We often wish that our Saturday nights would be normal; feed the street dogs, distribute food to workers, pat some dogs and go home. It is our greatest fear when we can’t find our regular dogs, dogs that we've been feeding for years.
Tonight, it was another emotional night for our volunteers. We couldn’t find Cammy. Cammy is Mathilda’s sister and she lives in a vacated factory with her mother. Almost a year ago, we had taken Mathilda and her brother, Tommy, when the factory workers moved out. We could not take the entire family but we promised Cammy and her mommy we would come back for them soon.
|Waiting for death to overcome her|
We let them down.
It’s been almost a year and we have not been able to rehome Mathilda, and so we do not have space for Cammy and her mommy. Cammy is sweet like Mathilda and her mommy. In fact, the entire family are extremely human friendly. Each week when we visit, Cammy runs out from the vacated factory as soon as she hears our cars pull up. She then lies on the ground, asking for belly rubs. Even though she is hungry, she would rather get her pats and affection first.
|Searching for Cammy|
Today, she did not come out.
Our initial thoughts were that she could have been caught by AVA but after a search around the empty factory, we found poor Cammy lying in a puddle of water. It had been raining and she was shivering. When she saw us approach, she tried to stand, vomited, wobbled and collapsed. She was very weak and wobbly on her legs and her stomach was terribly bloated. She wasn’t her usual self. We tried to carry her and take her to the vet but she kept walking away from us. We saw her straining to pee, but nothing came out. All she wanted to do was hide under a lorry and wait for death to overcome her.
As she walked away from us and jumped over a drain, she fell into it and didn’t have the energy to get out. A volunteer, Jozelle, immediately climbed into the foul smelling drain to carry poor Cammy out. Cammy then hid under a truck and lay there gasping for air. As we prodded her and tried to get her out, she moved and hid under another lorry. After a short chase, we managed to get her and rushed her to Emergency. She was seen immediately as we thought she was suffering from bloat, which can be fatal. However, the x-ray showed nothing but fluids in her abdomen. Cammy was immediately put on drip to stabilize her as her heart could stop beating any moment or she could go into seizure. The vet then did a needle aspiration and we were shocked with the amount of fluids drained out of her abdomen, 1.8litres of fluid. Imagine how she was feeling; we likened it to drowning. The vet said it could have been just a few days to get to this stage and we believe so, as we had just played with her last weekend. Had we not rescued her tonight, she would have eventually “drowned” in all the fluids, slowly and all alone, under that lorry.
|Look at how bloated her tummy is|
|Draining the fluids from her abdomen|
Her blood test results came out later and that put us in greater shock. Cammy had severe dehydration, heart and kidney failure.
How could she have gotten so seriously ill when we saw her well and happy last week? More tests needs to be done but as emergency charges are rather expensive, we decided to wait till morning. For now, she is on drip in the emergency room. We tried feeding her but she isn’t eating.
|Eyes that no longer hold hope|
The vet has told us that she may not make it through the night, that her heart could stop beating anytime. How sad that strays often live and die alone. We let Cammy down. We said we would come back for her and find her a home, but we never did and now it’s probably too late. What’s sadder is that now mommy is left alone behind in the empty factory.
It’s been a long and emotionally draining night but sleep is the furthest from our minds. Tonight’s bill was $1200. Each time we say we won’t be rescuing any more dogs because we simply can’t afford it, but each time we look into their desperate eyes, pleading for help, telling us that we’re their only hope, we cave in.
Heart failure. Kidney failure. These are words often used on senior dogs. Cammy is 2 years old.
If you can help us with Cammy’s bill, please email email@example.com
Exhausted, we hope that our phone doesn’t ring in the wee hours of the morning because that would only bear bad news.