Gideon The Miracle Dog
If ever there was a story of survival it's this one. A young German Shepard, now called Gideon, was hit and dragged by a car and left for dead. However, little Gideon had other ideas and wasn't about to give up the fight.
The details of this story are horrific, not for the squeamish, but the strength the rescue community showed in coming together to help a needy dog is a story worthy of being told.
When an anonymous caller reported a stray dog at Santa Ana's Birch Park, animal control officers weren't prepared for what they'd find.
The white German shepherd was propped up against a trash bin. The skin along the left side of his body was gone, leaving a large, gaping wound that made muscles and bulging ribs visible. But at the sight of people, he wagged his tail happily.
It appears that a car hit the dog and dragged him a considerable distance, said veterinarian Matthew Wheaton, leaving him with injuries "like something from a horror show." When animal control officers discovered him on Nov. 17, the wound was 3 to 4 days old, judging by the maggots that were infesting it.
The Orange County, CA Animal Control tried to treat the injured dog but realized they were not going to be able to do this on their own. They started calling area shelters and pet rescue groups, Coastal German Shepherd Rescue responded.
"Within 30 minutes, we received 20 emails from other rescue groups and individuals willing to donate and do whatever possible to save him," said Tiffany Norton, co-founder of the Irvine-based Coastal German Shepherd Rescue. "He has so many people pulling for him."
It won't be an easy road to recovery, but if any dog is up for the challenge, it's Gideon the miracle dog.
Norton named him Gideon because it means "strength," which the pooch has in spades, she said.
"When they found him, he actually walked to the animal control truck," Norton said. "He has an amazing temperament. He gives kisses and wags his tail, even when they're changing his bandages."
The pooch, who looks to be between 12 and 18 months old, is being treated by Wheaton at the Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo. He has received plasma transfusions, fluids, antibiotics and pain medication. His bandages are changed twice a day and his wound is healing slowly but surely, Wheaton said. The staff packs his wound with table sugar, which acts as an antibacterial and encourages granulation of new tissue.
"He has worked his way into the hearts of my staff," said Wheaton, with some worried nurses leaving their homes at 1 a.m. jut to go check on Gideon and change his bandages. He even responds to nicknames, including Sugar and Skinner.
Gideon is expected to make a full recovery and eventually will be adopted out to a loving forever home. In the meantime, he is going to require extensive medical care that could top $12,000. The non-profit Coastal German Shepherd Rescue is seeking donations to pay for the treatment.
HOW TO HELP
To make a tax-deductible donation towards treatment or to inquire about providing a "forever" home for Gideon, visit:
www.coastalgsr.org or call 949-768-1313.
Donations can also be mailed to Coastal German Shepherd Rescue, P.O. Box 50726, Irvine, CA, 92619. The organization's taxpayer ID # is EIN 77-0645853.
* PICTURE POSTED BY ERIKA CHAVEZ OF THE OC REGISTER, COURTESY DR. MATTHEW WHEATO