The streets are all I have ever known.
I have no happiness; no purpose in life. In fact, emptiness and aimlessness is all I know. Coincidentally, the volunteers named me Zoey. Zoey means life . . . . . something I never experienced, till today, when I was patted for the very first time in my life by a volunteer and she said, “You’re a brave girl. Don’t worry too much now. You will be fine, you’re safe now.”
|Received from informant|
No one cares for me, no one feeds me, no one cares if I live or die. Every day I roam the streets searching for food. If I am lucky, I get a few mouthfuls of rice thrown in the garbage bin. Most days, I don’t eat for 3 or 4 days. Once a week, an uncle comes to feed us. You don’t know how happy we are to see him. He gives each of us a little food but for timid dogs like me, I usually wait for the alpha dogs to eat first and by the time they are done, all I get is to lick the roads and get a taste of what they ate. That has been my life for many years. I don’t know how old I am but I feel I have lived a long time . . . too long . . . my body and spirit are tired.
I have lost track of how many litters of puppies I have had. I used to put up a fight when I came on heat so as to defend myself from the male dogs humping me but now, I am resigned to my fate. I hide under containers or in bushes when it is time to deliver my babies. Sadly, most of them don’t live long. They are often killed in traffic accidents or they move to another street in the hopes of finding food and a better life.
I was hit by a car as I was dashing across the road to look for food. The pain was unimaginable and I thought I had died. The other dogs must have heard my scream from lanes away. I was in so much pain, I didn’t dare to stop. I continued running till I was far away from everyone, till I was safe. Then I realized that the impact of being hit by the car had ripped my stomach open and fractured my hip. I was pregnant. My stomach tore. I was worried about my babies surviving the impact. I was in such excruciating pain that I hid for what felt like days, bleeding and scared, too painful to even move or go out to look for food. I drifted in and out of sleep. Each time I woke up, I prayed that the pain would be gone, that I was in another world, free from pain and suffering . . . but then the pain and reality would hit me again. If only dogs knew how to commit suicide.
|Received from informant|
I hid till the day when I knew that the uncle would come around with food and I slowly and painfully limped my way back to where I used to hang around. I hid under a lorry while waiting for him to feed us. Then I heard a young man saying that he was glad I had come back and where had I been for the past few days. He saw me hiding and knew I was hurt. I heard him making some calls and finally he was given a telephone number that all strays must keep with them. He told the lady on the line that I had a cut on my stomach but he could not see how big the cut was. She told him she would send a guy with a carrier down to get me in an hour’s time and she would wait for me at the emergency vet as it was almost midnight. While waiting, the young man offered me water. I had a few sips and then threw up. My stomach was torn and rotting, I could not even ingest water.
When the guy came to take me, I was too weak to put up a struggle and allowed him to push me into his carrier.
|Zoey at emergency|
At the vet, three volunteers were waiting for me. They carried me straight into the emergency ward where the vet put a muzzle on me, even though I would never bite them, and the vet gave me pain killers. They commented that was I was very weak and may not make it through the night. They had never seen anything like this, a dog still surviving despite the stomach being torn open. My stomach and the surrounding skin was already turning black and the cells were dying. It had been almost a week.
|Stomach ripped open on impact|
The volunteers said I was heavily pregnant and asked the vet to take an x-ray of my stomach to confirm I was carrying puppies. While they were waiting for the x-ray results, the nice volunteers stroked my head and assured me I was alright. All of them said they could smell my stomach rotting and one volunteer was almost in tears each time she turned to look at me. Another nice volunteer kissed my forehead, my very first kiss, despite the fact that I was a stray and I was dirty . . . .she kissed my forehead and said I smelled like oil and I must have come from a car workshop. She was right!
Soon, the vet came with the results; I had tick fever, very low red blood count, a fractured hip, I needed a blood transfusion and I was carrying 5 puppies. In order to determine if the puppies were alive or dead, I needed an ultrasound scan, which they said they would do the next morning. The vet then cleaned up my wound, washed me a little, wrapped me up like a dumpling and put me in the cage. The pain killers were starting to kick in and for the first time in a week, I didn’t feel such excruciating pain. The volunteers took turns to say good night to me and left.
The next morning, I was transferred to another clinic where I was to be seen by another vet. The volunteers also spent hours appealing and coordinating my blood transfusion and finally after waiting for the whole day, I finally got a bag of blood in the evening. I hear that the blood donor is a strapping young dog, also a rescued stray. His name is Thumbie. He’s my hero, he saved my life.
|Thumbie, blood donor dog and saviour|
The vet will let me rest and stabilize me for a day, before she operates on me. They can’t operate on me right away as I am too weak and will not pull through. Their plan is to abort my puppies, alive or dead, and try their best to save me. The vet said the tear on my stomach is very very huge and there is not enough skin to pull from around my stomach and close the wound. As such, they may need to leave the wound open for a while and manage it carefully. They also mentioned skin grafting.
|X-Ray shows 5 puppies in Zoey's tummy|
The vet told the volunteers that I would be operated on Tuesday and they will monitor to ensure my body accepts the new blood.
And so, I hope my new journey begins. I may not have a family like other dogs, but I have known love.
To help with Zoey’s vet bills, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. She needs our love and support. Thank you.