Misha - The Beagle Who Lived to Tell

Misha is a five-year-old Beagle, adopted by a great human called Raluca. Not very long ago, Misha overcame a very tough moment, miraculously recovering after being poisoned.  Through the voice of her mother she lived to tell a unique, emotional and overwhelming story.

  • AGE: Almost five years old - I bought her from a breeder outside Bucharest. When I went to pick her, there were four puppies (although the breeder told me on the phone that Misha was the only one left) – two males and two females. I wanted a female so not knowing which of them to choose, I took both females into my arms and Misha just put her head on my neck and remained that way.
  • BREED: Beagle, but a very dutiful/ loyal one
  • FAVORITE FOOD: Any food, even rocket salad or broccoli!
  • FAVORITE ACTIVITY: She enjoys chasing a laser spot and talking long walks outdoors without her leash
  • FAVORITE PLACE TO HANG OUT: Dog’s Island in Bucharest, Faget forest and Feleac Hill in Cluj
  • FAVORITE TOY: A dog toy
  • RESIDENCE: She has two homes, Bucharest and Cluj, as I live in Bucharest and my boyfriend lives in Cluj

How a Beagle Puppy got its name  

I called her Misha because my father’s name was Mishu. My father inspired me to love dogs and he bought me my first dog when I was seven. That dog, Lassie, had a very important role in my life - she saved my life. At that age, I used to sleep with my grandmother who woke up very early in the morning. Instead, I used to lie-in. One morning, when I was sleeping and my nana was cooking in the kitchen, Lassie came to my door and started to bark and scratch the door until she finally forced me to wake up and leave the bedroom. A few minutes later, the heavy vintage mirror that hung above my bed fell exactly onto my side of the bed and smashed into thousands of pieces. I am sure that if not killing me, that mirror could have severely disfigured me because I used to sleep on my back and lie with my mouth open. Lassie was my guardian angel that saved me. Her fate, however, was not such a good one.  She died following a period of long suffering after my father had a left-sided stroke that left him half paralyzed. I’m sure that Lassie died from heartache because she ran around looking for him many weeks after my father was hospitalized.


Our most touching story happened not very long ago, when Misha was poisoned with strychnine, after eating some poisoned food on the street. After we returned from our usual walk in the morning, while I was washing her paws in the bathroom, she started to tremble and in about three  minutes her back paws were paralyzed and she started having seizures. I realized she had been poisoned because she went to the front door and was crying for me to help to her. It was two o’clock in the afternoon. In about 20 minutes, we arrived at the vet where they gave her the treatment for this kind of poisoning. The vet told me that in about 10-15 minutes she should recover consciousness. But after three hours, Misha was in the same condition: unconscious, with her tongue sticking out, with rolling eyes and spasms so bad that I could hardly hold her.


Meanwhile, the vet continued to give her the treatment – perfusions and injections to calm her spasms.  After four hours, at six o’clock in the evening, the vet said that he had done his best to save her and that there was nothing else he could do and that we should go home. I was devastated because I realized that she was going to die. But I asked the vet if we should spend the night in an animal hospital, where she could be supervised, but he it said it was better to go home. He just sent her home to die


But God loves us and sent an angel to guide us and watch over us. I’m saying this because one of my friends insisted that I must go to a vet clinic that he knew, where the vets perform miracles. At seven o’clock in the evening, we arrived at this clinic, where at first,  the vet said Misha had no chance. She was permanently kept under supervision and they gave her sedatives, diuretics and injections with drugs that stimulated her kidneys to produce urine. The vet that treated her said that the first organs to suffer from strychnine poisoning are the brain and the kidneys and it was very important that she urinated to cleanse the body from the  poison. The vet also told us that Misha didn’t have much chance to live because the strychnine poison is fatal in most cases. I can’t describe what I felt in those moments, because the words are so poor… so few… I just wasn’t human… I was losing Misha, my baby dog, my soul…


For 15 hours I only left her side once. I stayed next to her and continuously whispered in her ear that she must recover, she must fight.  I said that Tatita (my boyfriend in Cluj) would come and we’d go together to Faget forest and run together.  I told her that she was my soul, my medicine and she must fight for her life. I just couldn’t lose her - this was not an option. I held her paws in my hand, and comforted her. I prayed to God to help her, to help us (because she is like my child) and asked Him to do something. And He did…


At five o’clock in the morning, after 15 hours of terrible spasms, which were so bad that two people could hardly stop her from not crushing her head against the wall, Misha opened her eyes, and tried to move.  She crawled towards me. Step by step, she got herself outside the cage box and tried to get to me. I kissed her and said “good girl, that’s my girl”.  I was so happy about her starting to recover, because until that moment I was sure that she would die. Although she eventually reached my arms, she tried to crawl again (we were down on the floor, to be close to her). The nurse stayed with us all night and neither I nor the nurse could understand what Misha wanted. Misha didn’t have the strength to stand up and walk and she was exhausted from crawling half a meter, so she stayed in my arms… and finally peed on me.  I have never been happier than in that very moment when my baby dog peed on me!


This was the sign the she was starting to recover. Her kidneys began to produce urine. It wasn’t necessary for the vet to tell me that it was a miracle that Misha recovered, because I already knew that. The biggest miracle was that she didn’t suffer any neurological trauma from that episode, because those 15 hours of spasms could have caused permanent damage to her brain. So, at nine o’clock in the morning my Misha was on her feet, hardly standing but giving her best. I’ve learnt a very important lesson from my dog. She is a fighter, a lucky dog and a survivor because she didn’t give up and fought till she got better.

Author: Raluca, Misha’s Mother

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