Shelter Worker Spoons With Labrador Retriever Recovering From Lifesaving Surgery

Written by: Arin Greenwood

April 13, 2016

Sokka was rushed into the Baltimore shelter’s vet clinic on Monday. The 8-year-old dog’s belly was swollen, and the people who brought her in said she hadn’t eaten in days.

It wasn’t at all clear Sokka would survive surgery — but veterinary staff felt confident that she would die without it.

Emergency surgery showed that Sokka’s uterus was badly infected and in acute danger of rupturing, which could kill her.

BARCS Animal Shelter surgical technologist Bri Masenior explains:

Think of an overstretched balloon. All it takes is one wrong move and it lets go. If that happens all that infection fills the abdominal cavity and causes sepsis.

Sokka’s uterus was removed, along with the infection. The mass weighed more than 6 pounds.

Afterwards —  safer, though still not in the clear — Bri got this video of BARCS veterinary technician Dennis M. on a blanket singing and spooning with the dog, to comfort her and help her stay still while she woke up from anaesthesia.

This heartwarming moment gets even better, when you know it’s not unusual. The only part that stands out, says Bri, is that her hands were free enough to shoot.

Seeing as it’s been viewed more than 11 million times, you’ve probably already seen a previous video of Dennis making a dog feel better after surgery.

Bri says:

We see so much heartbreak.But every animal gets this level of care. It’s just when we have time to capture it. I could make 30 videos a day!

Bri shared a few more photos of BARCS staffers being extra snuggly with dogs waking up from anaesthesia, that prove her point.




As of Wednesday, Sokka isn’t yet stable enough to leave the shelter, BARCS spokesperson Bailey Deacon tells us. But she made it through the night, and her prospects keep improving. Soon, it’s hoped, she will go on to an experienced foster home.

Folks who want to help, can make a donation to the shelter’s emergency medical fund, which allows BARCS to save other dogs who arrive in this kind of critical condition.

Many of these come in with infected uteruses, just like Sokka.

Because she’s not just a big heart and shelter documentatian, but also a good animal advocate: Bri knows you don’t want your dog to wind up in a video, following emergency surgery to remove an infected uterus. And, she says, the good news is that you can easily make sure of that — by having your dog spayed.

And from all of us at BarkPost: Get well soon, Sokka. We can’t wait to see the follow-up video of you having a blast with your new family.

Written by: Arin Greenwood

April 13, 2016

Toothbrush-free dental care for dogs.

Fresher breath in 1–2 weeks.



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.