WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.
When firefighters from West Palm Beach Fire Rescue were called to a scrub fire in March 2017, they had no idea what they were about to witness. A passerby alerted emergency crew that a dog was seen tied to a tree amidst a fire that was burning near a homeless camp.
As they neared the fire, they could hear a dog barking, and Capt. Gregg Gordon and his crew came across a distressing sight.
“The little guy was burned up pretty good,” Gordon said, reported The Palm Beach Post. “Even when we grabbed him, he was very distressed. I was concerned whether he would live.”
Because the dog was chained up, it was thought that he was the guard dog for the camp.
The 2-year-old white-and-brown dog was severely burned—on his torso and both hind legs—and cried in pain. Firefighter Marcos Orozca was able to cut the chain that tied the pup to the tree.
The pup, nicknamed “Smokey,” was immediately taken to Jupiter Pet Emergency & Specialty Center (JPESC), where veterinarian Dr. Latimer quickly treated the pup, reported Animal Channel. Despite requiring lots of treatment and care, Dr. Latimer told firefighters that young Smokey was going to be okay. Smokey also needed around a dozen sessions in a hyperbaric chamber.
“During the several weeks that he was with us at JPESC, Smokey received multiple blood transfusions (THANK YOU “Shadow”)!!! , daily baths and bandage/wrap changes. In addition, he received treatments in the hyperbaric chamber to help with reduction of swelling as well as pain from the multiple burns,” JPESC wrote on Facebook.
“Eventually, he started to eat again (with the help of his “friends,” aka our nurses). In time, he became less fearful, more trusting, and finally began to realize that he was on the road to recovery! Smokey still has a long road ahead when it comes to his wounds, both physical and mental. He is such a sweet boy! WE LOVE YOU SMOKEY!!!” wrote JPESC.
Captain Gordon decided he would foster Smokey until a family was found for him. So when the time was right, he took him home to meet his two dogs, hoping it would help with his rehabilitation. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed that he’s good with other dogs,” Gordon said.
One week later, Gordon took Smokey back to the vets for a checkup, and when he saw the staff who had cared for him—especially when he spotted Dr. Latimer—he was overjoyed. He leapt up to hug him, with both of them ending up upon the floor with his exuberance.
Look who’s BACK!!!!!! SMOKEY! Judging by this reunion, we are pretty sure that Smokey knows how much Dr. Latimer and all of his nurses helped him!
Posted by Jupiter Pet Emergency & Specialty Center on Monday, June 5, 2017
“As you can see, he is SO thankful for all of the care, love and treatments that he received during his time with us! Welcome back, Smokey!” JPESC wrote on YouTube.
And the news only gets better for Smokey, as one of the other vets, Dr. Katelyn Thomas, was so besotted with him that she adopted him to give him the forever home he deserved, with a new name to boot—Fen.
That was two years ago, and Fen is still the same lovable dog he was when experts saved his life.
In 2018, Fen was the mascot for the annual Peggy Adams Walk for the Animals. The walk aims to provide animal welfare services to homeless and unwanted animals.
During the walk, Fen met up with one of his heroes, Dr. Latimer, and Fen joyfully leapt into his arms—a perfect example of a dog’s devotion and love to humans, in this case to be repaid tenfold by those who care about animals.
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Author: Chris Ford