Sick, Emaciated Dog Named Travolta Adopted By Vet Who Helped Save His Life
When an emaciated dog near the brink of death arrived at a Kentucky animal hospital early last month, the staff working the emergency room quickly picked an appropriate name for him.
"Can we name him Travolta? Because this guy is staying alive," a receptionist asked Emily Bewley, DVM, who was working that day (Jan. 2).
The name of the Saturday Night Fever star stuck, just as Travolta stuck with Bewley, the person who helped save his life. She adopted him last week on Valentine's Day, and the spunky dog is now enjoying a full life at home with his human and animal siblings—plus matching clothes with mom.
"He lived up to his name," Bewley tells Daily Paws.
It's a bit of a miracle Travolta even found Bewley. The skinny, starving dog was laying on a roadside when an Uber driver noticed him, lifted him into the car, and took him to Jefferson Animal Hospital in Louisville.
Bewley, a staff veterinarian at the Kentucky Humane Society who works at the hospital on weekends, signed him under her name because he had no owner. Travolta was in especially rough shape. His fur was matted with feces, maggots crawled on his body. He was also suffering from several infections, including a severe one near his scrotum, Bewley says.
According to the humane society, he weighed about 14 pounds when he should've weighed about 30. His muscles had wasted away so much that he could barely stand or lift his head. Bewley says he was likely two or so days away from dying.
"Nobody knows anything about how he got there," she says.
Bewley and the vet staff got to work. Travolta, about 1 year old, didn't need invasive surgery, but he needed to be cleaned and put on antibiotics and an IV drip. Medication treated his anemia and liver issues. He started to eat food and drink water, small amounts at first so his body could get used to taking in nutrients again.
He accompanied Bewley home that night, the first of many. He began to put on more and more healthy weight, and several people volunteered to take him in as a foster pup. Bewley, however, kept coming up with excuses to keep him.
"Nothing was good enough for Travolta in my mind," she says.
Except for her! After seeing him get along with her other pets and her three sons, she decided to adopt him. The super-goofy dog who loves cuddles, making ewok-type noises, and treats now has his forever family. He even plays with his bigger dog brothers, too.
That also means he gets to enjoy a bespoke wardrobe of sweaters, including a tie-dye number that matches his mom.
If there are any lessons to take away from Travolta's story, it's to be like the Uber driver—step up and do something when you can help. It can be fostering, volunteering, or even donating. Bewley says.
"Sometimes magical things happen when you step in to help someone else."