Early one evening last week, Homer hit the latch on the screen door and darted off after a squirrel. He was missing for a brutal 72 hours as we networked, hung up flyers and waited. He was found completely covered in porcupine needles.
The call came early in the morning that Homer had been found. An employee of the local transfer station called Dylan (Homer's newly adopted owner) after seeing a missing dog flyer. That morning, the employee had opened up the garage at the transfer station, and Homer walked in and laid right down on the concrete floor. He was covered from head to toe in porcupine quills. His face was unrecognizable underneath the vast spread of white needles. Quills permeated his feet and abdomen, so there was no position in which he could lay that he would be comfortable.
Dylan left work early and came rushing down to bring him to the vet. We spent the entire day at Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic in Monmouth as the veterinary team worked hard to extract the quills. During the process, they snapped an xray and it was clear that Homer had a pneumothorax and a quill had punctured one of his lungs. The vet tried to clear the air out of his chest cavity, but it came rushing in not long later. Dylan had a decision to make-watch and wait and hope for the best or bring him to Portland for emergency care. There was no question that he wanted to do everything to keep Homer alive and happy.
Homer, was recently adopted by Dylan-it was an instant match made in heaven as these two souls turned out to be perfect for each other. Homer had been rescued and failed a few times in the past, but he is truly loved by his newly adoptive family. Buddy Up Animal Society has vowed to help Homer's family to save Homer's life. This is a huge part of rescue. Finding a forever family is so important; the love and bond that Dylan and Homer have found is irreplaceable.
We drove Homer to Portland, watching for changes in breathing along the way. Hoping and praying, while we made the hour long journey south to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Portland. We were ushered in quickly, and after an initial exam, Dr. O'Brien let us know the options. Either Homer could be hospitalized and treated medically, under observation, and we could hope for the best. Or, an exploratory thoracotomy could be performed to see if they could remove the remaining quills that had migrated into his chest cavity. Homer would not make it if we chose the ?wait-and-see? method. A more aggressive approach had to be taken, because Homer's innards were essentially a wobbly pincushion.
Dylan couldn't bear to say goodbye to Homer, or to allow him to suffer further, so he opted for surgery despite the enormous expense. Homer made it through the surgery successfully. Over 30 more quills were removed from inside his chest cavity, include one in his pericardium that would have proved deadly. Quills are still migrating out through his skin along his face and legs, and the veterinary team has been diligent about removing them as they see them.
He is waking up and recovering gently, as he is under a lot of pain and his body is swollen.
Throughout this whole ordeal, Dylan has stood by his friend, taking direction and suggestions and supporting his dog with unwavering tenderness. It is clear that Homer has found his person. He wags his tail gently when he sees Dylan, even while in pain and struggles to stand to walk nearer to him.
Please follow Homer's recovery and help with his medical expenses, we can't do this without your help. Homer is an exceptional dog, very much loved and worth every single penny.