Dog Donates Blood - Helps Save Lives - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Dog Donates Blood - Helps Save Lives

Posted: Updated:

It's never really a good thing when during a life saving operation, one of your organs makes the doctors gasp.

"It's huge. It's huge, huge," said the doctor and his assistant.

Normally the size of a deck of cards, the spleen is four times that, engorged with a large amount of the patient's blood.

"This is where having the blood on hand, having Winston's blood, that sort of thing is key," said Dr. Mike Jones.

That's right, Winston is the name of the blood donor, something not normally revealed, but Winston isn't your normal blood donor.

"They call us when they need it," said Winston's mom, proud as can be of her boxer.

"Boxers are the universal blood donors for dogs," she said.

And they are also, apparently, allergic to the media (as Winston sneezes on our camera) but other than that he's healthy as a horse. Running around outside with the kids, pretending he's a shark under the trampoline, grabbing on to a rope with his wife Libby.

"He and Libby, they took to each other and so the kids married them in a ceremony?," she said.

Hey, if you're gonna shower together you better be married. It's the kind of life every life-saving dog deserves. It's the kind of life, a dog that has his life saved appreciates.

"The doctors that saw him felt like he had acid poured on him or something," she said.

This is what Winston looked liked when they first got him; seriously wounded, starving, infected.

"It took like an hour or so to clean out all the maggots," she said.

His very sight scared the kids, the potential damage to his psyche scared mom and dad.

"I mean we thought for a little while, we might have to, you know, take him back," she said.

But as sure as his scars healed, his personality turned out to be all love, well, except to certain boys.

"He doesn't like men to talk to Amanda," she laughed.

What he doesn't seem to mind, is having a huge needle plunged into his jugular every few months to donate.

"He's doing very, very well," said the woman drawing his blood.

"Dogs and cats need blood, just like we do in emergency situations," said Dr. Rebekah Heinz.

A situation that would be faced by a Yorkie named Barkley.

"He was a wedding gift , we've had him for 9 1/2 years.," said his owner.

His malfunctioning spleen had to be removed, with most of his blood in it.

"Now he's gonna have a little bit of boxer blood in him, so I'll be interested to see if it, if he thinks he's a little tougher now at this point," she said.

The answer, seen in his driver seat position as he left the clinic.

"He's ready!" she said.

And Winston, the brutality and chaos of his past behind him, now enjoys a life of peace and quiet.

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Tuscaloosa police officer arrested on domestic violence, sodomy charges

    Tuscaloosa police officer arrested on domestic violence, sodomy charges

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:34:49 GMT
    A Tuscaloosa police officer is on leave following his arrest in an alleged domestic dispute.More >>
    A Tuscaloosa police officer is on leave following his arrest in an alleged domestic dispute.
    More >>
  • Repair to 20/59 bridge near BJCC

    Repair to 20/59 bridge near BJCC

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:29 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:29:32 GMT
    The Interstate 20/59 bridge near the BJCC is living past its prime and the Alabama Department of Transportation is trying to keep up with its deterioration until a plan is put into place to replace the antiquated bridge. The 43-year-old highway carries twice the load it was designed to hold. Tuesday, August 26 ALDOT will conduct bridge repairs on I-59 southbound starting at 9:00 a.m. The road work on the Civic Center Bridge will be on the southbound side of Interstate 59, just north of the ra...More >>
    The Interstate 20/59 bridge near the BJCC is living past its prime and the Alabama Department of Transportation is trying to keep up with its deterioration until a plan is put into place to replace the antiquated bridge. The 43-year-old highway carries twice the load it was designed to hold. Tuesday, August 26 ALDOT will conduct bridge repairs on I-59 southbound starting at 9:00 a.m. The road work on the Civic Center Bridge will be on the southbound side of Interstate 59, just north of the ra...More >>
  • Ex-band director at T.R. Miller High arrested on charges he had sex with students

    Ex-band director at T.R. Miller High arrested on charges he had sex with students

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:14 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:14:07 GMT
    A band director who just started a new job in Georgia appeared before a judge Friday on charges he had sex with several students at his former high school in Alabama.More >>
    A band director who just started a new job in Georgia appeared before a judge Friday on charges he had sex with several students at his former high school in Alabama.
    More >>
  • Friday Night Blitz coverage lineup for Week 1

    Friday Night Blitz coverage lineup for Week 1

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:43:29 GMT
    See the Game of the Week and other notable matchups to be covered on Friday Night Blitz...More >>
    See the Game of the Week and other notable matchups to be covered on Friday Night Blitz...
    More >>
  • Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Civil rights protesters march at state capitol

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:22 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:22:20 GMT
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
    More than 20 people, including civil rights leaders and ministers, have marched around the state Capitol and Statehouse in the first day of a seven-day protest that stretches across the Southeast.Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma says the marchers in Alabama are joining those in North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Virginia to protest attacks on civil and human rights.The Alabama group marched around the Capitol and Statehouse in hot, humid weather Frida...More >>
  • Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Alabama lands commitment from 4-star linebacker Joshua McMillon

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:12:39 GMT
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.More >>
    Alabama's recruiting class is getting crowded. Four-star linebacker Joshua McMillon committed to the Tide, which already has 21 verbal commitments for it's 2015 class.
    More >>
  • World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    World record-holding Paralympian visits Anniston High School

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:00:23 GMT
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>
    Blake Leeper told Anniston students Friday about the troublesome news that doctors shared with his parents on August 31, 1989. "Mr. and Mrs. Leeper, I'm sorry, but Blake was born missing both of his legs. I'm sorry, but the chances for Blake to even walk are very low," he told the Anniston teens.  Blake Leeper is now a gold medal winning runner and holds a world record for the fastest time in the 4x100 meter relay.More >>
  • Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Firefighters still in hospital after ice stunt

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:55:26 GMT
    A charity stunt that has grown into a social media phenomenon went terribly wrong for four Kentucky firefighters when a fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line after they dumped water on college...More >>
    Two central Kentucky firefighters are still hospitalized a day after they were shocked by a power line while helping out with an "ice bucket challenge."More >>