I never wanted a dog. I’m a cat person, always have been a cat person. My husband, however, has always had dogs, and just lost his beloved Barkley the year before, after many, many years together. So when he came to me in March 2014 asking could he please get this little puppy that he saw on the Campbell County Humane Society website, I couldn’t say no to him. So we adopted a little cheaglehund (thats chihuahua/beagle/dachshund to non dog people) and called her Lucy. She was just 8 weeks old when we brought her home to join our family.
This stinky little ball of fur and energy: what was I going to do with this pet? Within about two and a half minutes she had completely won my heart. She fit in with our family just perfectly…I loved her, Scott loved her, the kids loved her, even the cats loved her.
For several months we lived very happily. Lucy was a very typical puppy doing very puppy things – playing, chewing, playing, sleeping, playing, being cute…one time she injured her foot at just 12 weeks old – she jumped out of Scott’s arms unexpectedly – but she bounced back from that really quick. Then in September of 2014, the unthinkable happened.
One Saturday afternoon Lucy was sniffing around in the ditch while the kids were playing basketball outside, and a car came down our road and swerved into her and ran over her back end. Scott and I heard the impact from the back yard, and immediately ran out fearing for the worst…that one of our kids had been hit…and then we saw our sweet Lucy lying in the ditch. I thought this was the end. We were so scared, he rushed her to the emergency vet and I waited with the kids anxiously for any news at home. Scott finally called and said Lucy is alive for now but she is going to need very extensive surgery from a specialist in Charlottesville to save her life. She had multiple fractures in one leg and the other one was crushed and completely dislocated, and there was a crack in her spine. They were still waiting to find out if there was any internal damage.
With nothing more to do but wait until Monday, we cried and prayed together for our sweet Lucy, who had grown to be such a huge part of our family. We visited her at the emergency vet over the weekend several times. She looked so pitiful and sad but she still had her personality for sure – she jerked the feeding tube away from the vet and tossed it out of her cage, and insisted upon eating real food. She let them know that she was cold, that she needed scratches, that she needed attention, and that she missed us.
Monday came around finally and we made the trip to Charlottesville to Virginia Veterinary Specialists to see Dr. Stiffler who would eventually become a wonderful source of strength and positivity for us. After his examination, he told us that in order to save her life that she was going to need surgery that day to repair her legs, repair her spine and fix any internal damage that they found. This life saving surgery would run an estimated $8,000 to $14,000. Holy cow. Shock. Disbelief. Impossible to pay with 2 kids, a mortgage and other bills. But we knew we had to save our baby.
After posting a new update on my Facebook page, I got in touch with Lucy’s vet, Gentle Care Animal Hospital, and spoke to Jenni, who helped me complete the application for the Rachael Horton Compassionate Care Fund. The RHCCF assisted us with paying for Lucy’s life saving surgery and we are so grateful.
After a few months of recovery, several visits back to the specialist, xrays, bandages, and antibiotics, Lucy is back to being the sweet and happy and playful puppy we adopted just months before. She has one more small surgery scheduled to fix some nerve damage in one of her back feet, but she is back to her old self 100%. We will be celebrating Lucy’s first birthday on February 1st, a birthday that would not have been possible without the help of the Rachel Horton Compassionate Care Fund.
Submitted by Dana B.