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This fundraiser ended on 08/31/12

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Donations can be made here or Firgrove Veterinary Clinic @ 253-848-1563 for Dodge's medical surgery costs. Thank you for your help!

To the rescue: Dodge the lucky lab needs your help!

Dodge, we believe to be a purebred Black male lab, was rescued from I-90 in Eastern Washington on Sunday, 6/24/12. Dodge was struck by a hit and run vehicle on the interstate. An elderly couple travelling home to Ohio witnessed the hit and run and stopped to help Dodge in the middle of the interstate....we stopped to assist. The state patrol was contacted, but no vet services were available. We finally found a clinic open that was willing to help on the weekend. He was diagnosed with two pelvic fractures and one compound fracture to his front left leg. On Friday-6/30/12, surgery was performed on his front leg. Dodge has no microchip, and we have run two ads and contacted the shelters in Moses Lake in an attempt to locate the owner. Please consider helping this wonderful lab!! ANY contributions would be a gift to him!

Read the full story below;

Our Sunday morning departure to our annual end-of-June statewide Principal's conference went off without a hitch. We usually leave Puyallup around 6:00-6:30am so we might squeeze in a round of golf at one of the courses in Spokane. This is our tradition and something we look forward to every June. The last month of school is always busy and sometimes challenging, but this year it has been incredibly trying, with the accidental drowning and death of one of our freshman students on the last day of school. As we left Puyallup, we were discussing getting this month of June behind us as soon as possible and moving forward hoping for good things to happen.

We were set to meet up with a colleague at Indian Canyon Golf course on the west side of Spokane, followed by our usual 5:30pm, registration and opening day banquet at the AWSP/WASA Admin Conference at the Spokane Conference Center where we would join the rest of the administrative team. So, our day was set and we were on schedule. A little fun and a little work.

At about 10:00am as we continued traveling on eastbound I-90 we were about 10 minutes out of Moses Lake when I saw what looked to be a semi-truck or large RV parked on the side of the road - Not totally out of the norm, right? But as we got closer it appeared that there were two individuals STANDING in the middle of the inside lane - Not a smart thing to be doing on this stretch of road. As we approached we slowed and moved over towards the shoulder and could now see an elderly couple standing over something covered in a white sheet (turned out to be a towel). As soon as I saw the black lab my thoughts were that this dog must have fallen out of their RV, or something like that. Being a dog lover it was a sad sight.

We asked them if we could help and we've never seen two people more happy to see somebody come along as they did at that moment. They were probably in their mid 70s. He was driving their RV and she was driving their Lincoln Town Car that I now saw was parked in front of the RV. They were on their way back to Ohio and had seen what had taken place a few moments before we happened upon them. They said that two large dogs had run across the highway and one of the cars that was in front of them appeared to swerve in an effort to miss the dogs but unfortunately this one got hit as the other took off into one of the fields lining the highway, never to return. Believe it, or not, the car continued on, headed to wherever they were going. So, being animal lovers (and owners of 5 dogs) this Ohio couple pulled their vehicles over to see what they could do.

There was quite a bit of blood around the dog but he was very calm despite what he had just gone through and didn't seem to be worried about the cars that continued to zoom by. Obviously, he was in shock but did not seemed scared. He was 100% trusting all of us. I think this is when we got hooked. The woman said that she had called the state patrol and was hoping they would show up soon. Finally, a young man in a pickup truck stopped next to us as we were huddled around the dog and said we'd better get moving (off the road) because a bunch of semis were headed our way. Brian sorta carried/dragged the dog to the median to get him off of the highway. In about two minutes the state trooper showed up and started to assess our situation. It was at about this time that the Ohio couple were asking if we'd take care of the dog. We said we would and that we'd take it from here. They left us the canvas cover that goes over their spare tire from their RV. This turned out to provide a perfect sling to move the injured dog.

We asked the trooper to call his dispatcher or anybody to see if there was an animal hospital or vet clinic open in Moses Lake. He went back to his car and called for about 10 minutes. During this time we continued to assess the dog and his wounds. He started to show curiosity by seeing where everybody was at as we walked around and took turns looking him over. The trooper finally came out of his cruiser and said that , "It's Sunday and nothing's open."

What to do?

We asked him what options did we have? Because the dog didn't have a collar there was no way to find the owner and we'd need a vet to find out if he had a microchip. We asked the trooper what he would do if we left the dog with him. He said he didn't have any good options (especially since it was Sunday) and typically when a stray gets hit it usually gets euthanized if it's not already dead. He implied that he usually has to put them down himself.

This wasn't going to happen as Brian said he'd be responsible for the dog and we'd make sure it got the proper help. We picked him up with the tire canvas and moved him to my jeep (this is where the picture is from). Now, we had to come up with a plan.

