This year Sheena decided to visit a different shelter in Greece. It is also supported by the same charity, but has a much greater need. The shelter is in a poorer, rural area and currently houses approximately 600 dogs. It is seriously overcrowded. Sheena was expecting a much busier workload so she decided to take a Veterinary Nurse with her (and Tim had a year off). Emma worked for us earlier in the year, and was keen to try charity work so she came along. Their two suitcases were full of essential drugs and supplies so they took clothes in their hand luggage.
On arrival, they went straight to the shelter to unpack the drugs and prepare for the next day. The shelter coordinator asked Sheena to take a look at one dog she was worried about. She had not eaten for the past 3 days and had been to the local vet. He wanted to take X-rays and perform ultrasound but this would have cost over €200. The shelter does not have funds for this and it would have meant the other dogs going without food so she was prescribed painkillers and antibiotics. Sheena immediately realised that the dog was likely to have an obstruction and decided her only chance was emergency surgery, so they abandoned their unpacking to operate. The poor dog had swallowed some material with string attached. The string had lodged around her tongue and cut through a portion of her intestine which had to be removed.
Nobody expected her to pull through but she was given plenty of pain relief and antibiotics. Amazingly, she ate within 4 hours of her surgery and was guarding the hospital room from all other dogs within a couple of days. These dogs are amazingly hardy.