Asking for an Ozzie Miracle
A poor local woman by the name of Duen from Bang Bao, fed the homeless animals in her neighbourhood after work. We provided her with several bags of dog biscuits and trailed along one day to meet the animals.
On spotting a small puppy limping towards us, Duen told me he had been hit by a scooter over a week ago. He had not had any medical attention and looked in dire condition.
The tiny black mangy puppy had a high temperature, appeared to have stomach distension, a broken leg and would urinate and vomit in fear. Duen bundled him up, put him in my arms and said "you take" after I suggested urgent medical attention. She graciously offered us a towel to wrap him in and we set off to seek help on the island.
We took him back to our accommodation while we made enquiries about vets, bathed him, pulled 26 ticks from his little body and splinted his leg with ice-cream sticks (we ate 4 Magnums to improvise medical splints).
We named him Ozzie. He was roughly 3 months old and cute as a button, but extremely sick (he had E.Canis a tick blood disease potentially lethal to dogs).
We discovered there was only one vet on the island of Koh Chang. Her name was Tookta. Unfortunately she had very little medical equipment, no blood work machine, no x-ray machine and no facilities to perform any major surgery.
Tookta believed Ozzie had nerve damage, handed him back to me and said there was nothing she could do. "You take."
We walked out with heavy hearts and Ozzie in our hands.
Ozzie stayed with us in our accommodation for the next 3 days and even learnt how to swim... it was pretty tough going with 3 legs so we did a lot of 'bobbing' instead. In retrospect he hated it, but it was good to keep his temperature down. We discovered much later in the journey, that he was truly fighting to survive at this stage.His first real bed...
His first collar and first toy...
After a tonne of research, calls, Facebook networking and a few tears, it was determined the only way to save his life was to make the near 6 hour drive to Pattaya and find a surgeon.
So we cancelled our honeymoon plans, booked a taxi, left the island and set off to save Ozzie.
Ozzie waves goodbye to Koh Chang Island from the ferry.
In the taxi for the long drive to Pattaya.
After arriving in Pattaya, our first stop was to meet Dr Kwanchai Chaiplum from Pattaya Animal Hospital who would treat Ozzie (over the next two very long months).
Dr KC inserted a metal rod into Ozzie's leg to permanently hold it straight in an attempt to prevent further damage to his limb.
(Sadly we have since discovered the bone is infected with MRSP and we are currently waiting to see if we can save the leg).
After surgery, we struggled to find Ozzie a home in Thailand. Considering his special needs and the mobility aids he may require as he ages, we decided he would need to be exported from Thailand to increase his chances of a permanent home outside shelter life.
We hated leaving him behind.
That's when we found Geoff, Ozzie's flight hero.
USA based Geoff Masanet, heard of Ozzie’s battle and volunteered to be his travel escort from Thailand to Chicago on 25th December 2015.
Geoff changed his itinerary, forfeited a significant number of travel points and made countless logistical airline enquiries to make it happen...
Meanwhile Ozzie had developed a severe case of mange and a secondary skin infection after 2 months in the clinic confined to a small cage.
Geoff tried to combat the severe mange with a plethora of medicated shampoos and creams.
Worse still, Ozzie's blood tests showed he had contracted (and is curently fighting) MRSP – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius. A bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body and is tougher to treat than most strains of staph because it's resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. He is trialling a new medication for the next 4-6 weeks as the previous TSM sulfa antibiotic medication was ineffective.
Ozzie with his paperwork to leave Thailand and his first "chewie"...Geoff and Ozzie flew out of Thailand Christmas night bound for the USA. It was a priceless Christmas gift to Ozzie for his new life.
It was a long, long Christmas journey for them both but Ozzie handled it brilliantly...
Geoff and Ozzie made the 40 hour transition from Thailand to USA. Geoff arranged in cabin tickets for Ozzie, so he flew like royalty. On landing they found a snow storm on its way, so Ozzie quickly learnt how to make the climate transition from tropical jungle puppy, to hairless snow monkey.
Our dear friend Debbie Chase and her family in Wisconsin USA put their hand up to foster Ozzie for 6 months. Ozzie is now inbetween care, with the intention that he will fly to Australia and become part of our family after his mandatory quarantine period of 180 days in the USA.
Photo: Strangers coming together for a common cause, Geoff Masanet and Debbie Chase in the USA.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
Ozzie's leg and health are still at high risk. Ozzie's leg is now deformed and twisted from the plate inserted in Thailand. We had the plate removed in the USA as the screws started to come out due to an MRSP bone infection. We are still fighting the bone infection and amputation is still on the cards if the medication does not erradicate the infection in the next 4-6 weeks. His leg bones are damaged and "soft" due to the MRSP and plate so he has a bad angular limb deformity with a curved radial. The metacarpal bone is really damaged and dissipated, but it may repair in time.
The x-ray above shows the MRSP infection, the stunted bones and the plate / screws coming lose in his right leg.
The mark from the screw coming out of his bone. He may still lose his leg.
Your important donation today will help Ozzie with his new life. Big or small donations will help get him healthy, rehabilitated and eventually to his new home.
