VCA Health Associates Animal Hospital

The Story of Madison

By VCA
Published: January 17, 2011

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On July 6, 2010 I was lost and lonely. I was not sure where I lived or how to find my way home. I had no identification, so it was going to be very difficult for anyone to locate my owners or my home. To survive I was eating anything I could find and drinking water from a filthy drainage ditch near by and living in a open field, in a trash pile behind a storage building. The days were very hot and humid. I was very hungry and decided to try to find food, so I headed out. While I was walking across the intersection, at Stahl and O'Connor, a person stopped to try and catch me, but not knowing what this person was going to do to me, I ran, nearly getting hit by speeding vehicles, in the intersection. I tried to get back to the trash pile as soon as possible. A few minutes later, the person that tried to capture me, arrived with lots of fresh water and food. I was still afraid to get too close for fear he might harm me, so I kept my distance. After he left I drank all the fresh water and ate all the food I could hold. That night I slept a little bit better.


My previous "home" - a trash pile.


Stahl & O’Connor - where I was first seen.

He brought me food and water every day, for which I was very grateful, but still a little afraid to get too close. On the fifth day, this person drove up behind the storage building, got out of his car and called for me. I decided to trust this person and was in need of help, so I slowly approached him and put my paw in his hand, hoping he understood that I was asking for his help. He seemed to understand, so I let him pick me up and put me in his car. At last, someone was going to help me and I was thrilled. He took me to several animal rescue centers, but they were all full and unable to help me. He even went to PetSmart, where he met Debbie from a rescue group called Homes for Pets. She tried her best to help me find a rescue center and gave him information on where to take me. Across from one of the rescue centers, there was a veterinary center, called VCA. He decided to take me there and asked them to take care of me, until he could find me a foster home.

 
My VCA Angels

After a day or two of exams, Dr. Neill Walker had bad news. I was covered with fleas, blue ticks, and had giardia and worst of all I had heart worms and severe dental problems. All my front teeth had exposed nerves. I weighed 29 lbs. and my hair had turned partially red (normally black) from malnutrition. I had also chewed the hair off of my lower back and tail, trying to get these pests off. Dr. Walker explained in detail, to the person that found me, that it would take at least two months, to treat me for heart worms and I also had to be kept quiet. I also found out that the person who saved me was named Mike. Dr. Walker and Mike talked about my serious condition and I heard Mike ask Dr. Walker if I should be put to sleep, to prevent my pain, but the doctor said, that would not be necessary and that he would see to it, that I got the best treatment possible. I was really glad to hear that from Dr. Walker and so was Mike. By the way, I got a new name, "Madison", which Mike gave me because he found me across from Madison High School. I like my new name.


Dr. Neill Walker and a VCA Angel on my first day at the clinic.

I later found out that Mike lived in Colorado and he had to come to San Antonio for a family emergency and would be returning the following Wednesday. I trusted, that he would return to help me find my forever home, but when he walked out of the VCA, I was once again, alone with strangers and afraid. My fears were soon gone, after I found that Dr. Walker and his staff were all very caring and wanted to help save my life. I was feeling very safe and loved by all the people at the VCA clinic.. Everyone seemed very dedicated and made me feel much better, especially after a bath and removal of the ticks and fleas. Dr. Walker and staff started the long process of treating me for heartworms for the next two months, which seemed to last forever. I was well fed, had a safe place to stay, got plenty of rest and had people that cared and loved me very much. I even made friends with some of the staff. I heard that Mike had called several times to check on me and I was hoping he would return, to take me to Colorado to find my forever home. After several weeks I was feeling much better and had a surprise visit from my rescuer, Mike. I remembered what he had done for me and was really happy to see him, but I still had to remain at the VCA for just a few more weeks. I was sad to see him go, but knew he would not forget me. On September 3, 2010, my Mike walked into the VCA clinic, to take me home to Colorado. Dr. Walker told Mike to keep me quiet for another month, but it was really hard for me , not to show how happy I was to be going home. Dr. Walker and his staff had saved my life and I'll be forever grateful. My Mike took pictures and everyone was sad to see me go, but they were all happy that I was going to Colorado to find a forever home. Everyone gave me a hug and I said good bye.


Saying goodbye to my Angel friend


Dr. Neill Walker and a VCA Angel saying goodbye


On the road to Colorado . . .

On September 4, 2010, Mike and I headed west to Colorado. Mike made me a bed behind the drivers seat and I had plenty of room to sleep and relax. I don't remember ever riding in a car for such a long distance and so I was taking in the views and having a great time. Mike decided to go through Roswell, New Mexico and stop for the night. I was so excited, I couldn't sleep and wanted to play, but as prescribed by Dr. Walker, Mike had to keep me quiet. Well that worked until about 3:00 a.m. I was getting a little antsy, so Mike and I got up and headed out. Of course I didn't have to drive so I sacked out for a few hours. I found out, when I was at the VCA in San Antonio, that Mike was trying to find me a forever home in Colorado, but I really wanted him to adopt me and give me a forever home, so I had to be on my best behavior and maybe that would come true. I’m ready to go!!

On September 5, 2010, we arrived home in Loveland, Colorado. After 1,100 miles, my good behavior, good attitude and being cute, worked. Mike decided to give me my forever home by keeping me. I was thrilled and very excited. He introduced me to Lassey and Bailey (Labrador Retrievers), Ms. Kittie and Tubby (Cats) and Brenda, my new Mom. It took me a few days to get used to my new family, but I was finally accepted, after Lassey put me in my place and Tubby gave me a swat to the ear. I get to play with my new toys, watch TV, sleep on the sofa and play on two acres, next to the Rocky Mountains, and not to forget, plenty of good food and water. After I got settled in, I was taken to a VCA Clinic in Fort Collins, Colorado to have my dental work. Unfortunately, all my upper and lower front teeth had to be pulled. The surgery took me a little while to recover from, but I'm glad it was done. Mike thinks that I must have been trapped and chewed my way out, which really damaged my teeth. Dr. Heather Steyn, is my vet and she and her staff are just as loving and caring as the staff in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Heather Steyn tested my DNA and wait 'til you hear this; I am Australian Shepard, Boxer, Corgi mix. Wild ain't it!! I'm not too tall or too short. I now weigh 46 lbs., my hair is turning black and soft and I’ve been micro-chipped, in the event I go on another adventure. I even went to the doggie spa last week for a bath and nail trim. I got to play with other small dogs out in the play yard and thought that was a lot of fun.

Oh, and I had my first Christmas with my new family and learned to open presents. My new brother and sister showed me how to rip open the paper - we made a big mess!!

 
Christmas!

   
My new sister, Lassey, my new brother, Bailey, and my new kitties.


Well, winter finally came to the front range of Colorado and I got my first sight and feel of something called SNOW. Wow what fun!! I may need booties to keep my tootsies from freezing. I want to thank Dr Neill Walker and all his Angel staff for saving my life. I can't remember all their names, but I remember your kind faces and loving hearts. Note from Mike: I want to express my gratitude, appreciation, and a big THANK YOU, to Debbie with Homes for Pets, for helping me find help for Madison . I also want to thank Dr. Walker and his staff, for providing the best of care and saving Madison's life. HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Brrrrrr……..My feet are cold!!


Me and Mike - in my new front yard.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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