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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mija's Story.

Meet Mija.

In May of this year our hospital manager, Nancy, went on a trip to Costa Rica with her family. No one would ever have predicted that she would be coming home with an addition to the family.

While on her vacation Nancy noticed a small, hungry dog keeping close to her hotel. Every time Nancy came outside the dog would come over and say hello; energetic and enthusiastic as she hugged Nancy's legs. As her trip went on Nancy couldn't ignore the urge to care for the dog. She would make sure none of her family finished their meals so she could bring leftovers back to the hotel and feed her new furry friend. After several days of this she finally decided to take the little dog to a local vet's office, where she boarded so she could receive vaccinations and have the ticks removed. Nancy ultimately obtained a health certificate from the office in order to bring the dog, by now named Mija (Spanish for "My daughter"), back to the U.S.

It wasn't as simple as it sounds. Nancy had to switch airlines due to International pet travel restrictions through Spirit Airlines, and fly separately from the rest of her family, in order to get Mija out of Costa Rica. She just simply couldn't leave her behind. Upon arriving in the U.S. Nancy brought Mija to DPC where she boarded for quite some time. Dr. Hynes and the staff worked on doing diagnostics in order to make sure Mija didn't have any unknown medical conditions. Her bloodwork was not as bad as expected, showing anemia but no tick borne diseases. There were, however, two issues that needed to be addressed.

The first, was her eye. Mija's left eye was literally protruding from its socket. It was evident that something was seriously wrong. At the recommendation of Dr. Hynes and Dr. Kesseru, Nancy took Mija to an opthamologist who recommended enucleation of the eye. After it's removal, a diagnosis was finally given. Mija had a congenital defect - a detached retina, and the eye could not have been saved. Luckily, the surgery went by successfully and eleviated any pain she felt from the area from the inflammation. Today, Mija is one-eyed but undoubtedly happier for it. She gets by without any problems at all! It certainly hasn't slowed her down.

The second issue has been Mija's aggression and behavior issues. It's needless to say that Mija was not trained, not socialized, and not accustomed to living in a home with a family. She became fiercely protective of Nancy and would become frequently aggressive. For this, Nancy sought the help of a local trainer named Mary. Through rigorous and painstaking training techniques they began to work on Mija's behavior problems. Mary helped Nancy to understand the root of each behavior Mija displayed, and through this Nancy found an unlimited supply of patience and sympathy.

As of today, Mija is a grateful member of Nancy's furry family. She is frequently spotted spending the day at DPC behind the reception desk. She is still a bit wild, but she has come a long way from her days as a tick-infested stray on the streets of Costa Rica.

Posted by Jessica R

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