We hope to raise WAY beyond what Ozzie needs as we plan to buy a bloodwork machine or xray machine for the island and an emergency vehicle to get injured or sick animals off the island to a facility with proper medical equipment. Our goal amount hopefully helps us do more for all of the Ozzie's on the island and surrounding areas.
Funds assist in paying for:
PHASE 1: THAILAND
- Mange treatment
- Car hire Pattaya to Bangkok
- Travel crate
- Bangkok Airport vet check
- Pet accommodation Bangkok 3 days pre-flight
- Flights Thailand to USA
*** PHASE 1 COMPLETE ***
PHASE 2: USA
- Post landing vet check
- Specialist appointments
- X-rays and blood tests
- Further leg surgery
- Rabies RNAT test
- E.Canis clearance test
- 4 weeks TSM medication
- 6 weeks medication for MRSP infection
- Other medication, boosters
- Flea, Tick and Heartworm for 180 days
- Boarding / day-care when required in USA
- Limb therapy and training
- Food x 180 days
Vet bill 05.01.16
Vet bill 11.01.16
Vet bill 16.02.16
Vet bill 22.02.16
PHASE 3: AUSTRALIA
- Flights from USA to Australia
- Minimum 10 days Quarantine Australia
- Transport from Melbourne to Brisbane (new home)
If we cannot raise enough money to get Ozzie to Australia, we will certainly seek a home for him in the USA. For us, it was and still is only about saving his life and his quality of life. Right now, we are focused on his immediate care.
So thank you ALL for your continued love and support. We really didn't know what we were signing up for when we rescued him... but sometimes the best part of arriving at your destination, is actually the journey xx
From the bottom of our hearts thank you for your support and donations!! Ozzie thanks you!!
He has a chance at a beautiful life xx
- Nic Nak
Australia has some of the strictest quarantine laws in the world, especially for dogs coming from countries with rabies, like Thailand. Dogs like Ozzie must stay a minimum 180 days in an "approved" country (like USA) before being allowed to enter Australia. This is because of the RNAT (rabies test) requirements etc.
WHY COULDN'T HE STAY IN THAILAND?
We pleaded on an animal shelter page with over 12,000 mostly Thai followers, and not a single person reached out to us. We asked our global shelter contacts to network on our behalf, and they really tried - but still nothing. Our Thai vet searched for us, we asked everyone we could reach out to on social media and we still didn't find Ozzie a home.
BUT we did have kind people reach out to help us get him to the USA. It was a HUGE decision to ask people to help us, to put Ozzie through the massive transitions, to commit to adding him to our family for the rest of his life - but we took on the challenge and have all the people who have supported us to thank.
All costs will be ours to cover once he lands in Australia. Ozzie will be part of our family. As a couple, just married who had changed their honeymoon itinerary to rescue him, we didn't have a whole lot of savings left to do this alone.
Please help us to help him if you can xx
We just wanted to let you know how amazing you all are and because of your generosity we have decided to create MMAW - Medical & Mobility for Animals Worldwide... yes, we aim to launch a charity to help more dogs just like Ozzie.
The GoFundMe journey has been epic, thanks to you wonderful and kind people - so we want to keep you in our circle of friends as we enter into the new phase of our journey... doing "MMAW" for rat-monkeys just like Ozzie.
Please join us on our Facebook page: MMAW - Medical & Mobility for Animals Worldwide.
We hope Ozzie's story sets a precedent and MMAW will be the platform for us to make the impossible, possible for other animals in need.
Please follow us as we grow, as without your valuable support, we cannot make this dream a reality...
Website coming soon.
- The newly founded MMAW Team xx
Join us here: https://www.facebook.com/MMAWcharity
You guys did it... you actually saved him!! It has been a mammoth task but Ozzie will finally get his new start in life, one FULL of love thanks to your combined efforts and incredible donations... our hearts are bursting with gratitude!!
As I type this, Ozzie is mid-air on his flight from LA to Australia... it is really happening!! After 6 months of constant vet appointments in the USA and lifesaving care, his very last hurdle is upon us.
Ozzie lands in Melbourne tomorrow and will spend 10 days in strict Australian quarantine. Darren and I are making the 4,000 kilometre return drive to collect the little guy from Melbourne and we couldn't be any more excited... and nervous!!
We have to thank Ozzie's foster family in the USA who have been beyond incredible, we are forever in their debt for their level of support throughout this journey. Pretty sure we have adopted them all too.
It took $25,000, a whole lot of tears, a whole lot of perseverance and a whole lot of love and support from people like yourself. So thank you from the bottoms of our hearts. We said from the start, we would have sold our wedding rings to save him, thankfully with your support it didn't come to that :)
There is still so much to tell you all and so much to update you on... stay tuned for the most incredible reunion EVER!! Our little rat-monkey honeymoon dog is coming home and looking like a million bucks!! xx
Apologies for the lack of updates, it really has been a crazy time with organising Ozzie’s medical, permits, quarantine, flight details and finding a pet transporting company in the USA with whom we felt comfortable we could trust. So we have some very big updates!!
