Copyright © 2011 Marianne Stephens

Marianne Stephens
EXCERPT: Luke: The Miracle Dog

Technicians brought a gurney out to the car for Luke. They used blankets and pillows to surround him and make him comfortable. Veterinarian Dr. Tammi Ruddell met them at the door. She knew he'd been found on the side of a road and wondered if Luke had broken his back and would need surgery.

X-rays were done and Dr. Ruddell did another exam for injuries. Now it was her turn to consult with Mike and Marie.
Luke had head trauma and the extent was unknown at that time. He had a broken front right leg, but gave no response to pain except a moan. Dr. Ruddell explained that with head injuries,
pain can be "suppressed" (no response given), so little or no reaction to pain came from Luke.

He was unconscious, and a neurological exam was difficult to diagnose, so there was no clear idea of the damage that might have been done. He appeared to be blind. More stabilizing treatment was needed. Luke was fed using IV tubes. He was given a mixture of TPN (total parental nutrition). And, water was given to him through syringes.
Luke had lost weight as had been noted by the first veterinarian. Before being lost, Luke weighed 15 pounds, 7 ounces, and now weighed 14 pounds, 8 ounces.

Their friend, Pam, met them at the hospital to offer support. Two friends, Amee and Kathy, stayed at Mike and Marie's house to care for their other dogs and to help in notifying others that Luke had been found.

Dr. Ruddell offered compassionate, professional help and talked to Mike and Marie about their concerns. One agonizing question remained in their minds; should Luke be put to sleep? Dr. Ruddell was asked what she would do if Luke were her dog. She responded by saying that she would wait 24 hours at a time to make that decision. This would give Luke a timed period to show a recovery progress. Dr. Ruddell's honest answer gave Mike and Marie hope and they agreed.

The hospital could offer all their services and help, but the fight to survive, one day at a time, was up to Luke.

"While this is a story of a special dog, this is just as much a story of special people.  The photographs add so much to this book."

"His story gives inspiration and hope to those who might give up instead of working to get back to a useful life.  Luke is a special dog and you are special people.  Your writing is clear and flows well.  The pacing of the book is about right, moving the story right along." - Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards.

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