Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Maybe you didn't read the earlier post about rescuing Day-Z from the shelter. After 3 adoptions, she found her permanent home with me. I love her.
We have a morning routine: we wake up, eat some breakfast upstairs, she burps, we go to the park just a few streets away, she does her Day-Z duke there, we come home, and then go on with our day. Dayz loves running at the park!
This morning, we went to the park as usual. As we were getting out of the car, Day-Z noticed a cat across the street. She normally stays on the grassy area and doesn't cross the street. I hadn't put her leash on yet as I opened the car door and she excitedly weaseled her way over and this morning she ran toward the cat instead. I crossed the street as well to get her and she ran around a little. I waited for her. Dayz noticed I wasn't going to chase her and she ran back across the street to the park. I was still on the opposite side waiting for a car to pass before I crossed to her. Suddenly, she turned around and looked to see the cat had climbed down from the trees he had used to hide in and she started to run toward the cat once more. There was a second red pickup truck passing that I was waiting for. Day-z didn't see it and the driver of the truck didn't see her either.

Day-Z was hit. The truck pulled over. Dayz layed in the street a little frazzled. I hurried to her and picked her up. Blood started to come from her right eye. She was hit by the driver's side of the car so I didn't fully see the collision, but I did notice something fly on the street near her that looked like pieces of ice had come off the truck. That seemed strange to me. I carried Day-Z to the car. My hands were shaking as I tried to unlock the car door. A woman in the parking lot asked if she was ok and if I needed to use her phone. I told her I didn't know why I would use her phone. Then I remembered the strange thing that looked like ice from the truck. I put Day-Z inside the car and walked back into the street to the strange object. I picked it up. It was a round jelly like substance. The driver was still pulled over to the side of the street sitting in her truck. I walked over and told her, "I don't know what to tell you. I have to take my dog to the hospital."

The woman that offered to let me use her cell was still standing there and told me there is a pet urgent care hospital nearby just minutes away. I proceeded to drive there and on the way phoned my mother and a friend for advice or maybe just for support so I didn't freak out myself. I think I needed to know somebody would be there if I needed help. I couldn't find it in the parking lot so I googled the address and called the office. There was no answer. Instead I heard a recording saying the office hours were from 8pm-6am. It was around 10am. They were closed. I phoned the vet I had taken her to for her physical when I first adopted her. (I have that number memorized because it is only 1 number different from my parent's home phone and my mother used to get calls from people trying to call the vet office asking, "Do you do snakes?" after she said hello - kinda funny story).
I explained what had happened and that the Urgent Care was not answering. The person on the other end of the line told me to come in right away or take her to a 24 hour Urgent Care facility in Sandy (20-30 min away). Dayz was standing in my lap a little worried at the time so I decided it would be best to take her to a closer office.

I walked in the office with Day-Z in my arms and the jelly ball I picked up off the street in my hand. The vet told me it was her lens. She took her into another room to check her for any trauma besides the obvious bleeding eye. Nothing. The vet offered to remove her eye immediately or informed me there is a pet eye specialist in Salt Lake City I could take her to at a cost of about $2500. I decided to take her to the specialist in hopes of saving her eye no matter the cost. 
I was unbelievably calm until the friend I had called earlier walked into the room I was sitting in at the Vet office. Then I was a little worried. My friend offered to drive to Salt Lake with me while I held Day-Z in my lap. She wasn't howling, whimpering, or moving around the car as I would imagine her to be since I'm sure she was in immense pain. Instead she was lying in my lap with her head on the middle console in the car letting off random quiet sighs/breaths. As we made the drive to 3300 South, we got about a block away and her eye started to bleed again.
The doctor took her into an examining room right away. Dayz was completely compliant with the doctor without having had any pain medication yet. She was even wagging her tail. I couldn't help though. I began crying and had to look away as she checked out her eyes with different lights and scopes. I was informed by the doctor that hereditary traits cause dogs to have weak hips, bad eye sight, or are prone to disease. Small dogs like Jack Russell Terriers have the risk of having weak eyes. The jelly thing I picked up was in fact her lens. It was weakly attached and because of the collision, it was knocked loose and came out over her eye. That shouldn't have happened. So we were recommended to go to SLC to the specialist to also make sure her other eye is not at risk.
Before leaving the room, the doctor then told me that her eye could not be saved. If it had been struck at the top or side of the iris, maybe it could be saved with loss of vision. Unfortunately, she told me the eye needed to be removed and lid sewn shut. The doctor left the room to see if the vet back in town could do it (probably for a lower price) and to take Day-Z to another room to another doctor to make sure she was operable (that she didn't have a concussion, broken bones in her face, exploding heart rate/blood pressure, etc). As she left and the door closed, I lost it. Her eye sewn shut?! Would my beautiful canine look like a monster. Thoughts of "pirate dog" or "frankenpooch"went through my head. People thinking she looked like a monster if I took her to the park again or her not having a normal life and being depressed. My mind was racing. Tears were flowing. Regrets and blame came to me. I wondered if maybe I had parked in another spot facing the other way, if I had gone to park 10 minutes earlier or later, what if...what if...what if...

