Jewel2, May, 2001
One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure
As told by Jewel's rescuer: "There is no garbage pickup in our neighborhood in Ketchum, Oklahoma, so once a week we take our garbage 7 miles to a group of dumpsters in the next town. On April 5, we took our garbage, not taking too much notice of a truck with a dog running around in the bed that was there also.
On April 11, there was a very serious storm. The next day, we took our garbage again and noticed a black lab drinking out of a water puddle behind one of the dumpsters. She looked hungry, wet, and old. I got out to get a closer look and noticed that she wasn't wet at all. She was covered in oil. Her skin was cracked and gray, and hairless along her arms, belly, and face. Taking a chance on the poor thing, I offered her a Little Debbie. She was a little wary at first, but she was hungry and eventually came over to me. I petted her and started sweet talking her toward my car, where my daughter was waiting in the passenger seat with another treat for her.
Without much hesitation, she jumped in the car. We stopped at a gas station and picked up a bag of dog food and headed home. Once there, we led her into our fenced backyard. She ran around, quite obviously enjoying grass beneath her feet instead of gravel. My daughter, who held the dog on her lap the whole trip, was completely smothered in oil on her arms, shirt, and pants. She also found and removed several ticks. Due to this bug problem, we set a big dish of water and food out under the back porch for her. We made plans to take her to the vet the next day, but she would have to spend the night outside.
The next day, April 13, we took her to the vet. It was during their questioning that I started to vaguely recall the truck with the dog. I could only assume those were the people who dumped her. The doctor said the oil on her coat was an old home remedy for mange, which was why her skin was so irritated. He said they could treat her, but it would take no less than three treatments, each at $57. The mange was caused by a parasite that was only contagious to other dogs. This, thought the vet, was the reason she was dumped instead of cared for properly.
My daughter and I had grown fond of her, and decided to treat her, and give her a good home. When we went to pick her up the next day, she had been bathed (but was still oily). But she was happy and energetic, and already looked better to us. The doctor then gave us a shock. She was not as old as we had thought, but only around 2 years old, and as far as he could tell, a full Lab. If she was a mix, it was so small, that he couldn't tell.
We took her home and gave her regular visits to the doctor, an inside crate to sleep in every night, food, toys, and lots of love. At the end of her treatment, we had spent almost $725 on her in vet bills, but she is worth every penny. She has been one of the most loyal, loving, good natured, and well-behaved dogs we have ever had. She's even house trained. Now she's healthy, and looks like she never had mange in the first place. We named her Jewel, because that's what she is to us. And one man's trash is another man's treasure."
By the time Jewel's rescuer applied to LABMED for funding assistance, Jewel was well on her way to recovery. Mange can be hard to treat but the vet told us that Jewel was responding to treatment very well and he expected her to be completely healthy once her treatment was finished. We were happy to be able to fund part of Jewel's treatment cost.
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