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Tag: bubba

The healing powers of a one-eyed Chihuahua

It may only be a short-term one, but a dying man in a Kentucky hospital seemed to have a new lease on life after a visit from his Chihuahua.

And ditto for the dog.

James Wathen, after a month in the hospital, wasn’t doing well, and had stopped eating, hospital workers say.

Social workers at Baptist Health Corbin, trying to lift his spirits, talked to him and learned he was troubled by the loss of his dog, Bubba, who had been picked up by animal control after he was hospitalized.

Between hospital staff and workers at the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, Bubba was tracked down at a foster home, and — despite rules forbidding dog visits — one was arranged at the hospital earlier this month, WKYT reported.

“One of our social workers realized it was mourning the loss of the dog that was making our patient even worse and emotionally unhealthy. We pulled out all the stops and found the dog,” Kimberly Probus, chief nursing officer at Baptist Health Corbin, said.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” Probus said of the reunion.

Wathen, 73, began to cry when he saw his elderly, one-eyed Chihuahua, and then his mood began to brighten.

Bubba’s condition — he’d been emotionally distraught since their separation, and had stopped eating, too — also seemed to improve.

Hospital officials say they plan to have Bubba visit Wathen regularly, and — based on what they saw — they are also looking at implementing a new pet visitation policy.

“To see James and Bubba get back together. It was heartwarming. It’s why we do what we do,” Mary-Ann Smyth, Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter President, said.

Smyth said Bubba seemed sad on the way to the hospital, but perked up about 20 steps from Wathen’s room.

“The dog quit eating a week ago, which is very strange,” she told Today. “The dog didn’t know where James was and James didn’t know where the dog was and believe it or not, they both stopped eating at about the same time.”

By the time Bubba returned for a second visit on Oct. 14, there were visible changes in both Wathen and Bubba’s conditions.

“He’s done a complete turnaround, Smyth said of Wathen. “He’s speaking, he’s sitting up, he’s eating. He doesn’t look like the same guy. And the dog is eating and doing better now, too.”

Retriever alerts three to fire in home

bubbaA year after the death of her fiance, Saundra Frazer was awakened by the dog he brought into her life, whose barks and nudges alerted her to a fire in her home.

Frazer, 27,  and the couple with whom she shared a home in Lake Worth, Fla., both credit Bubba, a 7-year-old golden retriever, with saving them from the fire.

Bubba’s barks awoke Frazer and Lori and Charles McCauley, who lived in the back of the house.

Frazer’s fiance was the one who brought Bubba into her life when they lived in Fort Lauderdale, the Palm Beach Post reports.

“He’s a champ,” says Charles McCauley. “He’s a hero. If we didn’t get out, it was going to overwhelm us.”

All three, and Bubba, were staying in a West Palm Beach hotel after the fire, courtesy of the local Red Cross.

(Photo: Frazer and Bubba in hotel room; by Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Dog shot by police becomes a federal case

A federal court will hear the case of a woman who claims her constitional rights were violated when police in Milwaukee shot her 7-year-old mutt four times in 2004.

The case of Bubba, a Labrador/springer spaniel mix, appears to be the first such case of its type to go to a federal civil rights trial in Milwaukee, where it is set to begin before a jury this week.

Bubba’s owner, Virginia Viilo, sued the city and two police officers in in 2005, claiming her constitutional rights were violated when an officer fired shots into her already-injured dog.

Over the past decade or so, Milwaukee police have shot more than 400 dogs in the line of duty, according to court records, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported. About 25 of those, including the shooting of Bubba, were fatal.

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