Being a truck driver means spending a lot of time alone on the road, so why not have a companion for the ride?
Jose Carbajal has had his friend, Mr. Midnight, along for the ride for the last six months.
Mr. Midnight and Carbajal have developed a great bond over the past six months.
“He has a great personality,” Carbajal told The Dodo. “He is an amazing dog and a great friend. He loves to ride in the truck and look out the window at all the scenery. We have been all across the country and he loves it.”
On one trip, things were going well until suddenly Carbajal began feeling ill. He felt pain in his stomach and was not sure how to get help. He did not want to leave Mr. Midnight alone.
Mr. Midnight realized something serious was happening as Carbajal's pain began getting worse.
“For those 15 hours that I was in pain Mr. Midnight knew that something was wrong,” Carbajal said. “He would not eat or drink or be his joyful self. I would catch him staring at me with sad eyes.”
When the pain became too intense, Carbajal had to leave Mr. Midnight in his truck and head to Piedmont Henry Hospital. Turns out his appendix was the cause of the pain, and Carbajal was in need of emergency surgery to have it removed!
“When I was told by the doctor that I was going to have emergency surgery I didn't want to do it because I had no idea what was going to happen to Mr. Midnight,” Carbajal said. “He was inside my 18-wheeler waiting for me to come back. I was more worried about Mr. Midnight than I was about myself.”
Carbajal let the doctors and nurses know that Mr. Midnight was left waiting in the truck, hoping it would make a difference.
Luckily, a team of nurses went to get Mr. Midnight somewhere safe. With a little effort, the nurses were able to find a safe place for the dog to stay!
Deanna Mahaley is a certified surgical tech at Piedmont Henry Hospital and heard about Cabajal's situation. She already had three rescue dogs and three rescue cats in her home, and was more than happy to take in another animal in need!
“After Jose’s surgery and before my next one, I contacted the ER nurse who put me in touch with the ultrasound tech, Wendy Johnson, who had the information,” Mahaley said to The Dodo.
“I quickly texted my husband her info as I was scrubbing in for my next case and my husband went and got Mr. Midnight, with the help of Wendy. When I got off work, I went upstairs to Jose’s room and introduced myself, and let him know who it was exactly watching his dog.”
Since Cabajal needed time to recover, Mr. Midnight stayed with Mahaley and her family for a week. Thankfully, he was a great match with the other dogs, and fit right into the family.
Without Mahaley volunteering to take in Mr. Midnight, there is no way to know what would have happened to him! In a time of struggle, Mr. Midnight was able to make new friends and have a good time while away from his dad.
“When I heard Jose had a puppy in his truck, my mind couldn't get over the fact that the poor thing was probably scared to death that his owner was absent for so long,” Mahaley said.
“It was killing me. I honestly didn't even think about how he'd do in the presence of my animals or kids, it just all happened as if it was meant to be.”
Now that Carbajal is healthy again, he is reunited with Mr. Midnight. He is so thankful that the nurses worked hard to find a loving place for his best friend to stay. Carbajal, Mahaley, and the ER nurses and techs have become great friends after all that happened!
“They will always have a special place in my heart, and Mr. Midnight will never forget them and all the love they gave him,” said Carbajal.