Mountainview Small Animal Hospital Blog

“SHALUNYA” / “SAMANTHA’S” STORY:

“Shalunya” is Russian for minx or naughty. “Shalunya” is the pup Katie (our receptionist) fell in love with.

In August 2016, she was brought in at about 8 weeks old by Animal Friends of the Valley with a broken and displaced lower jaw where the bone had become horribly infected. Her mouth was full of pus and it was a pretty nasty mess in there. She had great difficulty eating so gruel was made so she could lap it up when she wasn’t being hand fed. The smell from the infection was an entity all its own – if it got on your scrubs no one would come near you for the rest of the day. Staff members were gowned up like Haz Mat workers when they handled the puppy. But none of that mattered to Katie. Katie would bring in extra scrubs in order to be able to hold the puppy and love on her despite her icky mouth. She and the puppy started to bond.

After a thorough exam of the mouth and after carefully considering the bone infection, Dr. Hempel determined, “I can help this puppy…..” So he did.

After two weeks on antibiotics to get the raging infection under control and (during that same time period) after the shelter released her to us permanently, she was taken to surgery where the jaw was re-aligned, wired together, and then a surgical molding compound was applied to the teeth to act as a stabilizer while the jaw healed. Healing was a long process, but she was a trooper-in fact she didn’t seem to realize there was anything wrong with her.
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Realizing the puppy’s recuperation would be a lengthy one , Katie did not want her to miss out on learning good puppy manners, so she began working with her; teaching her basic commands and later some fun tricks like “shake”, “roll over” and “play dead”. She named her “Shalunya” due to her playful nature and propensity to be a bit of a rascal. On many occasions Katie took the puppy home to socialize with her bigger dog, and her Maine Coon cat. The cat seemed unimpressed by the pup, and barely reacted to her presence; but her big German Shepherd was afraid of the new puppy and would hide in the other room when Shalunya was in the house—dashing Katie’s hopes of being able to keep the puppy herself.

Once Shalunya was healed up and it became evident that she would be able to lead a normal life with little to no long term ill effects, Dr. Hempel gave the okay to find her a forever home.

Her forever family came in one day and saw her picture at the front desk and asked to meet her. Katie brought her up and the puppy immediately gravitated to the family’s teenage daughter. A few days later, the entire family came in to get to know Shalunya and decided they wanted her as a permanent member of their family. Since Shalunya had a couple more weeks of medications to finish, Dr Hempel spayed her and she was given the last of her vaccine series. While waiting for their new puppy to be released from care, her new family would come in twice a week to visit and play with her.

Finally, three anesthetics, four months and many medications later, this lucky pup’s big day came, and on December 1st Shalunya, whose new name is now “Samantha” (which is SO much easier to pronounce!) went home to her new family.

Please visit our Facebook page for more photos from this sweet puppy’s story: https://www.facebook.com/mountainviewvets/posts/1299691193436180

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posted in:  FEEL GOOD STORIES

“Newton’s Story”

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The local shelter we work with, Animal Friends of the Valley, brought this pup in for evaluation. He had been attacked by a much larger animal and had terrible wounds all over his tiny body, including a deep wound to the abdominal cavity. Despite his grave injuries, this little guy still had the sweetest disposition and Dr Hempel couldn’t bear knowing he might be put to sleep due to the extent of his wounds–so he asked permission from the shelter to proceed with the risky surgery. Permission was granted and the little dude pulled through the surgery and his wounds healed up after lengthy treatment and hospitalization.
After the allotted shelter waiting time, he was released to our permanent custody for re-homing.
He was so tiny, none of the baby T-shirts fit him, so he had his outfits fashioned out of tube socks, cut to fit. In this photo he is showing his flair for fashion, modeling a men’s brown dress sock. His affinity for sock wear earned him the temporary nick-name “Tube Sock Steve”, but we know his forever home will give him a name that fits his personality.
The best part of this story is how Dr Hempel’s family fell in love with him as much as the staff did, and after some ‘convincing’ (by his wife, daughter and granddaughter) Dr Hempel agreed to add this little fella to the Hempel household where he will be allowed to cuddle with his new best friend Tessa, whom he has grown to love.
After getting to know him they decided to call him “Newton” (“Newt” for short). When “Newt” is not losing at tug-of-war with “Eddie”- who currently outweighs him by about 15 lbs, he is spending quiet, cuddle time with his favorite person Tessa, who exclaimed when “Newt” was brought home for good,”this is the best day of my life!”
I bet “Newt” thought the same thing.

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posted in:  FEEL GOOD STORIES

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Your staff is outgoing and friendly. They make you feel welcome and they like to welcome the animal as well. For only seeing my dog 2-3 times, they seemed to remember her.
— Michael