On the first day of my fourth visit to Scooby I’m happily scooping poop again. First the quarantine with an awfully lot of happy little dogs, than paddock 7.3 where all my big friends stay. After that it’s time for the renewed paddock 7.1, the paddock with the smaller dogs. Here are again many happy little dogs and puppies. And between all those jumping puppies is lying a dark grey curly dog, quiet in a corner. I think, I would do the same as I were you, in the middle of that noise, but I’ve got the feeling something is off. I walk towards him and he starts to wag his tail, but stays in his corner. Just to be sure, I lift him up and start feeling him to see if something is wrong. His belly does feel a little hard, he looks sad, he feels a little cold, but nothing that is obviously wrong. The vet also can’t see anything alarming, but decides to take him to the clinic anyway. It’s here that I hear that he had been adopted two years ago and is back in a shelter three days ago. The former owner brought him to Scooby because she didn’t have time for him any more. And it shows! His fur is matted with poop stuck in it, his dew claw has grown around twice, his penis is red and swollen and can’t go back inside without help and he can’t pee or poop normally because of a blockage in his intestines. But even worse, is that there is no light in his eyes any more. He is watching, but nothing happens in his eyes. The woman has literary and physically not taken care of him, no care and no love. And it’s such a sweetheart! He stays quiet and calm with a physical exam, carefully wags his tail when he sees you and let you pet him patiently. But those eyes. They speak a thousand words. Words of neglect.

Pobre, as we called him, is on medication now and he got a bath to rinse away that bad smell of neglect. Hopefully in time and with a lot of attention some light will come back in his eyes. Because a dog without that is just a miserable piece of nothing.

A few days later..

It's a big day for Pobre, the little dog that due to physical and mental neglect, lost the light in his eyes. After a few days of attention he was running around as he was the happiest dog on earth. Though, despite medication, he still suffers from a hard constipation in his belly and he still can not pee normally. The vet made an echography and found out that crystals have developed in his bladder and were blocking his urethra. That is why he is peeing by the drop, poor dog. That has to hurt a lot!

So today is the big day, he is getting his surgery. And I can be with him during the surgery, what is great but also a bit scary. Pobre became my favourite during the last couple of days and to watch him going under by anaesthetics and being cut open is of course a bit scary. But for him it's nice to have a familiar face around in the clinic.

So there we go, dog on the table, IV in, putting in the anaesthetics, intubate, shave, wash, getting ready for the operation. All routine work for the vet, but I can't take my eyes of his belly. It has to start breathing on his own, right about now. It can take a minute before a dogs starts breathing on his own after the anaesthetics are administered, but for me it takes hours. One minute, one and a half. Two minutes. Come on Pobre, breath! Inside I start to panic, but I try to stay calm, because the vet is not looking worried, he just continues with the preparation. But if he also stops and looks at his belly, it finally starts to breathe. A sigh of relief, from both Pobre and me. Thank god, he is still alive. We can start now.

As soon as the abdominal wall is cut open and some fat is removed (his former owner did that one thing right; at least she (over) fed him), the vet suddenly says: “Surprise! We only have to operate one thing, feel…” So I pinch his bladder and I'm shocked, if feels very hard! So this is the so called obstruction we felt in his intestines. As soon as he cuts the bladder open the vet and I shout out some Spanish foul language, of course I won't repeat. What is that coming out of his bladder?! Something that looks like a stone or coral the size of a big mushroom, about eight cm long and three cm in diameter. Incredible. How can that have been build up in his small bladder? It must have taken months! And how he must have suffered. He must have been peeing with only drops (and pain!) for a long time. Poor poor dog. He again is true to its name: miserable.

Luckily his future is looking a lot brighter and more comfortable from now on. And when he will wake up from this surgery he will wag his tail even more than he already did. Sweet happy Pobre. All that remains is to find a new home.