By Nathan Metz Jim Croce made those words “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” famous in 1973. The lyrics to the song span many generations from the young to the not so young. The song tells of known criminal Leroy Brown, the “baddest man in the whole darn town.” Brown made a pass at a pretty married woman, and her husband beat him up in a bar brawl. Even though Jim Croce wrote those lyrics before my time, his words now have made a huge impact on my life. Leroy Brown entered our lives on Valentine’s Day. His story is not one of lustful eyes and a testosterone-driven fight, but of pain and perseverance. On Valentine’s morning, our office received a call about a beagle that had been attacked by, possibly, another dog. Upon physical exam, Leroy presented recumbent and lifeless. As we reviewed the extent of his injuries, we could tell Leroy was in desperate need of medical attention. He had injuries that I, with years of experience, could almost not bear to fathom. His face had almost been chewed off, he had multiple lacerations on his back, and he was missing both of his back feet. The teeth marks were not those of another canine, but of a very close relative, a raccoon. As much as we can gather from the evidence, we assume that Leroy, holding to his name, tried to battle his raccoon intruder in order to save his meal. The raccoon so viciously attacked his face and back that Leroy probably went into shock and was left for dead. At that point the raccoon claimed his prize and began to make a meal out of our Leroy starting with both of his hind feet. One can hardly imagine the torture and agony he went through, at the age of only 7 weeks. We admitted Leroy to our clinic and began fluids and medications to help with the pain and shock. During that long day, Leroy began to stabilize and seemed to have a will to live. As the day drew longer, and the fluids he received drew greater, he had to relieve his bladder. Instead of just going on himself and on his bed — which almost anyone would do — instead he got up out of his bed and walked on his two bloody stumps to go to the bathroom across the room. I looked at my employees and told them that dog will not die today. His owners called later that day and decided, for numerous reasons, that Leroy would be better off in our care. At that point, they signed Leroy over to Metz Petz. The story of recovery did not end there for Leroy. He had to have his dressings changed daily for more than four weeks. His daily routine included three to five minute soaks in warm water to help the dying tissue fall off. He had to wear bandages packed with sugar and iodine to stimulate healthy tissue to regrow to cover the exposed bone on his hind limbs. His face and nose eventually fell off one day, and we had to perform surgery on his left leg to reattach his Achilles’ tendon to the bone. The raccoon had chewed through it. At this point, one might ask, why was this pup not humanely euthanized? I myself struggled with the decision, but after just a few days his will and desire to live was clearly evident. He has been a testimony to many of how perseverance and the will to live can lead to a great outcome. We feel that God has given us Leroy to be a testimony and example to those who have had injuries, illness, or a bad past, that they too can live a happy life. Leroy now lives his life large. He sleeps all day at the office and on weekends and evenings enjoys long walks around Lake Amanda. He smells just fine and can run, with the help of a pair of infant tennis shoes. He currently attends Hollowell Academy of Dog Training, under the direction of Diane Laratta. His favorite activities include eating, barking and training in agility. Dislikes include raccoons, people who make fun of his looks, and raccoons. He plans to receive a degree in Good Citizenship and become a therapy dog for children’s hospitals and nursing homes. Dr. Nathan Metz and Dr. Melissa Metz are both graduates of Ross University. They have recently reopened the former Countryside Clinic in Ada on state Route 309, now Metz Petz Veterinary Clinic. They are the proud parents of two coconut retrievers Dempsie and Bodhi, two overweight clinic cats Bob and Guido, two sugargliders Cain and Abel, and the newest addition, Leroy Brown Valentine, a Beagle pup.