Life of Pilot. On this Thanksgiving weekend I have so much to be grateful for. Three short months ago, I was the victim of a vicious dog attack. Likely, I wandered into the wrong place at the wrong moment. Badly injured, I desperately needed help. Days passed, and by the time I made it to a stranger’s yard, I was barely clinging to life. And in that moment, when I was found, those kind people set in motion a miraculous story of rescue, resilience, and recovery.
So much gratitude.
My story is all about the kindness, generosity, and the innate goodness of people. Every human being I have met along the way has been a quiet, unassuming angel, working their magic to help me heal and to make this world a better place.
So much good fortune.
Take a look at my miracle journey in pictures. From how it started. To how it’s going. Not to forget all the amazing moments in between. It has been quite the rescue story.
Every story has a final chapter and it is time to write the conclusion to the Life of Pilot.
I am home.
Call it a Foster Win or a Foster Fail if you like, but this Thanksgiving I am home. Home surrounded by love, care, and comfort. My wish, this day, for all of you is the same. May you be surrounded today and always with love, care, and comfort. When you need help, may there be angels there to lift you up. May you always know the goodness of human kind. May you have a safe home to call your own, shelter from the cold, and food to sustain you. May you never forget that your small action of goodness can save a life and change the world for the better. Thank you all for sharing in my journey, for being a part of my story and my life.
Much love – Pilot.
All the details of my story are below…
** GRAPHIC IMAGES **Help!! This is what these photos scream. When our team received a call about a stray dog that smells bad they went out straight away!! You respond quickly to a call like this, as quickly as humanly possible. We don’t know what happened or where this poor soul came from. What we do know is he needs medical help, urgently!
Well it has been a few hours since my rescue and I am hanging on to life. I have been given the name Pilot and as you can see from my pictures I have been badly mauled. There are free roaming dogs in the area and there are also lots of coyotes around. Who exactly I ran into or when it all happened is not known. What we do know is I showed up in someone’s yard desperately seeking help. Those kind people called SCARS who got me to care.
Not going to sugar coat things here, I am in a tough spot. Bite wounds are very difficult as there is so much damage under the surface. Mine are several days old so infection has set in, which makes everything worse. My care team has cleaned me up and started pain meds and fluids and antibiotics. They are offering me words of encouragement and hope. Now I guess it is up to me, I hope I have the strength left to pull through and get my second chance. The next few hours and days will be critical. Hoping for the best and that I get to give you a positive pup date tomorrow. Hold your own pups close tonight and send me all your strength I am going to need it.
Thanks for caring, if you are able, SCARS could use some help to cover my vet bills, you can donate on our website, through Canada Helps – www.scarscare.ca/donate.
If you aren’t able to donate, sharing my story with your network of friends and family also does so much to further the SCARS mission and save lives. Thanks for the support – Pilot.
July 22, 2021 Pilot Pupdate. ❤️🩹
Well I made it through the night, thanks for all your well wishes. The pain meds, sure made a difference for me as well. A bit more information, the veterinary team feel I was likely mauled by a group of dogs, based on the type of wounds. The attack probably took place 4 or 5 days ago based on the development of maggots (yes eewweee gross) in the wounds. Today I am receiving further treatment and clean up. I remain on fluids, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and those very delightful pain meds. This isn’t going to be easy, but I remain hopeful.
July 24 update on Pilot.
One more day! I made it one more day and I am feeling a bit better. Let’s go with very cautious optimism. I need to stay where I am under veterinary supervision, but my vital signs are a bit more stable, than they were 2 days ago. As my wounds are cleaned up we are discovering significant damage. My right front elbow has been bitten through to the bone, with exposed tendons. There will be lasting impacts from this injury, the extent of which is not clear, yet. I think your well wishes are helping me. The SCARS family knows a severe mauling like mine can still take a turn for the worst, even with great care, but I am not giving up hope and neither are they.
July 28th… Well it is a good news Tuesday.
Hey all, Pilot here, just wanted to say thanks. Thanks to my rescue team. Extra special double thanks to my veterinary team. Extra extra special thanks to all the SCARS supporters out there following my story, sending well wishes and donations. We are feeling more optimistic about my survival. Everything is pointing in a good direction right now. My wounds are showing signs of healing, infection is under control and I am feeling better.
