By Marianne Willemse of Love Animal House, Thailand
One bright sunny morning as I slowed down around the bend on a small road in my neighborhood, I got the fright of my life. At the corner of my eye I’d glanced down the slope towards the ditch when I saw a man with a machete kneeling over a big white dog. I slammed on the brakes and was out of the car at the speed of light.
As I ran down the slope, the man, yet unaware of my presence, swung the big blade down on the unsuspecting dog who was just lying there not knowing its fate was to be his dinner.
“Stop, stop!” I yelled.
The dog turned its face abruptly towards me and the knife hit the side of the throat and shoulder. Blood squirted out everywhere. I screamed, the man fell backwards as the yelping dog jumped up. The man ran away. The dog’s head was dangling to one side, it lost its balance and collapsed just as I got to it.
Although she was quite heavy and by now dead weight, I was able to lift her up and attempted to close the huge gap and massive blood flow. I placed the wound against my chest and rested her head on my shoulder. I can’t remember how I got up the slope, but once at the car I couldn’t put her down. She was stuck to me.
I had to push the car seat back as far as it would go and drive with her on my lap. She didn’t struggle, just hung in there, weakened by blood loss and probably shock. I had to hold her wobbly head down with my chin, trying to change gears and steer with my eyes and mouth full of blood. I thought I was going to loose her, the bleeding just wouldn’t stop, running down my legs.
Luckily the vet was only two kilometers away. Unable to slow down to change gears, I honked and drove through a red light. Arriving at the vet clinic, I was shaking too much to get out of the car. The shocked vet came running out.
It Was Not Too Late to Save Him
“Quick, quick,” I cried, “anesthesia!”
A moment later he came out with a syringe and jabbed her in the backside. I remained in the car for 5 minutes till she passed out.
The wound took 78 stitches. She was in intensive care for five days.
What a sight I was when I left the clinic. Even my hair was stiff with blood. I now know the meaning of a blood bath. I had to throw all my clothes away, even my underwear was soaked with blood. But it was worth it!
When I brought her back to the sanctuary, I called her Boonlawd; it means ‘back from the dead’ in Thai. Below are a few of the many animals here who were also rescued from situations similar to Boonlawd’s.
Now He Saves Other Dogs
Boonlawd has become our mascot against the dog meat trade. She has collected signatures for our petition to get cats and dogs off the menu. In fact, the Thai government finally passed the animal rights bill two months ago, so at last we can convict animal abusers, but they have been very quiet about it, probably worried that once they announce it publicly, they will be overwhelmed with cases. In the meantime, it’s up to people like me to take charge.
Boonlawd is one of my most dramatic rescues, but there’s always another case. In fact, another blind dog arrived today. Our sanctuary is home to animals of every kind, many of whom I rescued from the cooking pot. Though I funded the sanctuary for many years on my own, the money has now run out. I am truly grateful for all who reach out to keep us afloat through the Harmony Fund.
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