This is a story of perseverance, intervention and most of all, love. Carla Simões and her boyfriend, Bruno Cabral, were driving on a busy road in Brazil when they saw an emaciated Akita dog tied to a tree near a gas station. They stopped to investigate and found the dog in such bad shape that they thought he would die soon. He had severe injuries, open wounds and was covered in maggots. He was already at death’s door when the couple decided to intervene on his behalf.
“My boyfriend and I saw Ghost near a gas station (about 40 kilometers away from our city, Belo Horizonte, on a very busy road in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil,” Simões told Petcha.com. “We didn’t know what to do. We thought he was dying. He didn’t even move when we tried to offer food.”
“I called my mom and dad and they came to help us. My mom offered him water and he drank a whole bottle in seconds,” Simões continued. It was a hot summer month for a poor abandoned Akita tied to a tree, so this was no surprise. “My mom started trying to touch him, slowly and friendly… He felt we wanted his best and let us take him to the vet. He was not aggressive at all, but we knew he could be in pain. We tried to be careful so he wouldn’t feel intimidated.”
“It was impossible to ignore his sad situation. We had to do something!”
Simões, her parents and her boyfriend drove straight to the animal hospital to see what could be done with the Akita.
“He was in a very weak state in the car,” Simões told Petcha.com. “We noticed he didn’t have much time left and because of the spots of necrosis in his body, the smell inside the car was extremely bad. It was hard to be in the same car. It was like we were carrying a rotten body.”
“When we arrived at the animal hospital, the initial prognosis from the veterinarians was not good,” Simões said. “He was already in a very bad condition, but they never gave up.”
The first procedure was to remove all the maggots that had infested Ghost’s body. According to Simões, the Akita, named Ghost by the vets who treated him, was placed under general anesthesia so the doctors could go to work. After the removal of the fly larva, they continued to conduct 15 examinations of Ghost. The results were not promising. He had ehrlichiosis, anemia and seizures. H was in a state of hypoglycemia and in the beginning stages of sepsis. He also had various open wounds on his body, including his chest, where his breastplate was fully exposed.
But the veterinarians continued to work on this poor dog who was found tied to a tree on the side of a road in Brazil, something that apparently is not uncommon in the South American country.
“In Brazil, we can see a lot of abandoned dogs,” Simões told Petcha.com. “It is a serious problem. Some people buy their pets but when they see it is expensive to raise them, sometimes they grow more than expected and having an animal demands time and love, they just abandon them on the streets. I always try to help animal shelters with financial donations because I strongly defend adoptions. It doesn’t make sense to live here and see so many dogs and cats on streets and still want to buy one. It is not coherent with our reality.“
After several months of recovery, Ghost is a completely different dog from the dog Simões and her boyfriend rescued on the side of the road.
“He loves when we take him for a walk,” she said. “He was allowed to take his vaccines in June and since then we try to take him everywhere we go. In our city, there are some restaurants which accept dogs, dog parks… he loves being in the outdoors.”
He has recovered quite well and is on Phenobarbital to help control his seizures, which can occur at any time, Simões said. Ghost has found his forever family and lives in the mountains of Brazil.
“Ghost lives at my boyfriend’s house,” Simões told Petcha.com. “It has a lot of green space there, so it is better for him. It is in the mountains so the climate is milder for an Akita. He used to have a dog, Hanna, but she died few years ago. They were thinking about adopting another one already, and we found Ghost just in time!”