“I Owe Her Everything”

January 11, 2011  

Hero dog goes home after five weeks in hospital

StubbyDog staff report

HAYWARD, Calif. After five weeks at an animal hospital, recovering from severe burns, Diamond the pit bull was reunited with his person, Darryl Steen.

“[She] saved my family. I owe her everything,” said Steen as he petted Diamond. “I owe this dog everything.”

Steen told KTVU that Diamond is a quiet dog , but on October 24th at around 1:30 a.m., she woke him up, barking insistently. He got up and went into the living room. “My whole living room was engulfed in flames,” he said.

Steen added that he and his daughters escaped with only the clothes on their backs. They were rushed to the hospital for burns and smoke inhalation.

Steen said he thought Diamond had died in the fire. She suffered serious injuries including nerve damage to one leg and burns to 30 percent of her body.

Diamond was taken to the Bay Area Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Hospital in San Leandro, where she spent the next few days receiving around-the-clock care. She then was moved to Eden Pet Hospital in Castro Valley.

“She will have permanent scarring, so that will be her badge of honor,” said Eden Pet Hospital’s Dr. Lori Dabaco. “She has sort of become a mascot for everybody.”

“You’re a superstar,” Steen told Diamond as they left the hospital. “You’re a hero.”

Steen faced more than $5,600 in medical bills for Diamond, but donations from the community have covered all the costs.

“All the donations from the community have been wonderful,” said Jennie Comstock, manager of the Hayward animal shelter, which handled donations sent in for Diamond.

Photo: Ross Cameron

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