So, we began texting and calling people and Brian got in touch with his brother who agreed to meet us back in Ellensberg. We'd try to figure this thing out as we drove there. My brother-in-law lives in Cle Elum so he must know of an on-call vet as he has dogs and goats. Unfortunately (for us) Tom happened to be on the Oregon coast celebrating his 12th anniversary and I knew could be difficult to track down. I had my sister-in-law try to contact Tom. Brian was trying to get a hold of his vet in Puyallup as was I with our vet. No luck. Finally we got a number for a 24 hour vet hospital in Ellensburg. The nurse said that they wouldn't do anything until the following day (the doctor was out) so taking him back to Puyallup was just as viable of an option as leaving him here. And probably less expensive.
I spoke with a 24 hr animal hospital in Sumner and the receptionist said they now have a new protocol for strays. We didn't have time for new protocols.

We had made it back to Ellensberg and about 45 minutes later Brian's brother John rolled in. We met at the state trooper sub station and made the transfer of the pup. Before John arrived we were getting more concerned because the dog's breathing seemed shallower, and he was starting to have a very low level cough. His eyes were also beginning to look droopy. We'd resigned ourselves with the mindset of having done everything we could if he didn't make it through this ordeal. Dying here with us was much better than alone on the roadside. Brian's nephew made the trip with his dad and provided comfort to the injured dog on the return trip to Puyallup. At the same time (as we drove towards Spokane) we are calling everybody we know who might be willing to add this dog to their family if they could lend some kind of support or good idea. My wife has a cousin and a close friend; both who have lost their dogs over the past year and are major animal lovers. Unfortunately, both have made decisions to do lots of traveling (I think this is code for not wanting another dog). I only know this because that's how we ended up with our second dog and it's a great response because it obviously works. Brian worked the phone hard and even pulled out his laptop at one point because he remembered some parents from one of his son's baseball teams who were vets in Auburn. He was hoping to find their contact info. We had to come up with a plan because an injured dog riding back to Puyallup is not a plan.

At that particular time Brian's wife didn't know what we were up to. My wife has already said she doesn't want a third dog so plan A morphed into the Scheerers. Brian ended up calling his oldest daughter to get prepped to receive the dog when her uncle and cousin showed up. She had about an hour and a half to prepare a makeshift dog hospital complete with hydrogen peroxide, Neosporin, gauze, splinting material, bedding, water, etc.

Brian's daughter did a great job of tending to the dog's injuries by cleaning him up and keeping him comfortable and was probably very glad that her boyfriend was there to help. A little while later Brian's wife returned from their son's baseball game in Seattle and transported the dog to the only vet office that was open in Puyallup, Firgrove Vet Clinic. From what Brian said I think it took her about 2 seconds to fall in love with this pup. As a matter of fact, when the dog sees the Scheerer's three youngest kids, in true lab fashion, he makes the excruciating effort and decision to finally stand up (compound fracture and all), but quickly collapses. If that doesn't give you goose bumps or hit your soft spot, what will?

The staff at the Firgrove Veterinary Clinic were more than happy to help and gave the dog a thorough assessment (X-Rays and all). After hearing the story they were glad to work for reduced costs and only charged for the multiple X-rays, splint, setting of the fracture, and meds. The bill amounted to $800. It was a true labor of love and some of the staff were so deeply touched by the story behind this dog that some teared up.

The dog will make it. He'll more than make it. The break was a compound fracture but a clean break of the radius and ulna bones in his front left leg. In fact, after Brian's regular vet (who we couldn't reach on Sunday) reviewed the X-Rays on Monday he said he would have sent the pup to Firgrove anyway because they're equipped to take care of fractures like this and he isn't. You really can't make this stuff up. As of Wed-6/27/12, the Firgrove surgeon(s) reviewed the x-rays and concluded that he will need surgery to allow "Dodge" the best chance to walk and run normally. The pup looks to be about a year old which was what we had guessed since his teeth were pearly white and free of tartar. The Xrays did confirm that he has two fractures on his pelvis but nothing proximal to either of the hip joints and nothing of a major concern. It will take time, but he will have a full recovery with his pelvic injuries. But again, he will need surgery on his fractured leg for the best chance at a full recovery. In the meantime, Brian's kids have named him "Dodge" for the obvious reason. You can't NOT laugh once you know the full story. This dog is really something. He will capture your heart and I hope you will get to meet him sometime.

As you can tell from our story, the Scheerer's are very committed, but simply lack the financial resources to pay for all of Dodge's surgery and hospital care. We would be deeply touched and grateful if you could help. We also want to extend a special thank you to the staff @ Firgrove Veterinary Clinic. They are a special group of people. All costs exceeding the bill, which stands close to $3,000, will be donated to the clinic's "Buddy Fund". This fund is used to help Good Samaritans or pet owners with tough situations.
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