Blood brothers: Kindness of strangers helps save N.S. dog’s life
Published Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:02PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:10PM AST
A Newfoundland dog that was in desperate need of a blood transfusion is alive thanks to the kindness of strangers.
Marianne Britney says she noticed her dog Ted wasn't acting himself after one of their walks.
“I knew something was wrong immediately because normally Ted just runs around like a deer," says Britney.
The Newfoundland dog’s red blood cells were attacking each other and he needed a blood transfusion to survive, but the supply at the Metro Animal Emergency Clinic wasn't a match.
Marianne Britney put out a plea for donors on the Bernese Mountain Dogs of Nova Scotia Facebook group, and the response was overwhelming.
"I thought, 'Well maybe I'll get lucky and one person will show up' and then all these people were here and I just couldn't believe it. There was a lot of tears," says Marianne.
Five group members showed up to see if their dogs were a match and the clinic was flooded with calls from others eager to help.
"When the call came out on the page and they needed help, we just loaded in the car,” says dog owner Michelle Fletcher. “Decided if we're needed, we're going to be there."
Ted's saviour came in the form of a big, loveable and slobbery Saint Bernard-mix, Argo.
"For a dog to get blood from your dog and know that it's going to save him, it's unbelievable,” says Argo’s owner Sandi Dacey.
“It brought tears to my eyes. It really did. I was overwhelmed. It's special, it is."
Marianne had never met Argo's owner or any of the members of the group. Their kindness and support in a difficult time quickly turned them from strangers to friends.
"Argo and Sandi stayed with me all day for about eight hours. They wouldn't leave me alone until I got to be with Ted afterward, which is pretty amazing," says Marianne.
Ted isn't quite out of the woods yet. He spent eight days at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island and will require close monitoring for the next six months.
But there's no question Argo's gift saved the four-year-old Newfoundland's life.
"He was at the point where his red blood cells were low enough that it was starting to affect his ability to carry oxygen, so at that point we needed to look at a transfusion,” says veterinarian Dr. Kelsey Harding.
The Bernese group is over 1,000 members strong.
"It's a learning group. It's a sharing group. We support each other. If there's an issue we can call on anybody and we're always there to help," says Sandi.
It’s something Marianne and Ted learned first-hand.
"Ted would not be here without Argo," says Marianne.
It’s proof that while you can't teach an old dog new tricks, a young dog in need can make new friends.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jayson Baxter.