Community generosity has Aslan on the mend

The vet bills have been paid and Aslan is now resting comfortably, toasty warm in front of the fireplace at his foster home

The vet bills have been paid and Aslan is now resting comfortably, toasty warm in front of the fireplace at his foster home — much to the delight of thousands of Facebook users following the dog’s progress.

Rescued from Ladysmith on the evening of Nov. 25, the one-year-old stray was in critical condition when SPCA manager Sandi Trent put out the call for financial help.

She feared the dog’s medical needs exceeded the Cowichan and District SPCA’s branch’s means.

The pooch couldn’t maintain his body temperature and he could barely hold up his skeletal body, which Trent said was about 50 pounds less than he ought to weigh at his age.

“He was basically impacted with stool and they were able to get that out and it was plastic and wood and birdseed, that’s what he’d been eating,” Trent said.

The community quickly rallied, donating the funds to help with treatment costs.

“We reached our goal and his medical is covered and Hills stepped up and has supplied a humongous supply of food for his after care,” Trent said  Monday. “I’ve been blown away by the response.”

The dog has rallied as well.

“The last day or two, I had gone in daily, and there were incremental little improvements. He seemed brighter but was still really physically exhausted,” Trent said. “But the day before they sent him home he actually managed to stand up and was wandering around the clinic. It was great to see him on all fours and a little bit more engaged with people. I think he was not sure what was going on the first part of the week.”

The staff at Central Cowichan Animal Hospital treated Aslan until he was well enough to move into foster care. The veterinary staff estimate the dog will remain closely monitored and in foster care for anywhere from three to six months.

“There were issues with his bowel and stomach because of the wood and plastic and bird seed and God-knows-what so they have to be very careful,” Trent said. “So far so good.”

Aslan has made himself at home in foster care, and when he’s not resting by the fire, he’s up and wandering and following his foster family around the house — a departure from his days at the vet clinic where he was simply too sick to sit up straight, let alone wander.

Aslan’s case has captured the attention of thousands on the Cowichan and District SPCA’s Facebook page. Many have donated and even more have been following his progress regularly since Trent’s first post. “It was a community effort,” Trent said. “It was so nice to see…we got like 10,000 people that are watching. It blows me away. It goes to show you there’s a wonderful community out there.”

Particularly moving was the story of two young children who had made up a bunch of cat and dog gift baskets for the Cowichan SPCA animals for Christmas time. They has something special for Aslan, too.

“The little girl and her brother brought in a special blanket for him and so I made sure that he got that when he left the clinic,” Trent said.

Aslan has taken to the blanket, snuggling with it at his foster home.

It’s onward and upward for the pup. “Without tempting fate, I think we’re past that critical mark and hopefully all he can do is get better from here,” Trent said.