Written by Jeeny Freire of New York
Panda (as we named him) is a sweet old boy who was found as a stray in the streets of Ecuador, South America. The day he was found was a cold, windy, rainy Monday. We had just arrived in Ecuador when we saw him, limping, head down, looking defeated and shivering from pain, cold and hunger. “We have to do something!” I screamed. “We cannot leave him out here in the cold!”
We went right home and grabbed a towel and with the help of another family member went down the street once more to see if we could find him. 20 minutes had passed by the time we came back, running down the steep hill where my family lives. I was praying to God so hard, “Please let me find him. Please let me help him. Please help me rescue him.”
We finally saw him, huddled up against a cold stone corner on a ledge, a mere five inches away from a busy street where trains pass all the time. He just sat there, looking so sad and so defeated. My aunt went behind him with the towel, while I approached him with two pieces of ham. He looked up a little with a lost stare, a green crust almost entirely covering his eyes. He smelled the ham, gobbled it immediately and my aunt wrapped him in the towel, while I kept praying for him not to get scared and run. I think he was so defeated, he didn’t even care about fleeing anymore.
We walked to the neighborhood veterinarian, and it being a holiday, with so many people out of the city, we were all praying someone would be there to help us with this sweet boy. We rang the bell and a girl came out. We explained how it was an emergency and we needed help right away.
Thankfully, God helped us again and one of the vets was in and he came down to see what he could do. We put him up on the examination table and he opened his mouth to take a look at his teeth and try to estimate his age. To our surprise, he had no teeth. Evidently, he was old (or God forbid, abused in some morbid form), his joints were really swollen, ribs sticking out, his eyes had some sort of infection and he was whining, complaining from the pain. The vet’s “professional advice” was that since he was old, we should put him down.
“Over my dead body!” I yelped. “No. We are going to help him.”
To the vet’s surprise, his heart was strong and his lungs were okay. The vet injected him with some anti-inflamatory meds and some vitamins. Then we gave him a bowl of food and he almost inhaled the kibble, no teeth and all. As I tried to stroke him to ease his fears, he kept shaking uncontrollably, surely scared to death of people. Who wouldn’t be in that situation? By examining his beaten-up body, we found out he had multiple badly-healed fractures and his jaw was crooked. My husband’s guess was that some monster out there took a blow at him.
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