Jude all dressed up (he's in a bow-tie) St. Jude, as you know, is the Patron Saint of Lost & Hopeless Causes. Even though Jude isn't a blind dog, he tells his story to remind others that everyday there are abused, and special needs dogs out there that need our help!

 

The story of Jude began Jan. 12, 2002. As I left the house early that Saturday morning, I found a small dog curled up next to the propane tank right next to my house with a gunshot wound to his leg. I gave him some food, patted him and spoke to him. He tried to wag his tail and smile. I called Animal Hospital of Beaufort and asked Dr. Frances Murray if she wanted to take in a very beautiful dog with a sweet personality. We reviewed the options of either taking him to Beaufort County where he would be put down without an examination or she could evaluate him and come to a decision.

I walked into the very full waiting room, arms full of bony dog, and was shown right in. Murray saw us right away. The nameless dog was a living, breathing skeleton with a bad gunshot which shattered both bones in his leg. He had tried to walk on the leg and shoved the paw further up into his leg. He tested negative for heartworm so Murray said she would keep him to determine his condition.

As he had a room full of people around him, I spoke baby talk to the dog and he just stared at me, trying to wag his long tail. I walked behind him and he leaned his head back against my chest so he could look in my eyes.

   

Did I mention how beautiful he was with his large pale light blue eyes that had a speck of black on one iris, which made him look cross-eyed. He had a dark black/brown brindle coat. He was a mid-sized dog, and maybe if he had known a family, he would have weighed about 50 pounds or more. As it was, he was probably about 20 or less. Did I mention how beautiful he was?

All night Saturday, at the symphony during a tribute to Richard Rodgers, all I could think about was this poor little shot-up dog. Sunday was no better, and by Monday morning, I was a puddle on the floor; could not stop crying.

MONDAY: I called the Hilton Head Humane Shelter to ask them for resources for this dog, in the way of monetary support. Susan and I cried together and she graciously offered to look into it. She was gleeful when she called back with the names of angels Sharon Wagner and Sally Fedman. I telephoned Dr. Allen Henry and said, "We have help!!" I was thrilled and so was he. He remarked what a good dog little "St. Jude" was and how sweet he was. Henry then took another X-ray, and when I stopped by the hospital that night to visit little Jude, he had some very bad news. Jude had been hit by a car, his pelvis knocked out of whack on one side by inches and the ball jammed into the socket on the other side. He could not believe the dog had lived as long as he had. I felt he came to me so that I could save him, as no one was able to save my Allix, who died after 24 hours of valiant efforts by Henry to save her from a gunshot in her spine. Did I mention how beautiful he was?

TUESDAY: My friends contacted Mark Robertson of the Beaufort Humane Association, and he said he was certain the board would agree to assist in this life-saving effort of a little fellow who so desperately wanted to live. All these angels decided that little Jude was worth saving and so did Henry. He said after their donations, he would do the rest for free.

WEDNESDAY: I was anxiously planning for a homecoming, and my excitement and love grew and grew. I don't know why I fell so hard for this little flea-bitten, shot-up, misshapen bag of bones. I believe it was his eyes. Did I mention how beautiful they were? The amazing thing was that people who had never met him were not just willing but eager to help him. He had the most incredible effect on people.

THURSDAY: It is now day five in his struggle to live. Things are looking extremely grim. The hip injury will probably end his life. The grief is overwhelming. I feel like screaming, but that would more than likely get me fired or at the very least sent home. I am still praying for a miracle, and believe me, if he survives after all this, it will be a divine intervention. No one deserves a break in life like little Jude. He has struggled against impossible odds during his life, incredible pain and hunger, and now to die so ignominiously when help and love finally arrived in his lift, in bucketloads, is beyond anything I can accept. Well, little Jude will put on his collar tonight, hold his toy and be put to sleep. He is coming home with me, the only home he will ever have, too late.

FRIDAY: Last night I was beyond grief, engulfed in a sorrow that did not feel like anything I had felt before, despite losing both parents and friends over the years. I begged Henry not put Jude down until Wagner spoke with him. They were not pleased with me, but I bought little Jude another day.

SATURDAY: Surgery is scheduled for Jude this morning. Jude did not look very happy last night, but that's because be had an enema. No one looks happy with stomach cramps. I have a dread that he will be destroyed in the next hour or so, and all this will have been for naught. I am running over to 1 Hour Photo because I am afraid in an hour all I will have left of him is some photographs. The photos are great! You can really see the improvements in St. Jude's appearance over the span of a week. I feel like a manic depressive. Totally high highs and lows beyond belief.

SUNDAY: God bless Dr. Allen Henry. He spent hours on St. Jude, straightened out the two-inch difference in either side of his hips as much as possible, untied the sciatic nerve which had fibrous growth, untangled the mess of the rectal area, used some wire, a lot of love and prayer. Henry is my hero!

MONDAY: The report is excellent! He is doing great! We do not know yet if he will be able to walk, but he has put on 2 1/2-plus pounds and is noticing his surroundings -- that is, he is fussing at the dog across the way for being in his room. I am going to see him tonight and bring him another toy. Robertson is also going to visit; he, too, will be bringing him a toy. We're going to arm wrestle for Jude; we both want him.

TUESDAY: I saw St. Jude last night. He slept for a while with his head on my arm and my head on his shoulder, singing "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine." I can never finish the stanza because I sang it to Allix the last time I saw her alive and was on the floor when I got to "Please don't take my sunshine away."

WEDNESDAY: He has had intestinal function; you know what that means. The staff at the hospital sound hopeful when they say they will try to towel-walk him tomorrow. Ooohhh, it's so hard being a mom of a critically ill child.

THURSDAY: I asked if Jude was towel-walked and Becky said, "Well, he stood up and then fell over." I said, "Well, that had to hurt! May I visit tonight?" Sure, she said.

FRIDAY: Oh, My God! Thank You Thank You Thank You! We had a great visit last night. I brought him a toy, and I read it to Jude as I pointed: "I" "LOVE" "YOU." Jude smiled and smiled. His tail wagged and wagged. We sang, he talked to me, mooning like a cow, just like Amber does when she tries to communicate with me. As I sang, "You are my sunshine," he rolled over onto his back and with his shot leg, pushed my face several times as if to say, "Oh! Please!" We laughed and it pained me deeply to leave; we had such a good time last night. I am going to ask Dr. Henry if I can take him home for the weekend and work on therapy. Here's hoping. Life is good. Most recent report: Jude's leg was put in a cast so it could have more stability while it healed from the gunshot wound. Once the paw has healed and the cast comes off, one more surgery is scheduled on the hip where he was hit by the car to make it easier for him to use his rear leg. Poor baby!

Story by Karen Anderson

St. Jude is showcased on Handicapped Pets and every visit to his story there earns funds for an animal cause.

Karen Anderson, Allicks, Gabriel, Ambrr & St. Jude

   
 
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