It isn’t all perfect the damage to my elbow is really serious. The tendons are ruptured and the bone was actually bitten and damaged. This might be a process to heal.
So standby for more updates, but feeling pretty positive today!
July 29… Well friends, it’s a big day! I am well enough to be transferred from the clinic that provided me the original emergency care. I am so so so very grateful to the Lloydminster Animal Hospital for their care, compassion and kindness. I am not well enough for a foster home quite yet, but I am heading closer to the heart of SCARS operations and will be hanging out with the team at the Westlock Veterinary Centre to continue my journey back to health. Thank you for all the support. To donate to my care, please go to www.scarscare.ca/donate!
July 31st! I am the best boy! Well that is what people keep telling me, so I am going with it.
Nine days ago my life hung in the balance. I was barely alive, fighting infection, in shock, with weak vital signs. My will to live along with the skill of my vet team and all your good will pulled me through. Today I improved enough to have some of my wounds stitched up. This is excellent progress I am told. My right elbow is a serious problem, the damage is so severe I may lose the leg. That will be the last resort, but it is a possibility. Not going to worry about that for even a minute, life as a tripod is still life, after all. I am likely about 4 years old, I am gentle and loving with my caregivers. A dog that has been mauled, often reacts in fear or anger to other dogs, so far that is not true for me. I am wagging my tail and happy to meet other canines. Happy long weekend SCARS people, lots of happy tail wags from Pilot.
August 5 update: Hey everyone, bet you have been wondering how things are going for me. Pilot here and I have to say it has been slow, yet steady improvement. Wounds are healing, I am treated to daily hydro therapy, I get all the food and treats I want (I have so much weight to gain back) and my pain is at a very manageable level. We are still watching my elbow closely and figuring out the most viable option for a healthy pain-free future. Not going to lie, life is pretty darn good right now. My tail rarely stops wagging these days. My new SCARS friend says how much she admires me. Here I am skinny, beaten up and recovering from a severe mauling and all I see are the good things surrounding me. She says others could learn alot from me.
I hear there is a bottle drive and adoption event this weekend. Did you know if you adopt a SCARS animal this weekend to fill your life with unconditional love, you will automatically save another life of an animal waiting to come into care. You can be a rescue hero. Please adopt someone, do it for me.
Thanks, love you all – Pilot. ❤️🩹
It’s Saturday, August 7, so I thought why not share another little update about my healing journey. Pilot here, my friends, and things are still going pretty fine. Apparently if you are a certified good boy, you get special privileges at the vet clinic. Happy to report I have reached certified good boy status and have graduated to Tech Room privileges. I get to spend much of the day hanging out with the RVT team. My role is to be a calm support in their stressful days; their role is to feed me treats and tell me how wonderful I am. It is working perfectly. My SCARS friend stopped by to see me today and told me about all the new intakes. She will be sharing their stories with you soon. All I can say is….Wow these people are amazing, so many animals, just like me, all desperately in need of help. You could be the key to their happy future, please consider adopting one of the animals ready to have a forever home or join SCARS as a volunteer or foster home or do all 3. Just let them know Pilot suggested you join the SCARS family. I am trying to thank them for bringing me back from the brink and giving me my second chance.
August 11 update: We wouldn’t want a week to go by without giving you an update. Welcome to the next installment of life of Pilot.
It is a good news kind of day. My elbow as you know is pretty messed up and elbows are so hard to heal. The good news, I am getting better at using my leg, I can bear weight on it and although I limp, I can walk on it. The wound itself is showing some positive indication of healing. This is a very slow process. Will I keep the leg? We just don’t know at this point. That is definitely the goal.
In the meantime I am just going to keep hanging out with my new friends here at the clinic. I think they like me……the best treats are always available when I am around!
August 18, 2021 – Life of Pilot.
