The Street Dog Whose Name We Never Knew

A call comes in on the emergency helpline around 8:00 pm. The gentleman sounds distraught; he tells us that he has just returned from office and has found one of the street dogs in his locality lying by the side of the road. The dog has a rope tied around his neck but it is not tight enough to choke him; no one has seen what happened. There are no obvious signs of any external injury but he appears to be in pain and cannot get up.

The gentleman asks us if we can come to his location and treat the dog. We tell him that we are a hospital and have no facilities for rescue, shelter or home care. We also explain that treatment of trauma cases require proper medical infrastructure and life-saving facilities which can only be provided in a hospital environment. We advise him to bring the dog to our Emergency for evaluation and treatment.

The location given by the caller is approximately 10 minutes from our facility. We inform our duty doctor and paravets that a suspected trauma case will arrive within the next half hour and prepare accordingly. Two hours pass and the patient does not arrive. We fear the worst and assume the dog has died.

Another 3 hours later at around 01:15 am, we receive another call from the same gentleman; he tells us that he has come with the dog but the hospital is closed. We are surprised to hear this because we know we are open and we do not see anyone outside. Then we realise that he has mistakenly gone to a clinic which is situated very near our hospital. We give him the correct directions and, once again, prepare for the patient’s arrival.

A few minutes later, two gentlemen arrive on a bike and run inside carrying the dog. The dog is not breathing; we immediately start emergency resuscitation but to no avail. After 5 minutes, we give up and declare the animal dead.
One gentleman is in tears; he insists that the dog was alive moments before they entered our premises. He laments that we might have been able to save the animal if they had not gone to the wrong location.

We ask them why they did not come earlier in the evening as planned. They tell us that they had gone to attend a dinner invitation because they thought the dog would get better on his own.

We release the body to the owners.


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