Ozzie is recovering well from his last leg surgery, his hair has grown back and he looks a million dollars. He has started puppy school (already attending two classes) and has lovingly been described as a “disobedient little stinker” and a “drama queen”. Essentially his listening skills could be better and he doesn’t like to participate in group activities.
With the combined opinion of many dog lovers and the trainers, we think Ozzie is part Thai Ridgeback and part Basenji. He vocalises similar to Basenji breed and balances on hind like a giant black meerkat. Super entertaining.
We have employed the services of Paul Wilson from US Company Pet Relocation (based in Texas) and so far they have been phenomenal with their understanding and support. We have stripped the services down to the bare minimum to save on costs and today paid $4,601.41 AUD for the essential requirements. This does not include flights from Chicago, Australian quarantine (10 days) or organising the RNATT declaration etc. We feel the services Pet Relocation can provide will be invaluable in successfully getting Ozzie home. Geoff is even travelling to Texas to meet with Paul to make sure everything is as it should be – superhero Geoff at it again!
So it looks like we are on track to get Ozzie here, flying him out 9th July 2016. The countdown has begun for the little rat-monkey!! Stay tuned and thank you all so so so much for your invaluable support – you made this happen!! xx
Ozzie's Specialist Dr Edinger is very pleased with the improvements in his bone regrowth and feels he no longer requires the MRSI medicine... however to be safe Ozzie will stay on it for a further two weeks. The potentially deadly infection is likely gone!! Hooray!!
If you look at the left side of the x-ray, this shows his leg 5 weeks ago. The x-ray on the right is from 30.03.16. The screw holes from his previous rod have started to fill in and show excellent regrowth. This is miraculous news as we were very concerned about his bone density etc.
We are getting a special brace made for his leg and a boot for his foot. He'll wear the bootie when he walks on hard surfaces like footpaths. The brace offers extra support that he may require indefinitely.
Dr Edinger believes Ozzie will gradually regain more normal function of the leg up to a point. His leg will certainly never be perfect and we will look at surgical options in the future, but at this stage he keeps all fours!! We wait to see what his leg does given the chance to regain strength and continue to heal.
We'll get another x-ray in a month to ensure it shows continued regrowth, then we can focus on his flights and quarantine tests.
We couldn't be happier!! Biggest thanks to superhero Geoff Masanet who delayed going back to work so he could be celebrate this monumental milestone with Ozzie. Applause to Geoff's parents Rod and Marie who continue to bring our precious little bundle back to health!!
We couldn't have reached this magic milestone without the support of all the AMAZING people who have donated on Ozzie's GoFundMe page - you guys are all incredible!!! xx
You both are Awesome! ¡!. Às long as there are nice people in this world to do nice things for the ones that can't help to protect themselves the 4-leggeds will maybe one day have a chance a loving life. But às long as we open our hearts and hand and swoop in to pick them up and protect them when they are lost and hurt they will have there happy ending. This is what you both did for this little guy your little fighter flying around the world he needs a passport!!! Prayers for your strength, and your worries of the bills, but many people will see this and help. Peace Patti jo
Although extremely kind and kindhearted please consider that bringing dogs from foreign countries (and even state to state-which is why its illegal in MA) to the US can bring diseases that our dogs do not have immunity to. They may vet check fine in their country but still can carry a virus that our dogs can catch. Over 1000 dogs in Chicago contracted a deadly dog flu strain last spring (and dog flu is a fairly new virus to dogs) that was traced back to China. So when you go on vacation and feel like rescuing the poor street dog (and there are plenty out there like Ozzie) but then take the next step to arrange for a "foster" home in the US for it, remember that you could possibly be jeopardizing the health of our dogs. A dog like Ozzie should have 3-6 months quarantine after arrival in the US if even allowed to come. It stinks that this is the reality of it but know we have plenty of animals here that need homes and kill millions of dogs each year that can be "rescued". I certainly wish the best for this pup but please also think about our dogs too. I would never want my good deed to create a tragedy for thousands. Do you?
He's adorable and I'm so glad he is finally safe at home with you. Give Ozzie some kisses and cuddles from me. Love you, Ozzie! ♥
If only i new of this page lol i found a dog 2 weeks ago and idk what he had but he was dying slowly and i didn't have the money to take it to the vet so i sent him to animal control for lethal injection.
I'm having a bit of difficulty typing this because I can't see through my tears (of joy!) for everyone involved in this amazing and inspirational journey for Ozzie, his owners, support "team", the vets and everyone else involved. Bless you all for your amazing commitment, compassion and love.
So happy for you all!
He looks fabulous❣❣❣ so happy for all of you. Safe travels Ozzie. Can't wait to see reunion pix
Awww,Ozzie looks wonderful,I'm sure he will bring you both many years of happiness!!!!
OMG - what good news!!! I stayed tuned for your updates: CONGRATULATIONS!!! And thank you for YOUR perseverance - pls give him a hug and a big kiss from Germany!!!
Yay!! I'm so happy he's going to be well and safe. Keep us informed.
Any new pictures of Ozzie? An update please?
What fantastic news!! Thanks for the update, has made my day! Keeping fingers crossed for good news next month :) xx
Congratulations! Such good news for you all.
Is there an update on Ozzie?