It’s another good day. Of course everyday can be a good day if you want it to. Quick update. My elbow is still a problem. I will be going for further diagnostics on it. It is a balance, keeping my leg is the goal, but I can’t live in pain either, so the best information is necessary. I know that everyone loves me and has my best interests at heart so I know things are going to work out for the best. My SCARS friend included a picture of how my wounds are healing. I have made unbelievable progress, just check out how good the back of my neck looks now.
My clinic friends treat me so well. They don’t want me to get bored, so I spend lots of time with everyone. I even get to go for the odd car ride…. to the drive through….. Did you know that you just ask for food and nice people just hand it through the window to you. It is like a miracle! I hope you all are doing well. It is so wonderful to know how many people care about me. It would mean the world to me if you could share some of your love and adopt a SCARS animal. Now is the perfect time. There are a huge number of animals waiting to come into care. Their futures depend on the lucky ones already here finding their forever homes.
Aug 29/21 – Life of Pilot update…
I don’t have a lot of new news today, just stopping by to bring a friendly Hello to all you amazing SCARS people. The biggest change for me is I am doing so well I don’t have to wear a cone anymore. Not that wearing a cone was ever a big deal for me, I was good with a soft floppy one that reminded me not to lick my sore spots. I am waiting for my diagnostic appointment on my elbow. There is a waiting time to get in, so I will wait for my turn to come. Once we have the results, SCARS and my vet care teams will make the best decision for me. Wags, have a great day! Love your pal Pilot.
Sept 4/21 update… Life of Pilot.
Well it is a good news bad news kind of day. A bit of both so I guess it will all even out in the end. Alright so some good news. Have you noticed how much weight I have gained? I am looking positively buff, if I do say so myself. No more skinny, count every bone in my skeleton, Pilot. I am filling out and getting strong.
I am going to need that strength. I did warn you there was bad news. Some of my diagnostic tests are back and it has been decided, my leg can’t be saved. I will have surgery ,early next week and join the tripod club. My SCARS friend tells me it will be just fine. She has known many, many, amputees – big dogs and small – and they have gone on to live wonderful, pain free lives. I will be another one of them. So best end this on a good news note.
I got a new toy!
I picked it out myself!
I just love it!
I show it to absolutely everyone I see!
It is so awesome!
I will let you know how surgery goes. Wags, isn’t my toy the best? Love you all, Pilot.
Sept 11 update…
Life of Pilot.
Well friends it has been a tough couple of days, but I am getting through it. I had my surgery to amputate my leg this week. Surgery did go as planned, so that part was good. Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Patty for taking such care of me. Post surgery, I am doing okay with my balance and walking, still a ways to go but off to a good start.
I showed you my toy last update. The day after surgery when I woke up I took my special toy and I chewed off its right arm. It needed to look like me. Some people will doubt that I did it on purpose, but my SCARS friend says she has seen other amputees do the exact same thing. I loved that toy, I knew things had changed and I had to communicate my feelings as best I could. Sadly I didn’t have the skill of Dr. Patty, and the stuffing all came out of my toy, which is hazardous to dogs if I swallowed the stuffing. I didn’t get to keep it. My SCARS friend says she will find me a new toy and amputate the right front leg for me, so it looks like me. I think that is nice. Hopefully she can find one that looks like my pink bunny did. Anyway I need to rest up. Chat soon – Pilot.
Sept 17 update…
Life of Pilot.
Every step of this difficult journey, all you wonderful people have been with me. My list of thank yous begin with everyone who has followed my story and given their support and love. I can’t forget my SCARS friends – my rescuer, my drivers, my friends who brought my story to life through social media. Without a doubt I must remember the amazing veterinary staff. First at Lloydminster Vet – that brilliant team that somehow managed to bring me back from the brink as my life hung in the balance. They gave me the support and the will to live. My care team at Westlock Veterinary Center then brought me the rest of the way, they provided me the care, love and expertise to get me to today. Thank you all so so so much.
I am in foster care now. It is the most luxurious thing I have ever experienced in my life. I have a new toy (I decided it could keep its leg in case you wondered). I am definitely a certified good foster boy. My amputation is healing, my balance and mobility is excellent, my house manners exemplary, and my foster mom describes me as pure love.
Wags love Pilot – I must be going I have a dog friend to play with, toys to cuddle, comfy beds to lie in, and humans to love.