By daybreak, he was sitting up, and although - for the first time ever - his tail wasn’t wagging, he had survived the second step – the night of surgery. His dedicated surgeon, Mark Pangalila, sombrely warned me that it wasn’t time to celebrate since most post-surgery mortalities occur in the four days following gastric tortion operations.


Because it was closing, Jake was transferred by stretcher from the after-hours clinic to Forrest Hill Vet Clinic so he could continue to be monitored during the day. jake2I visited Jake early this afternoon and took the next two photographs. It was very good timing because he was due for a toilet break - so he came outside - along with his mobile drip. The moment I spoke his name, Jake’s tail began wagging and he lay his big head in my hands for a cuddle. What an extremely lovely boy he is! He did the hugest piddle in the grass, before leaning his weak old body against me and resting his head on my lap. More tail wagging at my baby talk confirmed that he was feeling much happier than he was this morning.


At 5pm, without a stretcher, but with a swing in his step and looking very bright, Jake was returned to the after-hours clinic where he did another big piddle. With more vigorous tail-wagging he recognised the place and pulled on the lead to get back to his cosy bed in the back room. He has eaten a little solid food and not surprisingly, has endeared himself to staff at both clinics.


We all hope Jake will now remain at the after-hours clinic until Tuesday morning. Depending on his condition, he may then be discharged to recover at home or he may be transferred back to Forrest Hill Clinic for further expert care.


if this beautiful dog is still with us on Wednesday, we jake3can relax a little. Until then, sadly, he is still very much at risk - especially being such an elderly gentleman. If part of the wall of his abdomen has died through lack of blood reaching it prior to surgery, it is likely he will suddenly go downhill and be put to sleep.


Your kind donations and e-mails of support have been trickling in during the day. Some of you have shared with me your stories of both tragic loss and resounding recovery of your beloved dogs who suffered gastric tortion. My heartfelt thanks to each of you for your emotional and financial support. Both are so much appreciated, and although the veterinary expense for Jake is far from covered at this stage, between us we are beginning to make a dent in it.


Thank you also to those of you who have offered to buy books of raffle tickets from me to help with previous outstanding vet bills.


Jake is the sweetest and most gentle of giants. Whether he lives or not, we could not have refused him this chance at survival...


Jake's next update will be on Wednesday - please keep him close to your hearts.