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In Memoriam

April 27, 2022

Foley

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Written by: Zach


Life isn’t always sunshine and roses and I was reminded of that 10 days ago. It all started about 3 weeks prior when I pulled a couple of pups from the Bakersfield Animal Shelter. Their predicament was typical: stray, no parents, flea infested, hungry and very scared. They would not have lasted long had we not pulled them.
We named them Foley and Thomas after our two favorite newscasters, Kim Foley and Kelsey Thomas. Kim and Kelsey have jumped at every opportunity to cover The Mutts and it was time we honored them by naming a couple of dogs for them.

Foley was significantly smaller than her brother which we attributed to her being the runt or possibly having a different dad (liters can have multiple fathers). About a week after rescue, our pups became ill (most shelter dogs are exposed to illnesses and disease) and we had to take Foley to the Tehachapi Vet Hospital. She
spent the night but came home the next day in much better shape. She was fighting a respiratory infection that would require simple antibiotics. Thomas continued to grow and was adopted to a terrific family. Foley, on the other hand, continued to eat but wouldn’t gain weight (steady at just 5 lbs) and just seemed a little
“off.” She continued to take her medication and was not showing signs or symptoms of respiratory issues.

On Saturday, April 7th, we had a bunch of folks up to the rescue to meet and greet with the dogs. Foley was doing just fine and seemed excited to welcome each new family as they came in and out. Just as the last family was leaving, our little girl had what appeared to be a short seizure. In a matter of 3 or 4 seconds she
went limp, her eyes rolled back in her head and her gums and tongue went pale. I recognized that she was not breathing and began to search for an obstruction in her airway, but I couldn’t find anything.

By that point her heart had stopped beating and she was completely unresponsive-she was in full cardiac arrest. I have witnessed dogs die before and that is exactly what was happening. I began to administer rescue breathing and CPR. I am a certified Pet Tech CPR/Rescue breathing instructor and my training completely took over. I knew exactly what to do. I made an air tight seal around her mouth with my hand
and proceeded to blow air into her lungs through her nose, being careful not to overinflate the lungs as they could easily burst. I followed up with rapid, timed chest compressions with her lying on her side, being extremely cautious with the pressure because too much could easily crack her sternum and break ribs.

After 2 rounds of 15 compressions, with breaths in between, she began to move lightlyand I could feel a heartbeat. At first I thought the heartbeat was my own pulse, but after more movement it was obvious that it was her courageous little heart. I continued to help her breath by timing her breaths with mine. She reacted very well to this and within a couple minutes was standing on her own.

By then, my neighbor, Rhonda Hughes, had rushed down from her place and started preparing to move Foley to the hospital in my truck (thank God for awesome neighbors). We didn’t want to move her until she was stable and breathing on her own. About 20 minutes after she crashed, I left for the Tehachapi Vet Hospital. The ride down was encouraging; she was alert and even tried to sit in my lap as we drove. I thought to myself “We did it, little girl,” “We made it and you’re gonna be just fine.”

By the time we arrived I thought that we were out of the woods-sadly, this was not the case. The staff, which I have grown to love very much, drew blood and began to administer oxygen. The tests came back and revealed that Foley’s kidneys had completely shut down and that her body was being overrun with toxins. She was in a lot of pain and there was nothing we could do but ease her pain and put her to sleep. I said goodbye and kissed her on the forehead. I was grateful that I was given the opportunity to do that.



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3 Comments


  1. jenn

    sad day that was…..at least we got to hold her and show her love that day. Kona will look after her up in Doggie Heaven! xoxo.


  2. wanda

    thank you for sharing her story…Foley sounds like a wonderful sweet girl…I am so happy she had you to be with her when she transitioned.


  3. joanne foley

    Congratulations on the amazing effort made to save little Foley. In doggie heaven with others playing and having a great time.



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