
On Valentine’s day Sparky had 11 puppies! Trooper’s last chance as he was also neutered at the time of his surgery :). Sparky and Trooper will never go hungry again, and once Trooper’s recovery is complete he will have full use of his leg once again. “There was so much done for Trooper while in Dr. Steve’s care. All I can say is Trooper and Sparky are worth everything we have gone through for them, and we are totally in love with these dogs!”
Thank you card from Deb, Mike and Trooper. Sparky’s healthy pups.
We will be sure to provide updates on Trooper’s progress in the coming months. Thank you to Deb and Mike who have been able to give Trooper and Sparky a second chance. They are wonderful people and we are glad they were in the right place at the right time.