Pegaso Will Run Again
A couple days ago in a park near our Airbnb apartment, Omar and I met a very interesting young woman named Edita and her dog Pegaso. After talking awhile and exchanging pleasantries, she shared with us how she came to have Pegaso and its incredible story of survival.
Edita, a very fit and avid runner, was on her daily run with her two dogs along the Rio Chili in Arequipa, Peru. She suddenly had an inspiration to vary her normal route and take a side trail. Not long after she started down the alternate route, she saw something fall in a wash and into a clump of bushes. She quickly realized it was a large male dog. As she approached she saw that it was in a horrible state with a massively swollen neck, worms on its head and fleas and ticks all over its body. The poor creature was unable to get out of the bush much less out of the ditch. To Edita it looked like the dog was on death’s door.
Since it couldn’t help itself, Edita tried to drag the dog out of the ditch but couldn’t get it up the embankment. So, she took off her undergarments, wrapped them around the dog and pulled him out. Once on level ground, she hoped the dog could walk with her to a place where she could get help. However, the dog was so weak that walking even a few steps was not possible. At that point she made the decision to go get help, but before she left she made a commitment to the dog that she would return as soon as possible with the assistance she needed.
Running as fast as she could to her house she dropped off her dogs, got her cell phone and began contacting veterinarians to see if they would be willing to help. The first four veterinarians were not willing to help, but the fifth offered to treat the dog as long as Edita could get the animal to their facility. Edita then called her brother, a taxi driver, and the two of them went back to the secluded location where she left the dog. As gently as possible they put it on a sack they brought with them and carried it back to the taxi.
To give Omar and me a mental image of the dog’s condition, Edita told us that worms were crawling out of its ear, a mass larger than a grapefruit hung down from its neck and both she and her brother could not help vomiting due to the overwhelming stench.
Once they got to the facility, the veterinary staff immediately initiated procedures to save the dog’s life. Not once did they ask Edita about putting the dog down because of its severely compromised condition. Instead they applied all of the skills and knowledge they had to save the dog’s life. I included a few gruesome pictures to show you what an uphill battle the veterinarian and the dog faced.
The first order of business was to drain the mass around the dog’s neck, stitch up all of its wounds, remove the worms from its ears and treat it for ticks and fleas.
Although it was touch and go for a couple of days, by the third day of treatment Edita saw the first hopeful signs that the dog she named Pegaso would survive. When she entered the room, Pegaso attempted to wag his tail. Since then he has continued to make slow but steady progress. Everyday Edita goes to the veterinarian’s office to take Pegaso for a walk in the nearby park. From the pictures Edita first took at the veterinarian’s office there has been a remarkable amount of improvement.
After hearing her story, I had a couple questions for Edita. Why did she name the dog Pegaso? Edita said she often has dreams about a white horse and immediately thought of Pegasus (Pegaso in Spanish) for the name.
When I asked Edita why she took the alternate route the day she found Pegaso, she said she thought Pegaso was calling out to her. When I asked why he specifically called her, she said she felt that Pegaso somehow saw that she was hurting on the inside and together they could help heal one another.
Her hope is that Pegaso will recover to a point where he can join her and her other dogs on the daily runs along the river.
Although he has made remarkable progress in the two and a half weeks since Edita found him, Pegaso still has several significant issues that must be addressed. He is significantly underweight and has very little muscle mass. He also appears to be deaf, but Edita thinks he may have some hearing in one ear. There is also an eye that looks worrisome. The most significant issue, however, is his loss of balance. Pegaso's head is always tilted to one side. The veterinarian speculates that this may be the result of brain damage, damage caused by the worms that were in his ear or the result of trauma to his spine. To determine the cause of his balance issue, Pegaso had an MRI. This procedure was done at a local clinic after all of the human patients had gone.
To help with the expenses, I volunteered to open and seed a Go Fund Me account on Edita’s behalf. This fund will be used to pay for some of the expenses Edita will incur as Pegaso progresses along his road to recovery. What we know for sure is that he will need rehabilitation and veterinary services for the next couple of months. Additionally, he may need surgery or other special procedures performed to correct his balance problem. If you are so inclined, consider making a small contribution to help Edita help her new friend Pegaso. More than anything, a small contribution would let Edita know that other people in this world appreciate the love she has shown Pegaso.