The original doctor came back in the room and told me the local vet could not get her in for an appointment for an entire week, but that would be too long for her to wait and be in pain. I was glad, I personally wanted an expert to take care of her even if it meant the price was more. Price really wasn't a factor to me, rather I was more worried about my dog's health and well-being. She didn't have any other trauma and was able to have the surgery right away. I was sent away and told to come back in approximately 4 hours. The doctor reassured me that there would be someone with her at all times, the other trauma specialist would sit by her side as she performed the operation in case anything went wrong, and an assistant to hold her as she woke up after the procedure. 

I left the clinic and went to the nearby mall to try to not worry/panic. It didn't help. Thankfully, I had a tank top on so I was able to take off my sweatshirt covered in blood and dog hair (Dayz sheds a ton when she is nervous). But the worry/guilt/fear was still there. I cried. A lot. Like a baby. Any make up I had on was gone, my eyes were red, and I'm sure I looked a little scary to other shoppers around me. I left the mall and headed to Supersonic Car Wash to clean the car. I drove to the attendant in the car wash drive thru and began sobbing as I tried to ask for the price to clean the interior of the car to remove blood, vacuum the hair, and wash the car. After being directed off to the side to compose myself, I was quoted a price of $48 and told it would take 2 hours for me to get all of done. "I can't wait 2 hours, I have to pick up my dog from surgery at 4pm." Seeing the blood and the clear residue from the lens I placed on the middle console was making me cry more. I tried to calm down.
Three hours later and a Mrs. Field's cinnamon roll cookie later (you MUST try one), I received a call from the office. They told me the operation was a success, Day-Z showed great signs of improvement and relief, and that she was going to sleep for an hour before I picked her up to take her home. A nurse met me in the lobby at 4pm and gave me a list of medications for Dayz to take twice daily. She also told me in order to keep her other eye healthy and at a lower risk of detaching, I need to give her some eye drops twice daily for the rest of her life at $87/month. Poor pup. I tried to hold back the tears. Then she went in the back to get Day-Z and carried her out to me. Her face was shaved and very swollen, she was wearing a cone, and she seemed completely disoriented. I began crying again. I tried to hold it in to not stress Dayz out any more than she might have been. I paid the $1800 bill and we went on our way home to rest.
She has to wear a cone until she gets her stitches removed in two weeks. Along with her eye, the doctor found a cut on her cheek when they shaved her that needed to be stitched. I held her close and tried to comfort her on the ride home. She moaned a little during the journey. She was groggy at home, but still wanted to move around the house. My heart was broken to see her like this. I felt exhausted. We both took a nap. Hopefully there will be improvements tomorrow-for both of us.


Carrie Phelps said...

I'm so sorry, it broke my heart to read this story.
First thank you for rescuing this baby! Day-Z is beautiful and having had a close relationship with another Jack Russel I know them to be extremely intelligent dogs! Did you know they were once used in the circus because they are so smart?!
Odin the Jack Russel I loved for 18 years was this smart.
He also was hit by a car and unfortunately both the front & rear tires ran over his little body. After much pain with his hips having been broken he also survived. He lived to be a grumpy old man. He passed away last year and I still miss him.
I have no doubt this sweet girl will learn to adept.

peejay said...

i'm so sorry to hear about Day-Z. this was all so traumatic and am amazed at how well you handled everything. it broke my heart to read and reminded me of when my dog was hit by a car by someone texting. it's also amazing how much of an impact these four legged friends can have on us. i'm so glad that she's still with you, though. she will be in my prayers!

Deanna said...

thank you

Unknown said...

oh my gosh this was so sad to read! I am glad I got to read from the results backwards because now I know he's okay :)
Our dog of 11 years got hit by a car last December and we lost him. I havent had the heart to get another dog since then.
Im glad to read your pooch is doing okay now.