Hurray For Bobby

Bobby has been a particular favorite of mine. He is not the most handsome dog, neither was he the friendliest. Instead, he was a bag of bones who ignored us most of the time. However, his will to survive, never say die attitude and deep love for food endears him to me.

When I first met Bobby, we had just rescued him and he was lying motionlessly on the consult table, waiting to be seen by the vet. I only knew he was alive from his eyes, which were filled with pain. When the vet saw him, she threw her hands in the air exclaiming, ‘Why does Hope Dog Rescue always bring me such sad cases?’ She continued to sigh in pity, feeling so sorry for Bobby as she examined him. We never wanted to be known as the rescue group with the sad cases but many a times, we were asked why our rescues always seem to be in such bad shape. We do not have a shelter and thus, do not rescue healthy strays. Instead we feed them and if they have a regular caregiver, we provide food to them, to lighten their load. We can’t save them all and reserve our resources for the worst cases. Bobby is probably the worst this year.
Wound Cleaning
His surgical wound is so much better now, no longer red and raw
When I first saw him, Bobby was a dirty, dusty dog covered in ticks and fleas with a big maggot wound on the side of his body. The maggots were crawling out of his raw wound and we killed two as they crawled out from his rotting flesh. There were fleas everywhere crawling and jumping around, even fleas in his eyes and wound! It still gives me chills thinking about it. The diagnosis was bleak but not life threatening. He was warded at the vet and his maggot infested wound slowly recovered. However, throughout his entire stay at the vet, he remained expressionless. He hardly moved, stared into nothing or just slept his days away. Everyone who met him could feel his deep sense of sadness. What was he sad about?  His tick infestation? Did he miss someone terribly? We even asked his factory worker to visit him, just in case Bobby was pining for him, but he wasn’t the one Bobby longed for.

Dearest Bobby
Our kind volunteer, HK, who is also a groomer, shaved him down and gave him a good shower. His fur was so badly matted with flea dust that it took her two sessions of 2 hours each just to shave him down and give him a good shower. To our surprise, he is white and not grey as we first thought.

Still a Bag of Bones
One day, the vet noticed him whining and straining while trying to pee as she was examining him. His penis has been badly infected and he has been put on a course of antibiotics. He must be in extreme pain as dogs generally have a high threshold of pain and seldom whine unless it is unbearable. The vet recommended that we amputated his penis as it has grown so much more swollen and doesn’t seem to be recovering in the time that he was at the vet and she suspected it might be cancer. We were put in a dilemma; Bobby had a heart murmur and a general anesthesia will mean he might never wake up. After much deliberation, we decide to go ahead. What is the quality of life if it’s one filled with pain? We must give Bobby a chance to have another shot at life even though financially, we could hardly afford it.

An opening surgically created from his scrotum for Bobby to pee

Bobby proved to be a fighter when he woke up. We were ecstatic when we heard the news as we had feared the worst. The vet removed a mass which was almost 25cm long. It has been sent for testing and we still do not know if its cancerous as the results are not back yet. It took him another two weeks to get better as after the operation, his scrotum got infected and a catheter has to be inserted to keep the area dry and allow it to recover.

After 45 days at the vet, we are finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. A very kind foster has contacted us to offer to take care of Bobby. He can finally leave his tiny cage at the vet and recuperate in a home filled with love. Although Bobby’s penis is amputated, he has started using his new opening to pee and is finally off painkillers!He loves his food especially meat and salmon. This picky boy will actually pick the fish and meat to eat and leave the rice and vegetable in his meals that volunteers have painstakingly prepared for him. Last night when I visited with some meat balls for supper, he stood up in excitement with his tail wagging and gobbled up the meats balls in a jiffy. After he cleaned the bowl, he looked around expecting more and when that didn’t happen, he gave me a mournful look and went back to sleep. So much for gratitude…

Dear Bobby, thank you so much for recovering. There were times when we feared for the worse and wondered if it would be kinder to put you to sleep. There were times when bad things just kept happening to you and infection upon infection inflicted you and it seemed you might never get well again. There were times when we feared you might never leave the clinic alive, but apparently life has other plans for you. Good luck to you Bobby boy, enjoy your stay at your foster and perhaps, one day you will find your forever home.

If you can provide Bobby with a forever home and give him the love and care he deserves, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Written by Wendy Yeo