This is the story of Bender, also known as Ben and Benny! Ben is a Siberian Husky who was adopted by his family through Delaware Valley Siberian Husky Rescue, otherwise known as DVSHR. Ben was the typical Siberian Husky, full of energy and curiosity and the desire to run!
One morning approximately two weeks ago, Ben got the bug to run. Only this time it was not under a controlled circumstance with his “Dad”. Instead, he escaped his yard and went exploring like many huskies do. This set off a chain of events that no one saw coming.
In the rescue world, we have procedures in place when an adopted dog escapes. Our volunteers make phone calls and send emails. The local police are notified as well as any local SPCA. In turn, if any of our volunteers live locally and are available, we normally put a group together and go search for the dog. In this case, Ben’s owners and three volunteers from DVSHR immediately went on the search for him.
Ben’s family lives near a nature preserve and the railroad tracks are also nearby. Two of DVSHR’s volunteers decided to check near the railroad tracks and found the unthinkable. At first, one of the volunteers thought she saw what appeared to be a deer curled up in a ball next to the tracks. As she got closer, she realized it was Ben. She yelled out his name and to her surprise he lifted his head. He was unable to move his body but heard her yelling. From that point forward, things went into overdrive. The volunteer started hollering for help from the other volunteer nearby. One stayed with Ben and placed her jacket on him to keep him warm. Shock sets in very fast in situations like these. The other volunteer was able to reach Ben’s family who rushed to the scene.
Ben was taken to the nearest local vet, stabilized and then taken to an emergency vet care hospital who were better able to care for him. While he did have some lacerations to one side of his body, Ben’s main injuries were to his head. All neurological. He was unable to open one of his eyes, could not stand on his own and was not awake for long periods of time. It was touch and go the first 24 hours.
Amazingly enough, 48 hours later he was eating food on his own, was able to stand for short periods with help and was showing interest in normal things. His eye sight however was another story. Ben’s “parents” were told that he could not see. His eyes were not focusing and he had no blink response. This of course was devastating news, however, Ben had survived and his owners were just so happy to have him with them.
Ben was hospitalized for just about a week. During that time he made great strides and amazed everyone including his doctors and nurses. He still was unable to see anything and the doctors were unsure if he would regain his eyesight. Brain injuries are very difficult. Sometimes the swelling can take a very long time to go down. The hope was if and when the swelling went down, then maybe some eyesight would come back. They just didn’t know. During his time at the vet, Ben began getting up on his own, even though he was wobbly, and taking short walks around the office. Ben’s parents visited with him several times each day. One day, his Mom told the story of Ben “running” to her and collapsing in her lap. She was just so happy to know he wanted to be near her and new who she was.
Then came the day that the doctors released Ben to go home. This was very nerve wracking for the family as now they were dealing with a new Ben. They made the living room their bedroom so that they could be with Ben in case he needed to go potty in the middle of the night. Each day his Dad would send updates to our rescue with wonderful encouraging news. Ben was making great leaps and strides in his recover. It certainly didn’t hurt to have his best friend Indy, another Siberian Husky in the house to show him the ropes again! Indy was so excited to have her buddy home.
Ben had a follow up appointment at the emergency vet and was given the thumbs up by the doctor. He was regaining some eye sight! While his depth perception was greatly off, he could see! During his visit he hammed it up with nurses and doctors. They were all so happy to see him and all the improvement he had made in such a short period of time.
Finally, two weeks to the day after the accident, the news continues to improve. While Ben still has some depth perception issues, he is now able to see out of both eyes. He does still favor his left side a bit too but hey, it’s only been two weeks that the nasty train hit him! His Dad says he is a lot more vocal now. If you know anything about Siberian Huskies, you will know that they love to chatter and talk! He is back to giving full hugs too! Not that they condone jumping, but his parents were so happy to see him get on his hind legs and wrap his front legs around their neck for a “hug”! On Wednesday, February 20th, exactly two weeks to the day, Ben went on his first 3 mile run since the accident. His Dad said he did great! Ben stayed near his friend Indy but his Dad said his tail was up and he was running happy!
We love you Bender!