Evelyn’s Big Adventure

Evelyn at the vet's on the day of surrender

On July 19th, NEOESR received a message from a vet’s office in Ohio. A five-year-old Old English Sheepdog had been surrendered to them. She was in very rough shape. Was NEOESR interested in taking her into our program?  

Poor Evelyn had gotten herself into a terrible mess. She had been a breeder and the owners of the farm were about ready to retire her. She had other plans. She decided to make a run for it. Her time as an “escape artist” did not go well. She managed to get out of her pen. But, in the process, she ripped a fairly large gash on her hip. According to the owners, after she was out of her pen, she tangled with a pack of dogs who bit her numerous times. The owners of the farm took her to the vet where they turned her in.

She had a huge, deep gash on her hip and punctures all over her body.  Her ears were mangled. The folks at the vet’s office were hoping that NEOESR might be willing to help.

Yes! That is what NEOESR does. It helps sheepdogs in need. NEOESR agreed to pay for medical care for Evelyn.

A big thank you to all NEOESR members and supporters who allow us to make this type of commitment, when needed.

The placement team kept in touch with the folks at the vet’s office. On July 23rd, the news from the vet was not good. The gash was infected. Evelyn needed antibiotics. She was also given laser treatments to promote healing. Evelyn was not happy about wearing a cone. No matter how much the staff stressed that a cone is a wonderful fashion statement, Evelyn just wasn’t buying it.

On the plus side, Evelyn was eating well and she was busy enchanting the office staff with her personality. They reported that she’s a sweetie.

The placement team was hoping that Evelyn would be well enough to be transported to a foster home in July. But, alas, the edges of the large gash were not healing properly.

On July 27th, NEOESR approved an additional procedure. Evelyn needed to be sedated for more wound repair. The placement team learned new medical terms that no one really wants to know anything about. Evelyn had complications during surgery and almost didn’t make it.

On July 31st the team received the good news that Evelyn was improving.  The vet was cautiously optimistic that Evelyn would be able to be transported on August 4th.  Evelyn continued receiving treatments with antibiotics and lasers along with frequent changes of her bandages.

On August 2nd, Jennifer Tyrrell, NEOESR Placement Director, had a long discussion with the vet about the planned transport. Much of the conversation was centered on whether Evelyn was well enough to make the journey and if it could be done safely. It’s a long journey – about 6 hours. And there would be other dogs in the transport van. In fact, there would be about 20 other dogs of various sizes. The vet believed that it would be ok…and that the wound could be wrapped securely so no dog could accidently get to it. The vet wanted to make sure that the person going to foster Evelyn could take care of her wound which was still draining and required frequent dressing. Carol Gefell, who had volunteered to be Evelyn’s foster mom, said she could handle it. Thanks Carol!

August 4th —Evelyn was finally on her way to her new life.  NEOESR was told that Evelyn wouldn’t walk with the cone on.  Carol simply replied. “We’ll carry her.”

Evelyn, day 1August 5th — Carol called Jennifer Tyrrell.  “She’s broken Jennifer!  She’s just so broken! You can see where her ears and hind legs were punctured with bites.”  Carol continued. “She does like Dusty (one of Carol’s shelties), so I think she’ll be ok.”  Carol sent a text later that day stating that things were going well.

Day 1: Carol reported that Evelyn ate all her food and drank quite a bit of water. Carol opened the door so she could go out. She just laid there. “This is going to be a long road. But we will get there”.

Evelyn and "nurse" DustyLater that afternoon Carol sent a photo of Evelyn and “nurse Dusty”. The meet and great went well on the deck. Evelyn did not make any attempt to escape. “Now she and Dusty are playing in the kitchen.  I think that “nurse Dusty” is going to be an important key in her rehabbing. 

Evelyn has lumps and bumps and scabs and scars everywhere. Right now, she is acting like a perfectly normal dog. She has a stuffy in her mouth and she is wiggling all over the place.  Hopefully, someday she’ll forget her former life.”

Evelyn will be looking for a furever home as soon as she’s fully recovered from her misadventure that included the run in with the pack of dogs.

August 15: Evelyn had a couple of very bad days. Sunday night, she was not interested in eating. Foster mom Carol, took her temperature…it was 103.5. Since it was late at night, foster Carol covered with cool damp towels and managed to get her temperature down to 102. Monday was a good day. Evlyn ate and played with her stuffy. Today, Carol took one look at her and knew something was wrong. Her temperature was up over 103.2. None of the local vets had openings for her today, so off to the emergency clinic they went. Upon arrival, Evelyn collapsed in the lobby. The medical folks carried her into the triage center. Several hours later, it was determined that Evelyn has some sort of infection (possible abcess)
They are keeping her overnight and giving her all sorts of drugs to see if they can stabilize her. They really don’t want to put her under anesthesia as she is just too weak. She is still recovering from the surgeries she had just three weeks ago. The doctors will update us tomorrow afternoon and we will let you know how she’s doing.

August 17: Evelyn’s foster mom, Carol, has been keeping in close touch with the veterinarians providing care for Evelyn. This evening she sent me the following update:

“Miss Evelyn is still at Greenacres in Tonawanda where she has been since Tuesday afternoon. She has a mammary abscess. They were able to get her temp down using fluids and antibiotics and she was scheduled for surgery this morning. However, Greenacres being an emergency clinic, was slammed with all kinds of surgeries this morning so they didn’t get to Evelyn until this afternoon. She is fragile so they didn’t want to rush thru anything. While they were prepping her abscess decided to burst on its own so no surgery or spay was performed. They were going to spay her at the same time if the abscess removal was a simple one so she would only have to go under anesthesia one time. Her disposition immediately changed once the pressure was released. She let them touch her without resistance. They were able to numb her locally and do a punch biopsy on the tissue and collect some of the draining fluid to do a culture and sensitivity. They flushed the area with saline. The sack was not visible and they didn’t want to dig for it as they felt it was too deep in her breast tissue. Hopefully it will heal without complication. If all goes well I will be able to bring her home tomorrow.

August 18: Evelyn update (from her foster mom): “I picked up Evelyn from the emergency hospital Friday afternoon. She was still pretty out of it and spent a quiet day yesterday. The good news is she ate and drank some chicken broth. Not a lot but it was a start. She came home on four different medications and will be taking them for 14 days to 30 days. This morning she had a good session with nurse Dusty. It was great to see her acting more like her old sweet self. She was back to jumping on me and asking for hugs.

EvelynIf you look closely at the pictures you will see the remnants of her original attack on her right hip and her ear. She was opened up from about 2″ off her spine, down her entire body and underneath into her stomach area during the attack. They aren’t sure exactly what happened to her (coyotes or stray dogs?). You can also see that she was shaved on both of her front legs. They also shaved her right rear leg so I can only imagine what was going on.”

They aren’t sure what caused the abscess. It could have been the attack as her wound was extremely deep or it could have been mastitis as she had a litter of puppies in May or it could have been a combination of the two incidences. Whatever happened to Miss Evelyn is behind her now and she beginning a new and better life. The NEOESR rescue team can’t thank you enough for all your prayers, concern and donations for Evelyn. We will keep you updated so stay tuned