Only then did we notice that the little dog had a very large tumor on its leg.
The little dog was a girl and she was covered in fleas. Luckily she was friendly so we had no problems picking her up and putting her in the car. We later named her Tawny.
Naturally we wanted to get her on the operating table as soon as possible to remove the tumor, but it didn't go quite as planned.
In addition to being riddled with fleas, Tawny had ticks and a resulting ehrlicchia infection, so we had to put her on antibiotics. She also had worms. A LOT of worms. The deworming made her poop bloody diarrhea for two weeks straight. During this time she wasn't eating and became badly dehydrated, so she had to be put on an IV. Luckily, we found a second-hand open-top cage ideally suited for administering an IV.
Though skinny to begin with, she kept losing weight. Throughout, she kept bleeding from her tumor. There was a time when we were genuinely worried about her survival. To keep her strength up, we force-fed her Recovery and gave her vitamins and high-energy gel.
Eventually she started nibbling at treats - we discovered she loves fried chicken - and then started eating normally again. When she was finally strong enough, we took her to the clinic for the long-delayed operation.
The operation itself went smoothly, but Tawny kept nibbling at her bandages, and we just couldn't find an elizabethan collar that fit her. After a few days, we had to take her to a clinic to redo the stitches. We wrapped her up in bandages to stop her from worrying her wound, and brought her home at night so we keep an eye on her. The first time we brought her home, she ran around the house like crazy and kept jumping around wagging her tail - apparently she thought she was getting adopted by us.
It was time-consuming to change the bandages and also expensive, but it worked and after 10 days the bandages came off and Tawny was finally allowed to run around again. She is now eating very well, and has gained a lot of weight. We even took her for an ultrasound because we thought she might be pregnant! (She wasn't.)
Tawny's missing eye doesn't slow her down one bit. She is a highly energetic, extremely friendly dog, and the only dog at the Happy Animals Club (possibly the only dog in the world) who actually smiles just like a human, by stretching her lips and pulling back the skin away from her mouth. It was slightly unnerving when she first grimaced this way, but we quickly realized she only did it when greeting us.