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Rescuer Finds Puppy On Her Street And Nurses Him Back To Health

It’s hard to believe that there was a puppy hidden under the hairless, sick and s.ta.r.ving dog that Stephanie Smith-Justus found on the Virginia street where she lives. However, one thing was clear to her the instant she saw the puppy – he was dying.

As fate would have it, Stephanie is president of the Buchanan County Humane Society. during a further stroke of luck, the vet she regularly works with lives on an equivalent street.

From the instant Stephanie picked Watkins up in her arms, the dog’s survival and recovery has been nothing in need of miraculous.

Stephanie posted her account of Watkins’ rescue to Facebook, and his story pulls on the heart-strings:

“On May 7, 2015 Watkins was found. Before this date, we all know nothing about him. He was found by my neighbor who alerted me to a “dog who was in terrible shape”.

My husband and that i visited find him. He was found on the road where we live. He had been abandoned and severely neglected. My husband’s first words were. “He’s not getting to make it.”

“We had searched for him for a minimum of an hour once we finally located him He had crawled into a weedy ditch in an isolated area. we expect he had found a cool place to get down and die. We were determined to not let that happen. Thousands of individuals were also supporting him.

“Fortunately, Dr. Rasnake, our local vet, lives on an equivalent street where we found him. We rushed him to her…without even knocking on her door…we carried him to her house. We immediately visited her clinic, Appalachian Animal Health Clinic.”

“She worked quickly to seek out an IV site. He was in terrible shape His skin was oozing from every pore. He winced in pain once we touched him He had cried so hard for therefore long that he didn’t have a voice left to cry any longer He didn’t have the energy to bite. He was only 4 months old.”

“Dr. Rasnake diagnosed him with Demodex, a kind of mange he had caught from his mother. He was severely malnourished and dehydrated. He had infection in his eyes, his kidneys, his ears, and a bacterial infection on his skin. subsequent few days saw him loose every hair on his body. He continued to lose fluids and weight. He was within the ICU for over 50 days.”

“After a short time , he quit eating. We tried everything. X-rays showed he had a twisted bowel and emergency surgery was performed. We prayed all night for him to measure . After his serious surgery, we would have liked to understand his bowels still worked so we prayed for poop. Three days later it came. Then he quit eating again. Another surgery to insert a feeding tube. He continued to reduce and off to Va Tech we went. He saw a specialist, a nutritionist and an orthopedic vet. They kept him 6 days then sent him home for Dr. Rasnake to still treat him.”

“Gradually, he began to gain weight. He had weighed 32 lbs once we found him and he was right down to 17. it had been a scary time. He continued to be cared for within the ICU unit at Dr. Rasnake’s office. He fought hard to remain alive and thousands were praying for him. He finally started eating and he pulled his feeding tube out. This required yet one more surgery to get rid of the “balloon” that remained in his stomach. His recovery was much easier than the previous ones and that we were relieved. He ‘turned the corner” and eventually started recuperating .”

“We brought him home after 60+ days in ICU. He still requires weekly vet care. He has been house-trained and learned many new things. He’s learned to share, to play with others, and get back his crate when he must rest. He gets tired very easily and hates being hot. He has leveled out at 38 lbs and eats well. His skin may be a constant battle but he responds well to the weekly (sometimes more often) treatments.”

“He likes to compile blankets to be comfortable together with his stuffed lobster and his dog siblings.”

“He gets excited once we tell him he’s getting to the “doctor”. once we take him within the clinic, he's always happy to ascertain the staff and Dr. Rasnake. He remembers where his kennel is in ICU and that they have it expecting him when he goes for treatments.”

“He’s a cheerful , inquisitive puppy who is smarter than the typical bear.”

“He loves riding within the car, twiddling with foster puppies, and chewing on his many toys that were sent to him when he was so sick.”

“Watkins was named for the road where we found him that day. He still lives thereon very street. It’s also where his vet lives also . and therefore the one that saw him first that day. It’s where his journey started and where he has finally found joy.”

Watkins progress is nothing in need of remarkable! Watkins certainly has his favorite toy – he loves his red crustaceans – which little question inspired this fun Halloween costume for him!

His weight remains excellent and he's discovered the thrill of playing outside. After a recent trip to the vet, he “took his lobster and is running through the yard with it in his mouth.”

Please share Watkins story together with your friends and family!