Alwin story is unique and we hope it will help people understand as to why we should not turn our backs to those who need help, even if they are located on the other side of the continent (or planet).
It all started with a call for help from an independent citizen arriving to our inbox back in ( end) September 2018. The message did not have a lot of information about this dog, but photos that were attached to the message told us a lot more than any words could.
He looked as if he was in a lot of physical and emotional pain.
Alwin on the day he was taken out of the shelter, December 2018
We were told that he was located in one of the small private shelters. It was much later we discovered that as it unfortunately happens more often than we would like to see, person responsible for the dogs in the shelter was under investigation for animal neglect.
That became main reason as to why we could not get Alwin out for months, as he and the rest of the surviving dogs were “ evidence“ during legal investigation and we could not risk making any public posts to not jeopardize the investigation.
We managed to get him some emergency medical examination and some help and then we waited and we waited and we waited for months, hoping that Alwin has that time.
Finally, on December 29, 2018 Alwin was moved to foster home as he was too weak to join sanctuary. His hard journey of surviving first on the streets and later in the shelter, neglected basic medical care due to lack of funds has continued… who would hang on to the hope as long as he did? Would you?
Alwin did. He fought and when his body could no longer fight, he fought with his spirit. By the time we got him he already had problems with kidneys and liver, advanced case of erlichia and paws on his hind legs were deformed, apparently from birth.
Despite his clearly not promising diagnosis, following advise of the veterinary we still decided to give him a chance.
The first two days Alwin had to eat from the syringe. He was so weak, desperate and tired. He just wanted to sleep all the time. It was heart-breaking to watch once a magnificent animal neglected to this misery by one of our own.
Two days later suddenly Alwin felt better and to everyone’s surprise ate the whole bowl of rice and chicken. Just as we got our hopes a little up, the next day he stopped eating for days… In January 2019 he went for the clinic for IV and monitoring his kidneys.
Now many people would say why would you hang on to the dog that has such little chance to survive yet cost so much money. Money that can be used to save healthy young dogs. Someone may answer that everyone needs a chance and sick dogs may need help even more. For us , every dog we decide to take responsibility for is equally important. It is indeed very hard to keep up with expenses for dogs like Alwin, since there is no exact treatment plan that vet can say for sure would work. There is no guarantee that anything we try could help. But at the end, one must try , because these dogs … they have no one else to try for them, so someone has to. Even if it looks desperate, even if it feels terrible, even if you know that if he doesn’t survive you’d have to be the one cherish the memories of their lives, so they do not die for nothing. Knowing all that, you are still willing to take that chance. There is nothing wrong or right about it, it is just choices we make with our hearts.
Our hearts might have been right about this one, as slowly slowly Alwin started to show signs of improvement. Each day the kidney test looked better and better. Finally after around a week in the vet clinic he was released to go to foster home, as he got too energetic, but he still needed to come every day for half-day for his IV infusions and kidney treatment for the next two weeks.
As we are writing this, Alwin is taking a break from all treatments to see if his kidneys can function independently, without support. So far it is going well. Next week he will start Erlichia treatment, which may posses another risk to his kidneys, but it is a chance we would have to take. Though considering the amazing progress he made so far, we are hopeful that if there would be damage to kidneys as result of treatment, it would be minimal and Alwin would still be able to maintain good quality of life.
Meanwhile, his paws are healing and once the wounds are closed, the vet will take measurements to design silicon orthopaedic shoes that Alwin would have to wear his entire life.
Alwin needs our help and my “ our” we mean everyone who can offer it. If you are reading this , please consider offering what you can to Alwin. His destiny in your hands and ours. Let’s try to make good choices for him.
You can send your help via PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org ( please mark “ Alwin“)
or via bank account:
STICHTING SLED DOG RESCUE
IBAN: NL83 ABNA 0547 9873 74