Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lost dog survives car accident and two weeks alone

What do the following items have in common? Family pet, car accident,
microchip, good Samaritan.

The answer is – a happy ending. How is it those items have a common thread?
The following story is true. It happened Monday, January 19 at Westarbor
Animal Hospital.

The staff of Westarbor received a call from a concerned client. Nancy
Shipway was heading out from her Cavanaugh Lake home to run errands. She
didn’t get very far. She found an older mix breed dog walking down the
country road. Since Nancy is an avid animal lover, she stopped to see if
this lone soul needed help!

The skinny, older dog jumped into the back of her car. Well, now what??
Nancy called Westarbor Animal Hospital. She said I’m on the way with this
cute skinny, old dog. Her biggest worry was that he had been dumped in the
winter to fend for himself. His tags were old and almost illegible. His
sweet sad face struck every one at Westarbor. He needed our help.

Stephanie Heading, Practice Manager, had Dr. Teresa Londenberg gave the old
guy a complete check over. Westarbor Technician scanned the old soul for a
microchip! And lo and behold, there was an Avid Microchip. The staff called
Avid and got the information that this dog was from Oklahoma. The chip was
assigned to a veterinary hospital.

That’s when all the pieces fell together. This sweet boy had been involved
in a horrible car accident on I-94 by Kalmbach Road. His human parents were
severely injured. The accident caused the back window of the car to blow.
Sweebie ran from the accident scene dazed and confused. He left behind his
human parents and other canine sibling.

“By the time the paramedics arrived on the scene I was pretty dazed, said
Mark Sisson. Mark and his wife Betty Ann had been visiting from Oklahoma for
the holidays. “I thought I was pretty lucid, but my wife was already pretty
hysterical about Sweebie being missing. She refused to leave the scene until
some of the rescue workers agreed to look for him.”

The post holiday accident occurred January 5th, 2010. “My wife and I were so
depressed, but still holding onto hope. Two weeks in the Michigan winter is
such a long time for any animal. We weren't sure if he was hurt.”

“Sweebie is a very special animal to me because he was my gift to myself
after a year of volunteering at our humane society in Stillwater, OK.,’ said
Mark. “ I would walk dogs every Friday and sometimes on Tuesdays as well and
I really became fond of Sweebie and his sister Teena. When Teena was adopted
I made a vow that I would rescue Sweebie as well. He had been in our shelter
from early October of 2000 until May of 2001 when I adopted him. Since then
we have had 9 really grand years together and he often comes on road trips
and usually stays with me at my art studio at Oklahoma State University
where I am a professor. We just do everything together. We think our other
dog, ZuZu; a 14 year old Basenji really misses him as well.”

Almost two weeks late, Sweebie was found by Nancy Shipway. How many people
had passed him and kept going? Where did he sleep? What did he eat? How did
he survive? He lost almost 12 pounds in two weeks time. Dr. Londonberg found
nothing physically wrong with him, except thin and exhausted.

When Westarbor called Mark, he couldn’t believe it. He sent his parents to
retrieve his long lost canine. Sweebie quickly ate several meals from
Westarbor and feel asleep quickly on the fluffy quilt given to him by the

When Mark’s parents arrived, Sweebie took a minute to reconnect with them..
His eyes became bright again. And his tail starting wagging like crazy
Sweebie will be reunited with his owners in a couple of months.

“I can't thank you, Nancy Shipway and the folks at Westarbor Animal Hospital
enough. My folks are going to nurse him back to full strength and we hope to
pick him up on Spring Break, which is mid-March. I'll certainly pay you a
visit at that time. You have made our recuperation from our physical
ailments much easier by easing our heavy emotional burden.”

Family pet, car accident, microchip, good Samaritan… All means …Sweebie can
go home.

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