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    We just wanted to send a note to tell everyone at Winslow Animal Hospital that we love your new facility(very nice) and our recent visit with our dog, Jake was quite nice. Our chocolate lab had a tendency to become quite excited in the presence of other people and pets. Your spacious waiting room lended us the opportunity to keep hime safely away from other patients while waiting to be seen by the very professional staff. We would like to offer a thumbs up to everyone there for a great visit!

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    To the Staff at Winslow Animal Hospital

    On September 30, 2009 I received a phone call that no pet owner ever wants. My neighbor had called me to let me know that he had found Bella injured. From the tone of his voice and the emotion in his words I knew it wasn’t good. For ten years I have been a Firefirghter and an EMT. I have been trained to expect and prepare for the worst, but also to hope for the best. After a torturous forty minute ride, I met up with my wife who had arrived home first and had already wrapped up her wound and gotten Bella ready to go get help. the question was where? We have only lived in Williamstown for a year and a half, and had no emergencies with any of our dogs. In the past we had always taken her to an office for routine visits almost an hour away that was familiar with Bella since she was a puppy. But time would not permit us to do that on this night. By the time we would arrive they would be closed and time elapsed since her injury was discovered it would be close to two and a half hours. I remembered seeing your sign in my daily travels and we felt that you would be the best option. When we arrived ar your office I asked the office staff if they would take a look at her. Even though it was starting to get near closing time, they were more than happy to help. At this moment, I realized htat you took your job and commitment seriously. Bella was taken into the back and you went to work. After a short time we were getting updates on Bella and a plan for her care was being formed. It would have been very easy for your staff to recommend that we just wait until the morning and bring her back You chose not to do that. In Bella’s best interest you called The University of Pennsylvania to get things moving. Also at this time my trust in your staff became abundantly clear. Obivously your staff was more concerned with Bella’s well being than making money. When HUP advised your staff they probably would not perform any procedures that night you attempted to contact other facilities for us. Because of the trust and respect we now had for you, the decision was made to bring Bella back in the next morning because no one else was going to fix her that night. This decision would turn out to be the most critical one we would have to make on Bella’s behalf. I am happy to say, without a doubt, that this decison would also turn out to be the best choice we could have made. I returned the next morning with Bella and you took her away to fix her. It was a long painful day of uncertainty, but it was comforted by the prior nights’ experience. When I picked Bella up I was told of her situation and what her plan of car was. It seemed like we had a very long and rocky road ahead with no certainty regarding the chances of outcome being either positive or negative. Over the course of the next few weeks, and many visits, Bella was recovering at a remarkable pace. I attribute this not only to her strength and dermination but also to the skill and expertise of your staff. As of this time of this letter Bella has made almost a complete recover and getting better everyday. Other than a small scar and some short hair from the pre-op preparations, you would never know she had a problem, let alone the major injury she suffered. Words cannot even begin to express the gratitude and amazement that my family and I have toward your staff. We can rest easy knowing that Bella wille njoy many more years with us and that she will enjoy them to the fullest without any impairment. On behalf of my family and most of all, Bella, thank you for a job well done. We will be forever gratefull for your services.


    David E. Levasseur

    Printed with permission

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    Tucker, a 1½ year old neutered male Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, presented to Winslow Animal Hospital December 14, 2009. His owners stated he had been retching and vomiting bile and grass for the past two days. He wasn’t interested in his food, and seemed very quiet, clingy, and lethargic.
    After having his weight noted and temperature taken, which was normal, Tucker sat near his owners in the exam room, looking forlorn and depressed. Further history revealed Tucker had a long history of eating many unusual objects around his owner’s house, such as crayons, blankets, and their son’s toys. The owners also mentioned that Tucker had been very interested in the boxes of Christmas decorations that were out around the house as well. Aside from his crayon-eating providing the yard with a bit of extra color, Tucker’s past indiscretions had not caused any serious health issues for him – so far. That, unfortunately, was about to change…

