Be The Model® Grateful Clients Veterinary Clinical Sciences

Tragedy turns to joy

for Reba and her new forever family
Reba and her owners

Larry Ballengee never expected to come home from what started like any other work trip with a new best friend.  

Larry was driving his semi-truck on an Oklahoma highway when he witnessed a car strike two dogs that had run onto the road. Unfortunately, the driver who hit the dogs kept driving. But Larry, a devoted dog owner and lover, knew he had to stop to help. Sadly, one of the dogs did not survive, but Larry placed the surviving dog, a puppy whom he would name Reba, in the bunk of his semi.  

Larry searched the immediate area for the dog’s owner and found them, but they were unwilling to help Reba, so Larry took matters into his own hands. 
“I promised her I’d get her the help she needed,” said Larry. “I decided to take her and give her a good home.” 

Larry found an emergency veterinarian in Oklahoma who performed pelvic X-rays and confirmed Reba had suffered a broken hip and pelvis. 
“Her injuries were very severe. It was difficult to find a veterinarian who could do such extensive surgery,” said Larry. “I was concerned about not knowing what was wrong with her.” 

The veterinarian gave Larry some pain medications for Reba and recommended that The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center would have the capabilities to perform the complicated surgery Reba needed. Without thinking twice, Larry headed to Ohio State.

Reba’s journey at Ohio State 

Reba the dog
Reba came to Ohio State for an extensive surgery after being hit and severely injured by a vehicle.

When they arrived at the Veterinary Medical Center, Reba was evaluated by a team of veterinarians, veterinary specialists, fourth-year veterinary students and veterinary technicians. It was determined that Reba had suffered multiple pelvic and femur fractures, and she underwent surgery the next day.

“Reba suffered multiple pelvic fractures on her left side, including one that involved the hip joint, as well as femur fractures on her right side involving her growth plate," said Morgan Biggo, DVM, the small animal surgery resident who operated on Reba. 

The surgery required to repair the right femur was extremely challenging. The femur was essentially broken into three pieces. Unfortunately, two of those pieces had started to heal together inappropriately, which resulted in the need to break down this area of healing to recreate the bone's structure. Despite their exposure to and experience repairing countless complex fracture cases, the surgery team found Reba's case challenging.  

"Reba was such a resilient puppy despite all she had been through,” said Biggo. "The love and devotion her new owners showed her was so heartwarming. Reba's case was one of those that helped remind me why I got into this field − to help animals and the owners who would do anything for them,” Biggo said.  

Reba’s surgery was a success. After the surgery, she recovered for a few days at Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center and is expected to live a full and healthy life.

Reba’s new lease on life 

Nina Kieves, DVM, DACVS, DACVSMR, CCRT, associate professor of small animal orthopedic surgery and Reba's faculty surgeon, said that Reba bounced around the exam room like a normal puppy at her recent post-op checkup.  

"Reba is thriving and is using the limb we operated on very well, and the fractures on her other limb have fully healed," said Kieves. "We expect her to continue to improve and enjoy her forever home with Larry and his wife Christina, who opened their hearts to her. Reba is a lucky girl, and we were honored to help her get back to running around and enjoying life." Kieves said.  

Reba is settling in nicely with Larry and Christina and gets along with the family’s other four dogs. The entire family likes to watch TV together, and somehow, they can all fit on the couch. Larry hopes that Reba becomes his new traveling partner in his semi-truck.  

“We are so grateful for all of the help we received from Ohio State’s Veterinary Medical Center to give our little girl the life she deserves,” said Christina. “She is such a great puppy.”  
The exceptional care that Reba received exemplifies our ambition to Be The Model® referral Veterinary Health System of choice. Reba’s care was made possible through generous gifts to the Good Samaritan Fund. This fund enables pets with the greatest need to receive the best veterinary care possible from the expert veterinary clinicians at Ohio State.