*Leech Lake Legacy is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profit organization

Envisioning a world where every reservation dog and cat is well cared for

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Nibi ... needs our prayers and support

Nibi arrives in the cities on Saturday, 2/2

Nibi (means 'water' in ojibway) was picked up by the Leech Lake Tribal Police on Friday night (2/1) after being contacted by a concerned citizen that a dog in her neighborhood was seriously injured. The previous owner of the dog surrendered the dog to the Leech Lake police knowing that she was not able to provide the necessary veterinary care for her injured dog. [Note: we have since learned how much his previous family loved him and how Nibi would follow his ‘lil girl around everywhere]. It was apparent the dog had an injured leg. He also had a wound on his head. Ken Washington, Chief of Police, contacted Leech Lake Legacy to see if we would be able to take the dog into our program. We said yes … we would absolutely take the dog (we named him Nibi, which means ‘water’ in ojibway). Not knowing the extent of the injuries to the dog, however, we could not guarantee that we would be able to save him. We would, of course, do all that we could. We had a transport scheduled to come down to the cities on Saturday, 2/2, and arrangements were made to pick up Nibi and transport him to the Impound.
Arrives at Golden Valley AHS

On Saturday, a team of Leech Lake Legacy transport volunteers brought Nibi to the cities, along with 32 other cats and dogs (from the Roseau Impound, Red Lake Reservation and Leech Lake Impound). We needed to make a stop at the Buffalo Animal Humane Society site to drop off 10 cats and 3 of the dogs. It was apparent that Nibi was not doing well and we needed to get him to the cities as quickly as possible and to the Golden Valley AHS so that he could be checked out by one of AHS’ shelter vets right away. The transport arrived at Buffalo at 2:30 pm on Saturday and within 10 minutes, 10 cats and 3 dogs were unloaded and the transport team was off to Golden Valley.  Once the transport arrived at AHS, we pulled into the garage and the AHS staff came to meet us. The vets were there to immediately check on Nibi. His back leg was extremely swollen and he was barely moving as he laid in an open crate behind the driver’s seat of the van that brought him to the cities. On occasion he would lift his head. He would look right into you and his eyes pierced the souls of all who were blessed to meet him. It was clear he was in pain. Yet despite the pain, all one could sense from him was gentleness, softness, kindness.
Nibi on Sunday, 2/3 .. he had declined rapidly

The vets checked Nibi out and noted that his leg was infected. His back leg was extremely swollen and there was blood on his paw. They also noticed the wound on Nibi’s head however decided that it would be in Nibi’s best interest to let him rest for the night. His condition did not seem critical at the time and he was given pain meds and antibiotics. The staff at AHS transferred Nibi’s onto a cart and he was wheeled away to his kennel.

The next day (Sunday) we had another transport arrive from Leech Lake. 6 dogs were transported down including 2 dogs who had serious injuries with porcupine quills (Newt and Nida). Once again, AHS responded to the crisis and after Newt and Nida were immediately taken to surgery  to have the quills removed, we were told of Nibi’s declining condition. In the past 20 hours his condition had drastically declined. The vet checked him and indicated that the infection was severe in his leg. He had an open wound in the foot of his injured leg indicating that the infection was causing his skin to split open. He had to be in so much pain. He also immediately tested positive for heartworm. At that point we realized we needed to move Nibi to a rescue where he could get round the clock care until he was able to get in to see an orthopedic surgeon to have his leg amputated. We contacted Peggy at Home At Last and told her we had an emergency situation and we needed to move Nibi out that night. Without hesitation (okay, maybe a few questions!) she agreed and within 15 minutes, Nibi was on his way to Home At Last Sanctuary.  In less than 24 hours, Nibi had captured the hearts of the LLL transport volunteers and AHS staff. And in moments, he had captured the hearts of Peggy and her family shortly after Jenny arrived at Home At Last. Peggy immediately made the necessary accommodations to ensure that Nibi would be comfortable for the night. She gave him stronger pain meds and assured us she would be up every few hours to check on him and to give him antibiotics.
Getting ready to head to Home At Last (Sunday, 2/3)

