The Rescue of Phoenix
The Rescue of Phoenix

Phoenix's Surgery

Phoenix's Recovery

A Happy Ending

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A story of courage
This is the story of a little dog that did not know that she was supposed to give up. She was taken to a local animal clinic as a stray with a serious leg problem. The person who brought her in had already paid to have her euthanised.

X-rays confirmed her femur was broken. The clinic had tried to find her a home, and/or a sponser for the surgery, but after three days and still no home, she was set to be put to sleep. My vet, Dr. Dawn Miller, called me the night before and told me the sad story of this bull dog at another clinic, and I agreed to do what I could to help save her.

I first met "Jane Doe" the following day. Her leg, having been broken almost two weeks was swollen and distorted. She was in worse shape than I could have imagined, and I had very little hope that it could be saved. After some political red tape it was agreed I would pick her up the next morning and take her to "Dr. Dawn's" clinic for the surgery.

I arrived at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning, and "Jane" was loaded into my van. At some point during that night, the swelling inside Jane's leg had broken open and was bleeding. When we arrived at Dr. Miller's the following morning, she was very discouraged at the amount of swelling in the leg, as well as another absess that was ready to break open. The dog was much more lethargic then she had been the day before, and her temperature was four degrees below normal. In addition, her gums were ghostly white, her glands were swollen, and she was now undoubtedly septic. Dr. Miller could not even attempt the surgery with the infection raging through Jane's already weakened body. She prescribed large doses of antibiotics, warm compresses, and rest over the weekend in hopes of her undergoing and surviving surgery on Monday morning.

Rising From the Ashes
Wrapped in a blanket, I put Jane on my lap and drove back home. She was so quiet during the journey I was worried we had lost her. The only thought that kept coming to mind was the story of the "Phoenix" that rises from the ashes, so that is who "Jane" became.

Dr. Dawn called several times over the weekend to see how Phoenix was doing, and after a rough first night, she was definitely improving. Her leg was draining well, and the swelling was down considerably. She was also eating, and with the help of a heating pad, and space heater, her body temperature was maintaining. We made a firm commitment to operate Monday morning.

Phoenix was much improved by the time Monday morning came, although still very skinny and weak. The swelling was greatly reduced in her leg, and the antibiotics seemed to be doing their job. We were set to go. Dr. Dawn tested her nerves, and Phoenix still had feeling going down to her toes. Dr. Dawn was determined to save her leg.

The amount of tissue damage made it difficult to manipulate the bones in order to pin them. The fact that the ends of the bones had started to produce new bone without being bonded together made the task close to impossible. At one point it seemed that we would have to do the inevitable. Phoenix needed encouragement through out the entire surgery to keep breathing, and those two hours were definitely taxing on her; but after a tremendous effort by Dr. Dawn - we were able to pin her femur, and successfully close with her leg still intact.

Phoenix, Friday October 18, 2002
Her first visit with Dr. Dawn, she was to sick to undergo the surgery.

The Long Road Ahead
Phoenix is now recovering from surger. The pin will remain in place for eight weeks, and providing the healing that has begun continues, we are optomistic that not only will she have use of the leg, but full range of motion as well.

I will try to update once a week to track her progress throughout her recovery.
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Friends of Phoenix
Phoenix has touched the hearts of many with her courage, will to survive, and her always sweet disposition even while in tremendous pain. She always greets us with a wagging tail, and is eager to give big mushy kisses. The "Friends of Phoenix" is deticated to helping offset Phoenix's extensive medical bills, as well as making donations to local animal rescues for spaying and neutering programs.

Please visit our album page for pictures of Phoenix and her surgery as well as updated pictures throughout her recovery.

If you would like more information on how you can help please contact us at

or use the link above.

A very big thank you to my buddy A without whom I would have no pics and the site would be gramatically challenged!

Monday, October 21, 2002 - Phoenix arrives for surgery






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