St. Francis of Assisi and my miracle dog Callie
Monday, October 04, 2010
Nine years ago today, we witnessed a miracle with our family dog Callie. I know what you are thinking, just read on and see what you think.
Our 13 year old shepherd/lab mix, Abby had to be put down due to her brain tumor on Saturday, September 8, 2001. My son was 10 and insisted on going with us to have her put to sleep. I regretted letting him go immediately since he cried himself to sleep every night afterward. I couldn't stand not having a dog and my son crying, so 3 weeks later we went to the zoo at "Meet your best friend at the zoo day". We fell in love with this skinny long haired rott mix. Since it was shortly after September 11, 2001, we decided to call her Callie, short for calamity.
We brought her home and enjoyed playing with her the first day. The next morning after the husband and children were off to work and school, I was taking care of our new pup who wasn't moving and wouldn't eat anything. She was lifeless in my arms. I took her to the vet at the Humane Society. They brought her for adoption at the zoo. They told me she was depressed due to leaving her litter mates and mother. They told me if she didn't improve the next day to bring her back for further testing.
She did nothing but vomit and have diarrhea, so back we went the next day. She tested positive for Parvo virus which is nearly always fatal with no cure. The vet told me that she would die in 48 to 72 hours and that there was virtually no hope that she would survive since she was so skinny already and had no fat stores. I insisted that they treat her since she was under a 10 day warranty and the Humane Society had to pay to treat her. I just couldn't go home without the puppy since my son had finally stopped crying himself to sleep the day we got her. After explaining my son's situation to the vet, they said they would try but in all likely hood, I would be bringing her dead body back in 3 days to be disposed of.
The treatment was to give her fluids under her skin each day and hope she didn't die of dehydration. I took time off work and brought her there the next day for another treatment. On the Wednesday, October 4th, I brought her in for another treatment and they told me she would die that night and I could bring her body in the next day and they would take care of it.
I phoned a friend from church and was very upset that I knew my children's new puppy would die that day. She told me that it was the feast day of St. Francis and I should call the priest and have her blessed. I didn't think it would do anything, my children and husband are Catholic, but I am not. But then I thought, why not? At least then I could say I did everything, I tried everything.
Our priest was very enthusiastic and even offered to come to our house. I told him to meet me in the parking lot of the church which he did. He said a blessing and sprinkled her with holy water. Some of the water landed on her wrist and she licked if off. Our priest said that it would really work since the holy water got inside her. I just smiled and went home thinking that it was useless except for my conscious knowing I had gone to great lengths to save her.
That night, I had to go teach and I handed her limp body to my husband and told him to put the kids to bed early since she was going to die while I was gone. I came home several hours later and found a puppy walking all over the house looking for something to eat! She hadn't walked in 3 days, I couldn't believe my eyes. My husband and I both said at the same time, "it is a miracle".
I took her back to the vet the next day to show them and they asked what I had done. I told them I had taken her to a priest and they too said that it was a miracle. She is 9 now. She has severe hip displaysia but walks 3 miles a day with me and is the most protective dog I've ever had. The priest has been here for dinner many times and laughs about that fateful day. He said when he told me that it would work since she licked up the holy water, he was just saying that to make me feel better, he didn't believe it himself.
I went to Assisi in 2003 and went to St. Francis' basilica and lit a candle in thanks. Again, I'm not a very religious person, but I believe in what I saw.
Thanks for reading.