Happy Valentine's Day to this boy...
What a story!
On Sunday, February 9th, Larry and I were driving to dinner during a snowstorm and saw a pit bull running down Ladue Road. In the 16 years I've known Larry and have driven around Ladue, I have never seen a stray dog there, let alone a pit bull!
We tried to coax him into the car, but he was terrified. Turning onto Lindbergh Blvd., we followed him as he ran along the middle concrete barrier. With our flashers on, we drove slowly alongside him withthe door open. I even stopped and got out, but he took off. A few cars behind us could see the dog and what we were trying to do. By this time it was snowing hard and the streets were covered. He stopped in a parking lot to eat scraps he'd found, so we pulled in. A nice guy in his early 20s saw us and pulled over to offer crackers. The dog's ribs were showing, and he was obviously starving. He lowered his head and eyed me as a I got out of the car and moved towards him, not sure whether he should continue eating the scraps and risk being captured, or skip the meal and run.
Fear won, and he ran.
He ran down a side street, so I followed him, but my car was sliding in the snow. Larry had had enough of Lynne's Rescue Rover mission and wanted to eat. I'm sure he regretted letting me drive to dinner. But we lost sight of the dog anyway, so...
Back at home, I posted on Facebook the video I took of him running, hoping someone would see it and catch him. I couldn't get him out of my head. It was freezing outside. How would he survive? What if he got hit by a car?
Four days later, that's what happened.
On February 13th, a girl named Tracy, whom I didn't know, messaged me on Facebook that she saw a picture of a dog who'd been hit by a car that night that looked like the one I had posted. We found through Facebook messages that he was taken to Animal Control. The town where he was hit, St. Charles, was 12 miles away. I didn't see how it could possibly be the same dog.
But it was.
Unbelievably, we found through witnesses (via Facebook) that the dog had first been hit on the morning of February 13th, somehow ran another mile, and was hit again at 6:00 at night, this time severely. A police officer stopped traffic and several people helped secure the dog. He was taken to Animal Control, where Tracy knew the supervisor, and we were told he'd be taken to a vet the next morning. On the morning of February 14th, I drove 35 minutes in the snow and sleet to see the dog whom the vet had named Valentine. After finding out he had a dislocated and severely fractured femur and abrasions everywhere, and knowing that normally in this case Animal Control would have him euthanized because they don't have the funds to save a severely injured stray dog with no microchip or tags, Tracy and I decided to save him. So many people - especially ME! - had put too much time, energy and emotion into him to let him die.
We got a rescue, CAPA, to back him, but we agreed to be financially responsible, as they, like so many small rescues, are extremely short on funds. With Animal Control's permission, I drove him to VSS, a specialty veterinary hospital. His options were amputation of the severely broken leg or a femoral head and neck excision to try to save it. I opted to save it. He had surgery that night, February 14th. I left VSS at 4:00 in the afternoon and hurried home to my human valentine…just in time for dinner :)
Valentine will need follow up visits and physical therapy but otherwise is doing very well. The police officer who was on the scene is interested in adopting him, so we've kept him in the loop.
In the meantime, if anyone could please donate to his surgery and care, I would really, really, REALLY appreciate it! Thank you so much :) Even five or 10 dollars…it all adds up!
Here's the link: Valentine's Surgery and Recovery
You can also see updates on his Facebook page at Valentine's Journey
If you're unable to donate, please go to his page, "like" it and share or share this blog post. Thank you all!!
Picture I took as he was running down Lindbergh on February 9th. Heavy snow started falling (you can see it a little bit in the light near the top of the picture) and within ten minutes the streets were covered.
He had a loose collar on
The picture posted on February 13th after he had been hit by at least two cars…once in the morning and this time, which was at 6:00 at night. You can see his dislocated back left leg.
Skinny baby :( at Animal Conrol
This is at the first vet's office before I took him to VSS
It was February 14th when he was taken from Animal Control in the morning to the vet, where they named him Valentine
I spent four hours at the first vet as we tried to figure out what to do and to find a rescue to back him. This vet office kitty snuggled up to me as I waited :)
At the first vet's office, they gave him pain medicine, so he was pretty loopy when I saw him
Transferring him from the first vet's office to my car for the ride to VSS
The day after surgery
A pain patch on his shoulder
The poor boy was a mess...His underside was black and blue
And everything was swollen :(
But he felt better every day and was released on Monday, four days after surgery.
Tracy took him to the doggie daycare she owns, which is where he is now.
The first night out of the hospital…
He has a heart-shaped freckle on the tip of his nose
I made a valentine for my Valentine
Below are short video clips….
I took this of him running down Lindbergh on February 9th.
The day I took him from Animal Control to VSS for his surgery. He had been slightly sedated here in preparation for surgery:
Leaving the hospital:
His first night out of the hospital he was crying because he didn't want to be alone. He was used to the bright hospital lights and people everywhere:
He knows "shake"!
He was very quiet and aloof the first few days. We weren't sure if he was friendly, but look at that tail wag…finally!
Thank you to all the people involved….those who went out in the snowstorm to look for him the first night I sent out a plea; Tracy who helped me find him, is giving him tender loving care, made him a Facebook page, and is helping to raise funds; the police officer who stopped traffic and was with him when he was hurt; everyone who has donated; and everyone who has visited him.
For all who have cared…thank you.