There’s no secret that I’m fascinated by my dogs. The shar-pei, Guinness, fills the role of the big, happy dog that exists to eat, play and sleep. Bailey, the pug, is the princess that wants to be held and coddled, but also has a fiery temper and consistently overcomes obstacles to her health — like emphysema and an eyeball that literally popped out of her head one day after a seizure.
Oh, I daydream about them running off to join a traveling circus after I find a chewed-up sock or wet mark on the floor, but that usually gets cut short when one or both of them nuzzle up against me on a cold night or bring a toy to me in the back yard during the warmer days of spring. They’re family to me, and the thought of losing them cuts too deep to ever really contemplate life without them for any length of time.
A couple that I’m friends with have recently gone through that horror. Four months ago their Boston terrier, Lucy, got out of their fenced-in yard and ran away. Brittany, one of the dog’s owners, was celebrating her birthday by having dinner with her sister when she received a call from Joe telling her the bad news. Brittany immediately cut out of dinner and came home to help Joe look for Lucy.
“We did everything,” said Brittany. “We put up fliers, called the SPCA, called every vet in Sussex County. I drove around searching for her, called the police, the fire departments, did findtoto.com (a service that serves like an Amber Alert for missing dogs), called animal control and had them set up a trap, put ads on Craigslist, and called WGMD to broadcast something. But even with my best efforts, I had no luck.”
I remember talking with Joe shortly after Lucy went missing and he was telling me about how much time he was spending trying to find the dog. He was upset about losing Lucy, as well, but was very worried about Brittany. He knew she was going out of her mind trying to find the dog, and he felt bad for her. It made my heart sink, and I think I spent a little extra time that weekend playing with my own dogs. They continued their search, but had no luck.
“After about a month of non-stop searching and heartache, I came to the conclusion that someone either had her ... or the worst had happened,” said Brittany. “I tried to move on, but would still look in the fields whenever I was driving through Oak Orchard, hoping I would see her, but I never had any luck.”
On Monday, Feb. 20, Brittany received a call from the Kent County SPCA. They scanned a microchip on a dog they found and it matched Lucy’s. Brittany jumped in the car and drove up to Camden to see the dog for herself.
“I started bawling immediately when I saw her,” said Brittany. “My poor baby was completely emaciated.”
She drove Lucy straight from Camden to Savannah Animal Hospital and the doctor gave Lucy a thorough examination. She had deep corneal ulcers in both eyes, was malnourished and completely dehydrated. Lucy is going to need surgery for her eyes, and as of Wednesday morning, she was expected to be in the animal hospital until at least Friday, receiving intravenous fluids and recovering from surgery.
“My girl is hanging in there, but she is in very bad shape,” said Brittany. “It’s a miracle that a dog survived four months on its own with no real food or shelter, but I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to nurse her back to health and give her the life she deserves.”
Alas, the medical bills for Lucy will be pretty significant, and the elated couple could use some help. I know times are tough, and people have things they would like to contribute their money to other than a dog’s recovery, but for those who would like to help, I can confirm that this story is straight.
To contact Brittany, give her a call at (302) 858-2297. Even if you can’t help, she’d probably love the support.