Wading through snow up to her hips, Karen tried repeatedly to get her pickup truck out of the driveway to rush Sophie to Appalachian Animal Clinic. She couldn’t get through the deep, drifted snow. She was crying when she called the clinic where she is a client to tell Appalachian’s Debbie Huttenhoff of her plight.
Since bulldogs have such big heads, their puppies are difficult for them to deliver naturally. Almost always they must have a Caesarian section.
Karen had been told this would be the case for Sophie. The minute Debbie received her desperate call for emergency help she thought of Bud and Diane Fox, other Appalachian clients. She knew the couple had moved to Cleveland some l0 years ago from Pennsylvania where winter snow is common and where Bud had driven an 18-wheeler for many years prior to his retirement. She also remembered they have a four-wheel drive truck.
When Debbie rapidly made a phone call for help to the Fox home, Diane’s immediate response was, “We will be right there and get Sophie to the clinic!” After getting directions, Bud and Diane arrived at the Birchfield home and took Karen and her Sophie to the clinic on Spring Place Road. In short order, Dr. Ron Stewart did a C-section and Sophie’s precious life was saved. She also had two beautiful, healthy little male puppies, now 4 weeks old.
Dr. Stewart said Sophie could return to her home later in the afternoon that same day so Bud and Diane waited in town, then took Karen with her Sophie back to their home. They then returned to the clinic again to get the two newborn puppies to take to Karen’s home.
“We are so thankful we had Bud and Diane save the day for us. They were such a blessing. I was praying to God to help us and I know they were sent to us from heaven,” Karen said.
Meeting a near-death emergency, however, is nothing new for Diane, who had a major heart attack in November.
“I was being flown to Memorial Hospital by helicopter when my heart stopped. I died. But the chopper’s fantastic emergency personnel revived me and God gave me a second chance at life. He gave me more time to get my life in order and to dedicate the rest of my time to helping others in need in every possible way,” she said.
“I have seven sisters and we all grew up on a Pennsylvania farm so we’ve always loved animals — dogs, cats, horses, cows,” she said.
The couple now has six much-loved dogs: four Yorkies (Bindy, Blu, Cody and Mariah); a miniature pinscher and Bambi Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards), a boxer puppy. The couple is also rearing two granddaughters and helping one of Diane’s sisters who suffered disabilities after being struck by lightning as a young girl.
“Bud has lost part of a leg and part of a foot due to diabetes but he still gets around just fine on his artificial leg,” Diane noted. “God shows us how to deal with life’s happenings,” the courageous lady emphasized.
A much-deserved honor came to this amazing couple where through the years (from l974-89) they opened their hearts and Pittsburgh home to many foster children. They adopted seven of the children. For their enormous success in giving new lives to children in need they were awarded Pennsylvania’s prestigious 1980 “Foster Parents of the Year” award. The couple are now eagerly awaiting the birth of their first great-grandchild. Their lives in Southeast Tennessee are “very good.”
And we are very grateful and honored that they have chosen to live here.
Paws up this week to: Hugh Gladden, Peanuts and Brig; Judy Lawson; Giggy, Susan and Cricket Bivens; Nancy Pearl of Black Fox Pet Resort; Sandye Turner; Decotta Brooks; Bill Harper; Sandy Sodeman; and all who adopted a shelter pet and saved a precious life.
To reach the shelter, call 479-2122. Call me with your pet and wildlife stories, 728-5414, or write to: PO Box 4864, Cleveland, TN 37320.