NH - 2016
It was the beginning of 2014, we had been living in our new house for a couple of months. We had a small dog, Rascal, and two cats. I had wanted another dog for a while at this point and my husband was finally ready, so to the internet we went looking for a husky. After being a little sticker shocked my husband decided on a cute little fuzzball, Alaskan Malamute, he found. I wasn’t 100% sure about having such a big dog at first and reading about how stubborn they can be seemed like a challenge. My daughter was a year and a half old at the time so it was going to be a handful. My husband works out of a union hall and when he is working its usually out of state.
Needless to say, I finally agreed and we went to meet the people with the puppy.
Meet my sweet little baby boy, Kuma. He was definitely a handful to potty train with my daughter running around but we ended up getting it done. My husband had left for work a few days after getting him so it was up to me to train him. We ended up forming an amazing bond. He ended up to be such a big baby, a sweet heart. He loved swimming, playing, absolutely loved the snow and running around like a maniac. Of course he had his little faults but who doesn’t.
Fast forward to August 12, 2016. Very early in the morning I went outside with the dogs to try to catch a few shooting stars during the meteor shower. I saw Kuma catch the scent of something and take off down the driveway. When I had gotten down to where he was I could tell he had something tracked to the bush/tree we have in the yard. As I got close he dove into the bush after it. I, at this point, still didn’t know what it was, and heard him making a funny like blowing noise. It was just crazy, it all happened so fast, after biting it a few more times i finally got ahold of him and brought him into the house. It was a porcupine, I could not believe what I was seeing, it couldn’t have just been a skunk right. It was bad, they were everywhere. All in his face, lips, gums, chest, feet, ankles, he even had some on his back! I was freaking out, the closest emergency vet is 30 minutes away.
While trying to get him to stop pawing at his face, I called the vet. He was in a lot of pain, it was obvious based the howls. They told me depending on how bad it is it would cost anywhere from $200-$500. My heart sank, we did not have enough money at the time to be able to cover that. With my husband's job, he works a few months and gets a laid off for a couple months. During the off time we receive unemployment, but for whatever reason it is taking longer this time.
The vet told me about care credit, I applied online, thinking this is going to be it, it can’t get any worse right? So we get approved for the maximum she told me it would be $500. Relieved I get him in the car and we make it to the vet. From the time the incident happened to when he went in for surgery was 1 hour. They took him in, I thought, to sedate him and pull the quills out, easy peasy. After waiting for about an hour and half (they told me it would take an hour) the doctor finally came out. He had to cut Kuma's chest open and shoulder because of how many were in there. The doctor said he got about 200 out of him that night.
As the days continued I continued to pull a total of 70 out of him myself. He was doing ok for a couple days but then it started to sound like he was having a hard time breathing. We finally got him in for an X-ray and she saw that his lung was punctured but we didn't know how bad. I was fighting and doing everything I could to try to raise enough money just to get him the CT Scan (that would show us exactly how bad it was internally). Everytime we would get close to having the money, something would happen and he would have to go back to the emergency vet to get his chest tapped to get the air out. I believe that happened 3-4 times and that took all the CT money we had.
I started looking online for organizations that would possibly help with some kind of emergency fund for veterinary bills. We were in a very dire situation and they were basically our last hope. I saw Brown Dog Foundation on a website and their description matched my situation so I took a chance and applied. To my relief they contacted me back right away. Once we got all the details together they worked very diligently to be able to get us a payment plan for the CT scan.
Thanks to Brown Dog Foundation we would've finally been able to see exactly what was going on inside him and decide what the best course of action would be to save him. Unfortunately a quill punctured his heart on the CT scan table and he passed away almost immediately. I can' thank you enough for your help through this difficult time. My sincerest gratitude!