Miracle on 16th Avenue
Tiny dog’s reccovery gives grieving family hope
By Sarah Carey
Although the holidays will be tough this year for the Palmer family of Gainesville, they are grateful for what they call their “little survival miracle” — a toy rat terrier, Bindi, whose presence gives them much to be thankful for.
“At the beginning of October, I lost my 22-year-old son in a horrible event that will take me a long time to get over,” said Elizabeth Palmer, who works as a network administrator for UF’s Enterprise Systems, which provides technology services to the UF community. “About three weeks after his passing, another family member and I forgot to check on Bindi’s location when I left for work. It turns out that she had been left with our larger dogs instead of with her half sister, Sarah. When my 14- and 16-year-old daughters came home from school, they found Bindi in a bloody mess and barely alive.”
Palmer took the dog to her local veterinarian, who advised her to take Bindi to the UF Small Animal Hospital because of the severity of her injuries.
When the family arrived at UF, Bindi was immediately taken back to the emergency area and assessed.
“The doctors came out and described what they had done and all the care and surgeries that would be needed in hopes of keeping her alive,” Palmer said. “They estimated the cost, which was a burden on our family, but we immediately agreed. We were willing to spend whatever we could to keep her alive.”
The family visited Bindi every day. At first, it seemed doubtful she would survive.
Bindi was given blood transfusions and underwent several surgeries. During one procedure, Bindi nearly lost her life and had to be resuscitated. Slowly, however, she continued to improve.
“It seemed like every other day she had another surgery, but in just a couple of weeks, she was ready to go home, with only one wound still left to close,” Palmer said. “She is our little survival miracle.”
After she was discharged from UF, Palmer wanted to keep a close eye on her pet, and it was convenient to drive across campus with Bindi for additional treatments.
“Bindi brings a smile to everyone’s face,” Palmer said. “She has become a brand new dog.”
Palmer said her son, Charlie, was an animal lover and had loved all of the family dogs. He also had a puppy of his own, she said.
“Charlie’s death has forever changed my life,” Palmer said. “It would have been unbearable to have lost Bindi, too. We very much needed this happy ending right now.”