Chris and Mariesa Hughes have always had a passion for animals – so much so, that they started their own rescue in order to help senior dogs. They called it the Mr. Mo Project. The project helps many senior dogs as they just want the best for their pets. Chris and Mariesa Hughes were inspired by their senior Chihuahua, Mabel, who had become very sick and they did everything they could to save her.
16-year-old Mabel was adopted in 2016 by Chris and Mariesa Hughes. She had a lot of past medical issues, but that didn’t hinder her feisty personality. A few years ago, Mabel’s health took a turn and she began experiencing breathing issues. The couple took her to the Cornell University Hospital for Animals in Ithaca.
Mabel endured many surgeries, and now she breathes out of a hole in her throat. Her owners are constantly monitoring her breathing all the time. While the situation might not be ideal, Chris and Mariesa will do whatever they can to keep their sweet dog safe and healthy.
Then, one Saturday night, Mabel’s breathing began giving her trouble again – and it was quickly getting worse. As it turned out, the hole in her trachea had begun to collapse and she was experiencing breathing trouble again.
The couple called Cornell University Hospital for Animals, where Dr. Baum informed them that they should bring her in as soon as possible. The hospital was roughly a 3-hour drive away, so the couple didn’t waste time and jumped in the car with Mabel and drove.
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Everything seemed like it was going to turn out ok, then suddenly halfway through the road trip, Mabel stopped breathing. The small dog was in bad shape – flopping around as her tongue started turning purple. Chris and Mariesa Hughes refused to give up hope.
Chris began giving Mabel mouth-to-trachea resuscitation until she finally began to breathe again. They then sought out the closest vet.
They found a small animal clinic, but unfortunately the vet there couldn’t do much for the long-term. That is when the couple called Dr. Baum again in order to discuss their options.
Much to their surprise, Dr. Baum told the couple that he and Dr. Hayes were on their way to help Mabel. The two doctors drove an hour and a half with the necessary medical equipment just to help Mabel and her family. Chris and Mariesa were beyond grateful.
Dr. Baum quickly arrived at their location. He put Mabel in a portable oxygen tank in order to drive the little Chihuahua back to Ithaca. In short, he saved her life.
Chris and Mariesa are still amazed that Dr. Baum would go so far out of his way to help Mabel. The couple have repeatedly thanked him, though they feel it will never be enough.
“A lot of people say ‘this is a 16-year-old Chihuahua with major medical issues, why are you doing this?’ But I think when you meet her, it’s something you understand, her spunk and her attitude and charisma. She wants to be around.” Chris said.
As a means of finding a way to properly thank Dr. Baum and honor him for his dedication, both Chris and Mariesa created a compassion award at Cornell University Hospital for Animals in his honor. This award has a $2,500 prize. It also stands as a recognition that Dr. Baum’s actions went above and beyond what he considered just a simple act of kindness – and that is why his actions shouldn’t be forgotten.
Both Chris and Mariesa send Dr. Baum regular updates on Mabel in order to let the vet know that the dog he helped to save is still going strong and living her best life. She might be a senior citizen, but she’d definitely got a lot of happy years ahead of her thanks to the dedication of Dr. Baum and her owners.
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