Injured and Abandoned
Early on a Sunday morning last April, a Good Samaritan brought in a small, gravely injured puppy. She had found him on her porch with bite wounds on his head and he wasn’t acting right. Thankfully, she brought him to the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital Emergency service for care.
Treatment at the Ann Arbor Animal Hospital ER
When Dr. Jennifer Dec first examined him that morning she noticed that in addition to the puncture wounds on his head, he had bruising to his eyes, he was dehydrated, and in shock. She took quick action and administered IV fluids, antibiotics and pain medication. Since he was not mentally normal, he was given a medication to address any possible brain swelling. He was in bad shape, especially from the bite wounds to his head. It was not clear if he would make a full recovery or if he would have permanent brain damage.
It was determined that he was about 4 weeks old and had no microchip or other identification. The plan was that he would be treated until he could be released from the hospital, and then would be turned over to the Humane Society for placement.
The puppy continued to slowly get progressively better, although he did develop an eye ulcer and also had to be fed with a syringe every 2-3 hours. He seemed to be a strong boy though, so we kept persevering.
Within a couple of days, the pup was eating on his own and doing much better. Although he was improving, he did not walk normally and the doctors were still concerned that he would have some permanent brain damage. They were hopeful that since he was so young that his brain would compensate and heal.
Finding Ollie New Home
There were a few employees who were interested in taking him home to either foster or become his new home. One of our Animal Care Specialists, Eric, agreed to foster him until a more permanent home could be found. After a short time, it was clear that the pup, now named Ollie, would find his forever home with Eric.
Eric says the following about Ollie’s first days: “When I brought Ollie home for the first night, he was only a little bit bigger than my hand. I had watched his health improve greatly over a week’s time in the ICU at the hospital. The first couple of days I hardly saw him awake and his wounds were still very apparent. However, he became more alert and responsive daily. After a few days he was standing in his cage and clumsily waddling around. A couple days later we were able to take him out of the cage and let him stumble around on the floor. He walked awkwardly on the tops of his paws back then, but over time he made adjustments and began to walk more normally.”
Eric continues, “The first few days at home he seemed to fit in comfortably with my 5 college roommates with me. He slept a majority of the time but impressed us with his energy and playfulness when awake. We also wondered at his ability to devour dry dog food at such a young age. Day by day, week by week, he grew bigger and stronger, continually delighting us with new feats and accomplishments. He quickly mastered sit, down, and shake. And after a few failed attempts he scrambled up the stairs to our front porch. Physically and mentally, he has come a long, long way from his days in that crate in the ICU.
Ollie and Eric are doing great now. Ollie has grown so much and doesn’t appear to have any adverse effects from the trauma that he experienced.
Eric says, “One thing that hasn’t changed since those days is his ability to make human friends fall in love with him.” In his short life Ollie has lived with Eric and his roommates, as well as with his family for a couple of months in Lowell, MI. When Ollie came back to Ann Arbor for a couple of weeks, he was day boarded at the animal hospital and truly appeared to have missed everyone there. Now he’s living with Eric’s girlfriend in a pet-friendly apartment complex.
Eric concludes, “He seems to have adjusted well to his new living conditions. He continues to bring happiness to everyone he meets.”