I'm a Hero! The Story of a Canine Blood Donor by Sam, the Great Golden Guest Blogger
(This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on December 25, 2012.
Canines Saving Canines - Could your Dog be a Lifesaver, too?
by Skye Anderson, MS
Does your dog like treats, love and attention? If so, have I got a great deal for you!
Hi! I’m Sam, a Great Golden! My friend, Skye, and I have a strange and wonderful relationship: she’s strange and I’m wonderful!! She picks me up (in her car – I’m kinda big) and takes me strange and wonderful places: to walk around the lake (WOW!), to help her train for the Marine Corps Marathon (FUN RUN!), to visit prospective homes to help place great foster dogs (I check out the people and the place – if I like ‘em, I give ‘em a rating of 5 Paws Up), to the vet (YUCK!), to the Canine Good Citizen evaluation (I passed!), to a handling class and good manners classes (YUCK!) – things like that.
And, Skye also feeds me neat things: homemade chicken and beef flavored dog biscuits for Christmas! WOW! She made SEVEN batches! (I’ll give you the recipe sometime.) But she makes me WORK for my dinner: she hides kibble all over the house when I am outside, then brings me in and I go crazy – what a DELICIOUS smell food is! Although Skye only visits a couple of times a week (she lives a half-hour away) and dog sits me three times a year, I know the sound of her car and all her hiding places for kibble. She also feeds me carrots and peanut butter (low fat – whatever that means) as a treat.
This is a tail-tale of where she took me recently.
I get the whole back seat of Skye’s car (it’s covered with an old sheet – I wonder why). This time we traveled about 45 minutes. Sometimes I look out the window – you can tell which side of the car I look out because I make the window yucky with my nose – it helps me see better! About every 20 minutes, I sit up and wonder where we’re going but then Skye tells me to lie down and the rest of the time I snooze – gotta get my zzzz’s, you know. Gotta rest up for another great adventure! When Skye first started driving me neat places (they call that a chauffeur), she worried about me, so at every red light she would hand back a few kibble bits. I wish she would still worry! Food is SO important to a growing Golden! Even if he is five, like me. I’m all grown up, now I’m growing out!
So we arrived and got out of the car. Skye always lets me sniff around a bit and smell the flowers – well, sniff the trees and bushes and telephone poles, anyway – you know why! Gotta find out who’s been there! And leave my own calling card. And there were a lot of good dog smells. I found out a little female Bichon pupster had been there and even recognized Old Charlie’s scent!
Then we went into this building and sat down. We looked at all the dog pictures on the wall. A little (I call all humans ‘little’) boy came out to the waiting room to get us and took us to a tiny room – but, guess what! I smelled dog biscuits all over! On the floor I found a few and gobbled them up. They also had water for me. I knew there were biscuits on the counter but they were watching me so I couldn’t get them – had to be good. Tail waggin’ time! There was this funny table that had biscuits on it (I smelled ‘em) and a pillow and after a few minutes, another little girl came in and both little people lifted me to the table and felt me all over – felt good!
Then the little boy, the technician, lay down on the table with me so I could put my head on his arm and he put his leg over me so I felt real cozy and snoozy. The vet girl talked to me the whole time – I like her! She has red hair, just like me. (Well, I’m more butterscotch.) Wonder what she said. . . .
Then the vet girl made a buzzing sound with her mouth and turned on a funny machine and shaved a quarter-sized area of my neck (Skye couldn’t find it later – I have my winter coat on). Then the vet girl stuck a needle in my neck (my jugular vein). The boy and girl kept talking to me the whole time (telling me how great I am, I suppose) and feeding me dog biscuits and I felt so great and loved! I knew Skye was still in the room but she was behind me so I couldn’t see her but I would've had a super time with the two little people even without Skye. (Don’t tell Skye, OK?)
It only took about 10-20 minutes. Then the noise stopped, the vet girl took the needle out and rubbed my neck. That felt so great! I hope Skye was learning about that place! Then the two little people lifted me down to the floor and I got to hunt for more dog biscuits.
Then they tied on a red bandana (see Lucy’s photo) that said I was a hero. I can’t wait to go back!
You too can be a hero. If you are at least 9 months old and weigh 35 pounds or more, have your human call the BRVBB*, the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank, at 540-338-7387 or have your human go to that funny box and type www.brvbblifesavers.com to “READ ALL ABOUT IT!” It’s fun!
Besides my red bandana that tells everyone I’m a Life Saver (butterscotch flavor, here, please), I hope they soon have bumper stickers so people will know to be careful when I’m in Skye’s car (cuz I AM special).
I can’t wait to go again and get more freebie-treats and hugs (you know, a great dog can never get too many treats!) And they will check me out every time and do my annual blood work. I get a free unit of blood for every one I give after a year, if I ever need it, and I’m helping my buddies who suffer from anemia, injury or disease. I feel SO good! They tell me I’m a HERO! I know I’m a LIFE SAVER! I wear my bandana whenever I can – even to camp! Even to that dog place to get my picture taken with that fat guy in the red suit who laughed so much. The BRVBB will also have an information table at the World of Pets (www.worldofpets.org) at the Maryland state fairgrounds in Timonium the last weekend in January! See you there for lots of great dog stuff and fun!
Just do it! They’ll treat you great and give you great treats! Just tell ‘em Sam sent you! They’ll know me. I’m the butterscotch dog.
*Donor sites in MD, VA, and WV with distribution centers all over the country!
(Photos: Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank/Lucy is proud to wear her hero bandana/Give a second chance. Give blood - credit: BRVBB)