Giving Up On Love

We received an e-mail from Lady J informing us that her dog, Lele, was unwell as it kept whining and howling. She came to us for advice as she had no idea what to do, and was considering giving up the dog as her neighbours could not tolerate the noises her dog made. Lady J told us that the dog was fine as she had brought her to a vet. We told her to bring the dog again to a vet for a more thorough check-up involving parvo, distemper and a blood test, with the recommendation of one of our regular vets. Lady J ended up bringing Lele to the same vet saying he was familiar with her condition. After taking an x-ray, the vet determined that Lele had a lung problem, and was given medication for it. Lady J felt that if Lele did not get better, she would be put to sleep. We were surprised that the vet’s diagnosis of Lele’s lung problem was attributed to old age – Lele was only an 8 year old Maltese! She was hardly old as any dog could live to almost twice that age.

In subsequent e-mail conversations over the next two weeks, Lady J initially agreed to bring her to another vet for a second opinion if Lele did not get better. However, a few days later, Lady J e-mailed to inform us that she did not have the capability to take care of Lele and decided to let Lele go to end her suffering. One of our volunteers informed Lady J that HOPE would take over the case, and to not end Lele's life yet. Although our volunteer managed to contact her in time, we found out that Lady J's mother was already on the way to the vet to put Lele down. We rushed to mobilize volunteers to pick Lele up and bring her to one of our vets.
Volunteer, Buven, collecting Lele from her family who gave her up
Lele's owner handing her to us
Lele sick at the vet
Lele was warded immediately and was at the vet for 4 days before we transferred her to see Dr Ly. Poor Lele was almost in an unconscious state and we were warned about the risks of attempting to transfer her. However, we were desperate for a second opinion and a means to ease her pain. As soon as we arrived at the second vet, Lele was placed on oxygen therapy as her breathing was terribly laboured. Dr Ly commented that with Lele’s condition, she would not respond to conventional treatments and the best that could be done was to make her feel more comfortable and reduce her pain.
We contacted Lele's family and insisted that they visited her. We felt it would be a pity to put Lele down, but we knew that Lele was approaching her final hours. We believed it was important for Lele to have her family with her. That night, Lele's family came to visit her, but the mood was not a solemn one. Instead, there were smiles and laughter as if it was a joyous occasion. On that very night, poor Lele had 3 seizures within a few hours. Although it was in the wee hours of the morning, we felt that Lele shouldn't be left alone at the vet so plans were made for a fellow volunteer to take Lele home first thing in the morning as Lady J was reluctant to bring Lele home for the weekend. Before morning came, sweet Lele passed away. It was as if she was contented to have had her family visit her one final time. Such is the loyalty of a dog, despite knowing that her family had given up on her.

Farewell Lele
We rushed down in the wee hours of the morning to collect her body and arranged for a private cremation the next morning. Our volunteers attended the cremation and even though we did not know Lele for a long time, we were deeply saddened by her hard life. We may not have been able to do much for Lele in her final days, but we are sure she knew how much we cared for her.
The vet bills and cremation were paid by Hope Dog Rescue. Support our work so that we may continue to help more dogs in need.
Written by Jasmine Chng

Thankfully, two of our volunteers, Annie and Buven, happened to be in the vicinity and chanced upon our group message for volunteers to retrieve Lele and bring her to the vet. It was a long wait at the vet as we did not have any appointment booked. As we were waiting, Lele was crying out with such pain that we couldn’t bear to see her in such a condition. We decided that we could no longer wait patiently as Lele's pain was reaching unbearable levels for her. Buven approached the vet tech and based on Lele's condition, they took her in for an examination by the vet immediately. As we waited outside, the vet ran multiple tests on Lele, and we were told that the x-rays indicated that she also had spinal problems, and the blood test showed that her liver was extremely swollen.