Peggy brought Nibi to her vet first thing Monday morning. X-rays were done on Monday and we learned that Nibi had been shot in the leg. He had fragments of the bullet in his leg and in his stomach. X-rays were also done on his head and showed that his skull was bruised, but fortunately not crushed. With the wound on his head, there was concern of more serious injuries to his head. Due to the severity of his infection, Nibi remained at the vet where his condition was monitored and stabilized to prepare him for surgery. This morning (Wednesday) Nibi had surgery to have his leg amputated. Here is the latest update from Peggy: “Nibi made it through surgery!! The wound was very old and very icky. The vet is keeping Nibi overnight in order to continue the fluid treatment and said that there was a heartworm that crawled out of Nibi's foot during surgery :( Poor Nibi has been through so much.”
Jake and Shawn (AHS staff) lift Nibi into Jenny's car

We also learned that the lead bullet that has been in Nibi has most likely been in his body for almost a month, causing serious infection in his body. We are sure that more will be uncovered as Nibi continues to heal from his surgery. At some point, he will also have to go through heartworm treatment.

We are extremely grateful to Peggy of Home At Last for taking Nibi in on such short notice AND providing incredible care for this sweet boy.  Peggy, you are his angel :)

The veterinary costs for Nibi’s care continues to rise. We/Leech Lake Legacy have let Peggy know that we will do what we can to help raise donations for Nibi’s care. Leech Lake Legacy will kick off the effort to raise donations by pledging $200. If you would like to make a donation, you can make a donation to Leech Lake Legacy on our website … Click here . Be sure to indicate that you would like your donation to go toward’s Nibi’s care. We/LLL will then combine all the donations we receive and write one check to Home At Last to help offset the veterinary costs for Nibi.

If you would prefer to make a donation directly to Home At Last, you can mail a check to:

Home At Last
c/o Animal Sanctuary Foundation
10 South Fifth St. Suite 700
Minneapolis, MN 55402

I found the following blog post (www.anishinaabekwe.com/2008/08/nibi-water.html) and had to share …

Nibi - Water 

Anishinaabekwe, the Daughter,
You are the keepers of the water.
I am Nibi...water...the sacred source,
The blood of Aki, Mother Earth,
The force filling dry seeds to great bursting.
I am the wombs cradle.
I purify.

Nibi, the life giver,
Forever the Circle's charge
I have coursed through our Mother's Veins.
Now hear my sorrow and my pain
In the river's rush, the rain...

I am your grandchildren's drink,
Listen, Daughters, always.
You are the keepers of the water.
Hear my cry,
For the springs flow darkly now
Through the heart of Aki.

American Indian Poem,
Ojibwa, Minnesota


  1. This is amazing. Bless you all. We used to fish up there, and hope to again. We are very familiar with your area.
    I am following your blog. If you have something you would like me to post or re-post, I would be happy to. (night.prose@gmail.com)
    McGuffy's Reader

  2. So sad, he looks just like my dog, River. Thank you and your team for taking care of him. What a wonderful soul. Is there an update on how he is doing?

  3. How sad! Yes, is there an update on Nibi? Please give him hugs from me!!! :-)

  4. Scroll down on the main blog to look for more info on Nibi. Hopefully he continues to heal..., and hopefully he can be treated for the heartworm, soon. Maybe there's something holistic for him to be on since he sounds like with all the meds... and metal in his poor body ARE toxic. He would do well on a doggie detox! BTW, any idea how old this poor little lovie is? I have been praying for him! :-)

  5. Oooops! Here's the main blog link:

  6. I'll have to look into this more, but this is one site my hubby's aunt just told my sister-in-law about. My Chiropractor/nutritionist may know, too, as would other natural docs out there. :-)