Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks to Pet Heroes

     There are many reasons to be thankful for your pet.   Like never having to pick up dropped food for example, or always knowing when someone is at the door.  But there are some pets out there who give their owners a little more to be thankful for every year.  They are hero pets!  And here are the stories of just a few of them.

     Koshka was a kitten rescued by a soldier in Afghanistan.  The soldier discovered him injured while out on patrol, snuck him back to base camp, and nursed him back to health.  Over the duration of the soldier's deployment he became very depressed; his marriage was falling apart at home and the stress of war was getting to him.  He contemplated suicide more than once, but says that Koshka never left his side.  He was a constant companion and at times refused to leave the soldier alone.  The soldier credits Koshka with getting him through those dark days and ultimately saving his life.  He has since adopted Koshka back to the U.S. and the cat now resides with his parents in Oregon.

     A gunman in Florida opened fire, killing a teenage girl and wounding a 27 year old man.  A stray dog, since named "Princess Coco Wing" leaped from the bushes and attacked the gunman, stopping him from killing anymore people.  The dog took two bullets through both of her hind legs.  She was found in the bushes by a responding officer and brought to a local veterinary hospital.  Veterinarians spent five hours in surgery with Princess Coco and she ultimately survived.  After her story hit the news she had numerous calls of families who wanted to adopt this hero dog.  

     Jade is a 9 year-old German Shepherd from Britain who was out on a walk one day in the park with her owner.  Jade suddenly ran away from her owner and refused to return to him.  He found her sitting next to a strange bag resembling a cat carrier.  At first the  man thought there were kittens in the bag, but he soon realized it was an abandoned human newborn!  He called the authorities and the infant was rushed to the hospital and recovered completely fine.  They did not find the parents, but credit Jade with finding and saving that little baby's life.  

     There are so many stories out there of hero pets and heartwarming stories of how powerful the human-animal bond can be.  I hope these three bring a smile to your face and put a little warmth in  your heart this Thanksgiving.

  From all of us to you, we'd like to wish you a very happy, and healthy Holiday Season.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Project Samana

The human animal bond is something that all of us at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod value deeply.  Some of us find our pets, either through a breeder, or rescue them from a shelter.  But for some people it's the opposite; their pets find them.  This is the case for many pets in the Dominican Republic.  Street strays are everywhere and often they find themselves wandering into someones home.  They get food and attention and a bond develops.  The rest is history.

So how do people who struggle to feed themselves care for a pet?  Somehow they still manage to provide what little they can because the once street stray is now a member of their family; one they can't picture their lives without.   Project Samana offers those people the opportunity to provide very basic care for their adopted pets; while at the same time helping to prevent more orphaned dogs from roaming the streets. 

Every year in June and November, a team of veterinary professionals head to Samana in the Dominican Republic for a spay and neuter clinic.  We say spay and neuter, and mostly, that's what we do, but really we'll see anything that walks through the door. 

Being a part of Project Samana is an incredibly rewarding experience.  You will work incredibly hard, but you won't want to leave.  There is something so hopeful about the Dominican People.  They come together every evening to eat, listen to music, and spend time with each other.  They are slowly building their country to a better place, and they take great pride in themselves and their fellow Dominican's accomplishments.  (Wearing a Red Sox hat there will definitely earn you a hello and a friendly smile). 

This November we treated 198 patients, and we will be headed back there in June 2014 hoping to do many more.  Some of us may even be found by our own new four-legged family member.