    Dr. Phil Coudrai examined Tucker and decided a few radiographs and complete bloodwork were in order. The owner’s agreed, so off Tucker went with one of the nurses to have his testing completed.
    About 20 minutes later, the radiographs showed some unusual densities, and possible foreign bodies throughout the intestine and colon areas. The bloodwork revealed some abnormalities consistent with a distressed gastrointestinal tract. Dr. Coudrai felt that Tucker’s diagnostics indicated either pancreatitis or a possible foreign body – which could mean exploratory surgery for Tucker…
    Before considering such a serious emergency surgery, Dr. Coudrai felt that an ultrasound of the abdomen would help to not only clarify what had been seen on the radiograph, but would also help to rule out possible pancreatitis or gastritis. Immediately, Tucker was presented to Winslow’s ultrasound technician who was able to view the organs of his abdomen with an ultrasound machine. The results showed a definite foreign body within the pylorus and intestine, as well as areas of bowel that were unusually folded. Poor Tucker! Immediate surgery was necessary.

    After hugs and kisses from his concerned owners, Tucker was brought back to the surgical area, where he was prepped for surgery by one of Winslow Animal Hospital’s Certified Veterinary Technicians.
    During surgery, Dr. Coudrai was able to inspect Tucker’s abdominal cavity. Several suspicious areas were immediately noted throughout the intestine, stomach, pylorus, and colon areas. Dr. Coudrai cut an incision into the intestine and maneuvered one hard lump carefully towards the incision opening…and to everyone’s surprise, a head with two beady little eyes popped out! Tucker had eaten a small plastic toy – several in fact, and soon a small pile of action figures arose, intertwined with assorted strands of fabric, thread, and grass. This mass had threaded its way throughout Tucker’s GI tract, from his pylorus, through his stomach, into his intestines and even into his colon. All the toys and fabric were located and removed via incisions into the various areas where they were found. After suturing the incisions closed and thoroughly flushing and suctioning his abdominal cavity with a warmed saline and antibiotic solution, his incision site was closed with suture and staples. He was sent home on antibiotics, pain medications, and instructions for strict rest and a bland (toyless) diet.

    Tucker was a very lucky dog for several reasons. First, his owners brought him for an examination shortly after his vomiting began. Secondly, although the hard plastic toys had many sharp points jutting outwardly, there were no perforations of the GI tract, which would have greatly increased his chance of developing serious complications. And lastly, Tucker was an otherwise healthy, young dog who had a great family at home waiting for him…hopefully, with all toys now out of reach!

    Printed with permission

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    Here in this house… I will never know the loneliness I hear in the barks of the other dogs ‘out there’.

    I can sleep soundly, assured that when I wake, my world will not have changed. I will never know hunger, or the fear of not knowing if I’ll eat. I will not shiver in the cold, or grow weary from the heat. I will feel the sun’s heat, and the rain’s coolness, and be allowed to smell all that can reach my nose.

    My fur will shine, and never be dirty or matted.

    Here in this house… There will be an effort to communicate with me on my level. I will be talked to and, even if I don’t understand, I can enjoy the warmth of the words. I will be given a name so that I may know who I am among many.

    My name will be used in joy, and I will love the sound of it!

    Here in this house… I will never be a substitute for anything I am not. I will never be used to improve peoples’ images of themselves.

    I will be loved because I am who I am, not someone’s idea of who I should be. I will never suffer for someone’s anger, impatience, or stupidity. I will be taught all the things I need to know to be loved by all.

    If I do not learn my lessons well, they will look to my teacher for blame.

    Here in this house… I can trust arms that hold, hands that touch… knowing that, no matter what they do, they do it for the good of me.

    If I am ill, I will be doctored. If scared, I will be calmed. If sad, I will be cheered. No matter what I look like, I will be considered beautiful and known to be of value.

    I will never be cast out because I am too old, too ill, too unruly, or not cute enough. My life is a responsibility, and not an afterthought.

    I will learn that humans can almost, sometimes, be as kind and as fair as dogs.

    Here in this house… I will belong. I will be home.