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Success Stories

Smokey, June, 2000

SmokeyA family in Florida had been looking for a Labrador puppy for a long time when they saw an ad in the paper. They called the woman who had placed the ad and were told that yes, she was selling pedigreed black Labs. The woman went on to say that she had one black male left who was blind in one eye but otherwise healthy.

The rescuer's daughter went to look at the 3 1/2 month old puppy. It was a long drive to the seller's residence and when she arrived there it was dark. The woman selling the dog let her look at the puppy outside; since it was dark already, the daughter did not notice how badly little Smokey was hurt. The seller told her that the little guy had been bitten by a large dog two months before. She went on to say that she had a vet come by and check Smokey and that the vet had told her Smokey is in excellent health. But since the little guy was damaged, she was willing to let him go at a greatly reduced price.

SmokeyWhen Smokey arrived at his new home, the rescuer noticed right away that there was much more wrong than what the seller had implied. Smokey's head was slightly lopsided, he had a bad discharge from the damaged eye and he had trouble eating. Smokey went to the vet right away because the rescuer feared he had an infection. The vet told Smokey's mom that he needed surgery. He could only open his mouth a little over an inch, it had probably been broken when Smokey was hurt and had healed improperly. If left untreated, it could get worse and Smokey might not be able to open his mouth at all any more. The vet could not tell if there was still an eye in the socket on Smokey's bad side.

Smokey's family could neither afford the expensive surgery that needed to be done by a specialist, nor the initial consultation fee for that specialist. They searched the Internet, found LABMED and applied for funding. The fact that this family decided to keep Smokey and get him treated, instead of returning him for a refund, turned this pet purchase into a rescue.

LABMED quickly decided to fund Smokey's diagnostics and his family made the appointment. The specialist told them that he needed to remove the mandibular joint on the damaged side of the jaw so Smokey could have full jaw movement. An eye specialist looked at Smokey as well. The eye was still in the socket, but it was pushed back so far that it could not be saved. He recommended that the eye should be removed and the eyelids sewn shut. The vet clinic offered to do Smokey's surgery for an incredibly reduced rate and they could get him taken care of right away! Smokey's mom had also applied to Labrador Life Line for funding. They decided to help Smokey as well, funding part of his surgery, LABMED took care of another part and Smokey's family contributed as well.

Smokey had his surgery the next day. At first he didn't feel so well but he quickly recovered.

Smokey's mom sent this update:

"He isn't as large as perhaps another Lab his age because he was behind. He looks like he's winking at you (because of the empty eye socket being sutured shut). He looks so beautiful to us and we have had many compliments on how beautiful he is!! His jaw doesn't open as much as an unabused puppy, but as you know without the surgery, he wouldn't have made it this far. If it becomes necessary, I will have the large (the long ones) teeth removed. The surgeon told us his mouth may freeze up again, and I guess to some degree it has. (nothing like before) But he eats well without problems and he can bark! He loves to play with our 15y/o old cat Big Baby. He barks whenever anyone he doesn't know comes in the yard. He loves the children and even gets along well with the chickens. So he really did turn out to be a wonderful addition to our family!"

Morgan's Story | Jackson's Story

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