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Success Stories

Pilgrim, January, 1999

pilgrimShe was a two year old stray, weighing barely 50 pounds and nothing but skin and bones. She was found by a kindly optometrist while she was hanging around some property he owned next to the Ohio River in Rome, Indiana. He in turn, contacted one of his clients who he knew did rescue work for Central Indiana Labrador Rescue and Adoption (CILRA) and three days before Thanksgiving, "Pilgrim" was taken to a foster home where her needs could be tended to. She was described as being incredibly emaciated, and having a walnut-sized abscess on her face, which was covered with scars. But the worst health problem for poor Pilgrim appeared to be a very bad bladder infection and continuous incontinence. Pilgrim was taken to the volunteer's local vet where she received treatment for all the obvious medical problems, and while under this care, the vet determined that the source of the incontinence was an ectopic ureter.

But despite all this trauma that Pilgrim had to endure, she was full of love for everyone at the veterinary hospital and her foster home. She was described as one "HAPPY GIRL".

As the vet had no experience with ectopic ureters, a specialist was recommended and Pilgrim was taken for examination. Her surgery would be an expensive one, but time was of the essence so the volunteer paid for Pilgrim's operation out of her own personal funds, deciding to worry about seeking financial assistance later.

On December 18th, Pilgrim underwent a 3 hour and 20 minute "micro-surgery" operation. Sutures the size of a human hair were used in the operation, and Pilgrim's "internal plumbing" connections were so unusual that photos were taken to document the procedure for a veterinary reference magazine.

LABMED was contacted and a request was made for funding of Pilgrim's surgical expenses. Having just completed a funding application for a ectopic ureter (see Gypsy's Story), the LABMED board was quite familiar with the medical issues, and knew that the chances of recovery to a normal life were good. LABMED agreed to fund the amount requested for Pilgrim's surgery, enabling the volunteer to recover almost half of her personal funds she had extended on Pilgrim's behalf. Two other groups, also assisted with Pilgrim's rescue, CILRA and Labrador Lifeline (LLL). It is wonderful that so many people worked together to help this special Lab.

We are happy to report that Pilgrim is on the road to recovery and adoption into a loving home. LABMED was glad to play a part in helping Pilgrim back to good health and the prospects of adoption.

Update: July 1999
Pilgrim's foster mom writes "just wanted to let you all know that she is 100% healed, no leakage, no more bladder infections or stones. And to top it all off, she has gained 15 lbs! At 65 lbs she is just about right and full of energy and lots of kisses."

Update: June 2000
LABMED has received this update about Pilgrim from her adoptive family: "Pilgrim is doing just fine. She gets along very well with our hamster, and our other dog whose name is Max. Unfortunately for Pilgrim, she became positive for heart worms, but she's come through that treatment and is in the clear now. The surgery she had for the ectopic ureter seems to have been a success, as she only has the occasional 'accident' in the house. She's very healthy now, though, and she goes roller blading with my mom and me whenever we get the chance. She's a spoiled little doggy now!"


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