Until recently, life hadn’t been kind to little Macy Gray. At five months old when she was picked up as a stray, she’d never known a home. Malnourished and seriously underweight, she landed at the Athens Area Humane Society where they started the process of nursing her back to health and finding her a forever home. A break wasn’t in the cards for Macy, though, as the coronavirus pandemic began to impact the Athens area. The Humane Society was working to move all of their animals into foster homes until they could resume normal operations, so Macy went straight to live with foster mom Saskia Thompson.
Jed Kaylor, the community outreach coordinator for the AAHS said, “She was very malnourished like a lot of abandoned pups we see but we knew we could nurse her back, and we knew Saskia was the perfect foster home for her during her recovery thanks to her successful track record of taking on some of our most needy pets.”
Saskia set out to get Macy up to weight but discovered that even though she was eating she seemed to be getting sicker. Her abdomen was bloated, which initially was attributed to malnourishment, but without improvement, Jed and Saskia took Macy back to see the vet who in turn referred her to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital for an ultrasound. Our VTH had reduced service to emergencies only, so Saskia and Macy were met in the parking lot and taken into the building. The ultrasound revealed that Macy had a gastrointestinal foreign body obstruction—she’d eaten something like a rubber toy ball—and it had become lodged in the first part of her small intestine. She needed immediate surgery. Luckily, Macy is a fighter. She came out of the surgery with no complications, moved quickly from the ICU to the intermediate care ward, and went back to her foster home to recover in a matter of days—all with flying colors!
“I had my concerns about her going into surgery that night,” said Dr. Dan Adams, the small animal surgery resident who performed her surgery. “But sure enough, the next morning she was up, wagging her tail, full of energy, giving me kisses, and all together on her way to a speedy recovery.”
Over the past weeks she’s gained strength, learned some manners, and is really blossoming. Thanks to the dedication of the Athens Area Humane Society personnel and foster volunteers and to the doctors and staff at the VTH, all of whom kept going the extra mile to protect our community’s animal population in the midst of a pandemic, Macy is healed up and flourishing today.
And in a serendipitous twist as a result of pursuing this story, Macy found her forever home with the CVM’s communications director who fell in love when she met with Macy and her foster mom!