By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
Petra McClune had just the name for the sweet dog.
Early last week the Keizer resident found a dog off Willamette Drive.
Based on the dog’s wounds and the struggles he ended up enduring, McClune gave him the name of Job – based on the man in the Bible who suffers mightily.
“He was running up and down my street,” McClune recalled. “I went after him and was able to coax him in. He had some pretty good wounds on him, but otherwise he seemed fine. We had done this many times before: we would get him looked at and then find the owner.”
Job got along well with McClune’s two shitzus and cat.
“He’s just the nicest dog, so sweet,” she said.
Sweet, but in pain.
“I watched his breathing that first night,” McClune said. “He had some horrific, significant injuries. We’re thinking he got rolled out the back of a truck. He didn’t have an impact wound, but he had scrapes all over.”
The next day McClune took Job to Willamette Valley Animal Hospital (WVAH) on River Road. Job was found to have his intestines in his throat and lungs, among other issues.
“They said the cheapest surgery would be $2,000,” McClune said. “They said we would probably be looking at an easy $5,000 for surgery to cover all the bases. We were like, ‘What do we do? This is totally out of our realm. Plus we don’t have the facility for his care afterwards.’”
She returned to WVAH later, having made a tough choice along with husband Troy.
“We thought we would do the humane thing and put him down,” McClune said. “So we took him down there.”
That’s when McClune got a shock from the doctor.
“He said he couldn’t put (Job) down because he was not our dog,” she said. “I said, ‘You’re kidding, right?’”
Josh Braden, general manager at WVAH, explained the reasoning.
“It was presented as this was not her dog,” Braden said. “In our doctor’s professional opinion, the dog was not in dire circumstances. It was reasonable for it to continue to live, so in that case legally we have to tell her she has to make every effort to find the owner. If she turned him over to a humane society, they can proceed immediately. I told her we couldn’t euthanize. The county or a humane society has the ability to do that; as a private practice we can’t.”
Distraught by the prognosis, McClune started making calls in an attempt to find the dog’s owner. One, to the Keizer Police Department, got things going in the right direction.
“I said a prayer and called the police,” McClune said. “This lady, Bev Birr, got through to me and asked if I had checked certain resources. When I called her again, I said ‘Give me some names.’”
One name was the Oregon Humane Society in Portland, which was the perfect name.
“The Oregon Humane Society took him in and did the surgery the next morning,” McClune said. “They said he wouldn’t have lasted a couple of more days. They are rehabilitating him and getting him ready, all on their dime. He’s gotten the total best care you can imagine. It’s a true blessing from God. It was pretty incredible.”
Birr made it clear all credit goes to McClune.
“I just gave her some names of people to call,” Birr said. “She’s the one who went and did everything. She took the drive up to Portland. It was so emotional for her. I felt so bad. She called everyone she was supposed to. She did everything right. She went way out of her way, spending her money and time to take care of this animal. She deserves a medal for all of that.”
McClune is amazed by what transpired over a 48-hour period.
“That was an emotional roller coaster,” she said. “This dog was meant to live. This was an answer to prayers.”