Summer is much loved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who lives with her sister Holly and their owner – who is herself a senior citizen and currently self isolating due to her own health issues. Like some CKCS, Summer has an ongoing heart problem that’s kept under control with medication and regular veterinary checks. This little family live within walking distance of our Worthing clinic, which is handy as mum is unable to drive, so popping round for Summer’s vet checks isn’t usually a problem.
Our 24 hour hospital in Storrington received a call early on Good Friday morning from Summer’s owner who was reporting that Summer was putting a lot more effort into her breathing than usual and being fully aware of the implications of this, knew that she needed help.
Knowing that it was a Bank Holiday Summer’s owner was extremely anxious to be stuck at home with a very poorly dog and with no means of getting her to our hospital. With the added complications of the Covid 19 lockdown, she was understandably very distressed. We were able to immediately reassure her that we would be able to organise some transport to pick up Summer and bring her back to the hospital in Storrington for treatment.
A while back we had asked for volunteers via a facebook post who would be able to help in such a situation – and immediately found someone local to Worthing who was only too keen to help. Our mother and daughter volunteers drove straight round and collected Summer – reassuring her owner that everything was in place at the hospital ready for Summers arrival and that as soon as she had been examined and stabilised one of our vets would be in contact and would keep her updated every step of the way.
On arrival at the hospital Summer was collected from the volunteers car by nurse Anna – carefully adhering to our social distancing protocol – and immediately taken for assessment by vet Laura. It wasn’t a moment too soon as whilst being examined Summer’s condition deteriorated and she was rushed into our oxygen therapy kennel. After some diagnostic radiographs and some new medication Summer then spent the rest of the day being closely monitored whilst being weaned off supplemental oxygen and by late afternoon she had improved significantly – enough so that Laura was happy for her to return home.
Here again our wonderful volunteers stepped in to help and collected Summer to return her back home where both her owner and sister Holly were overjoyed to see her.
On Saturday morning we made a telephone call to Summer’s owner to see how things were going and were pleased to hear that Summer had had a comfortable night and eaten well. Her owner wanted to thank everyone who had been involved over the past 24hours with Summers care but particularly the volunteers – she reported that they they said they had been thinking of her all day and not only had they brought Summer back but also brought a bunch of flowers for her to cheer her up.
…and this extraordinary story doesn’t end there!
Whilst the volunteers were handing Summer back from a safe distance the front door slammed and the owner realised that the door would be locked and she was now in effect locked out of her house. Our volunteers then took it upon themselves to borrow a chair from a neighbour (socially distancing) and climb over the back fence into the garden where luckily the conservatory door was open!