A dogs emotional reunion with his veterinary team

April 23, 2019
Hannah Wagle, Associate Content Specialist

Take a look at the veterinary team who saved an abused puppy and the emotional reunion when that puppy revisited the veterinary team while on the road to recovery.

Smokey when he was first taken to JPESC (All photos and videos courtesy of JPESC's Facebook). He was bound to a tree. That was the first thing fire rescuers discovered of the small brown and white dog on the scene of a reported brush fire. The second thing they noticed was the burns. “The little guy was burned up pretty good,” West Palm Beach Fire Rescue Captain Gregg Gordon says in a recent news release. “Even when we grabbed him, he was very distressed. I was concerned whether he would live.”

The 2-year-old mixed breed was held to a tree by a chain, which firefighter Marcos Orozca cut before taking the puppy to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, according to reports. It was clear to the hospital's veterinary team that the dog needed serious medical attention, so he was transferred to Jupiter Pet Emergency & Specialty Center (JPESC) where he could receive specialized care for his burns.

The veterinary team at JPESC got right to work on the puppy and endearingly named him Smokey. “He had severe burns on his torso and both hind legs,” the center's Facebook page states. “From there, it was determined that Smokey would need extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.”

Dr. Latimer gives Smokey one of his medical baths and bonds a bit more in the process.According to the practice's Facebook page, Smokey received multiple blood transfusions (the JPESC crew gave a shout out to another dog named Shadow for the blood donation), daily baths and bandage and wrap changes during the several weeks he stayed with JPESC. He also received treatments in the hyperbaric chamber to help with reduction of swelling and pain from his burns.

For the entirety of this healing process, a specialty doctor at JPESC, Federico Latimer, DVM, MS, headed Smokey's treatment and rehab. And, while Smokey was working his way into the hearts of Dr. Latimer and his team, it's safe to say that they were making quite an impression on Smokey as well. In time, he began to heal.

“Eventually,” the Facebook page reads, “he started to eat again (with the help of his ‘friends,' aka our nurses). In time, he became less fearful, more trusting, and finally began to realize that he was on the road to recovery!”

A happy, alert Smokey well on his road to recovery. According to reports, Gordon says that he will take on the responsibility of fostering Smokey until he finds his forever home. Soon enough, it was time for Gordon to take Smokey back to JPESC for a check up on his recovery process.

As seen in this now viral video below, the reunion is a joyous-and emotional-one. When Smokey spies Dr. Latimer from across the room, he bolts in his direction. To the collective sound of “aww” from the surrounding veterinary team, Smokey licks Dr. Latimer, who rewards him with some good head scratches. “Hi,” you can hear Dr. Latimer telling Smokey as they reunite in the video. “I missed you, my man.”

There's still much farther for Smokey to go before he's fully recovered, but his future is looking bright. The puppy and the veterinary team at JPESC found themselves connected by bravery and love that can only come with the human-animal bond. “Smokey still has a long road ahead when it comes to his wounds, both physical and mental,” the Facebook page states. “He is such a sweet boy! WE LOVE YOU SMOKEY!!!”