FOR THE ❤ OF ANIMALS · August 28th, 2020
Dixie and Darlene
April 23rd was a momentous day for us. In a year full of challenges and tragedies, we were grateful to celebrate the opening of our new, state-of-the-art, 16,000 square foot home. But no sooner than our Medical Director, Dr. Logreen, had cut the ribbon, did we hit the ground running, needing all hands on deck.
The pandemic forced many nearby clinics to limit their services. As Wichita’s only 24-hour animal ER, our hospital became one of the few options for animals in need, leading to a dramatic increase in patients and record-high wait times.
Despite the immense pressure and personal toll, our team continued to go the extra mile, putting our patients first and treating each one like our own. When they arrived hurt or sick, we worked overtime to heal and comfort them. When they were scared, we made them feel safe. When they felt alone, we reminded them that they’re loved. For us, caring for pets also means caring about the people who love them.
When Darlene arrived at curbside, her 9-pound terrier, Dixie, was in critical condition. She was brutally attacked by a neighbor’s dog — suffering a lung herniation, broken ribs, and severe damage to her right shoulder.
“She’s the sunshine of my life,” Darlene said. “I would sell everything I have to save her.” After rescuing her as a puppy, Darlene took Dixie everywhere. As a full-time truck driver, they had many adventures together. But Darlene’s long career ended after an injury, and when her mother passed away, Dixie became her whole world — and her only family.
That day, Dixie underwent intense surgery, and later an unexpected wound abscess required additional repair to her lung tissue. She needed two weeks of treatment, healing, and rehabilitation, but Dr. Holly Smith was optimistic: Dixie had spunk and was determined to survive.
Today, Dixie has exceeded all expectations. Her incision is healing beautifully; she’s eating and well on her way to recovery. The extensive damage to her front leg has made it hard to walk, but Dixie is rocking her rehabilitation therapy and will be on all four feet in no time.
At Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital, stories like this happen every day. Our people work hard to save lives, and do it all for the same reason: We all love animals, and we all want to help. No matter what kind of day we’ve had, no matter what’s going on in our personal lives, we show up, we put in the time and love each and every day.
It’s that love that drives us. Because sometimes it takes more than great medicine, it takes heart.