I was so excited the day my partner, kids and I traveled two hours
to pick up my new cocker spaniel puppy.
It wasn't hard to choose our wee baby when we arrived at the breeders;
he was placid, cuddly, just downright sweet, and we fell in love with him instantly.
After many a debate, we named him Dudley.
We brought him home and encountered the same things you get with any puppy...
Every room became the toilet, you could never find a 'pair' of shoes,
my daughter's Barbies had no hands or feet (apparently, Barbies taste great!)
but all didn't matter when big guilty eyes looked up at you as if to say "what?"
We had enjoyed the first four months of our fluffy ratbag
when four days ago, we were all turned upside down.
I came home from work at lunch time and my Dudley went to get up and greet me as he always did,
when he started yelping... I rushed to him and put my hand against his face and he just dropped on his side.
My partner told me he had had a little fall after an attempt to reach some sausages off a chair outside,
had hurt his left front leg and that it had just happened 5 minutes before I got home.
So after waiting awhile to see if it righted itself
(as our wee Dudley had proved to be quite the wee drama queen),
I took him off to the vet.
After a few hours, we got a call telling us that Dudley had broken a bone
in what would be his elbow, in human terms, and that to get it fixed
would be around three grand - three grand we just didn't have -
and that the surgery involved 6 weeks of recovery,
meaning that for 6 weeks we had to try an keep an easily excitable puppy still,
and even then, no guarantee that it would be a success.
Further, we were warned it was possible that more complications could arise with that leg, later in life.
At this stage, I had no idea that amputation was even an option...
I thought I was going to lose my baby!! After talking to family, friends and professionals,
we decided on amputation. The procedure was done at 3pm Wednesday, and by 4pm I was allowed to see him.
It was heartbreaking; he was whimpering, dribbling and I was completely helpless as to help him.
I even had a "have I done the right thing?" moment and an "am I being really selfish?" moment.
How could I possibly put him through this?
I waited the whole next day for 4:30pm to come around, hoping that he would be a totally different dog
than the very sore, sad one I had witnessed the day before... I couldn't wait to pick him up;
I missed him so much. I got there, filled out the paperwork, got his meds and then went out
to the back to collect him.
As I walked through the door, the same little dog with the same guilty eyes was looking at me,
and over he hobbled, occasionally slipping and banging his head on the floor.
The vet had also advised me that he was well medicated, but because he is a cocker spaniel,
he will "milk it," and boy, did he! He whimpered all the way to my partner's work, then all the way home, and with just about every visitor
he got, that day... He milked it for all it was worth. But then, who could blame him...
Not only had he had his leg removed, but he had been castrated, as well; which, funny enough,
seemed to bother him more than his missing leg! (boys! - funny creatures)
It's Friday, today... Two days after his surgery... And I have my puppy back!
(albeit a bit more spoilt) He's hardly falling over today, and has not whimpered once.
Oh my goodness; he's even using outside, as the toilet!!
He's eating, playing, barking and his tail has been wagging a lot.
He still tires easily, but it doesn't stop him from trying to run after birds.
I'm so grateful my little Dudley is still with us, and even though there is less of him,
if it's possible, we love him more!!
It's funny to think about how much we took for granted, with our little guy.
Pets just blend into your family with such ease, it's hard to believe that they won't be there forever...
At least now with his one leg gone, it's a constant reminder to us how much we love the little guy,
and how precious he is to us.
Friday October 02, 2009
This is Chevy...he is a Basenji mix, and is about a year and 1/2 old.
Long story short(er)...we are Chevy's 3rd home. (that we know of).
He and another pup were found by an acquaintance of my husband's 14-year-old niece,
in a ditch, covered in mud. Our niece had Chevy for about 2 weeks.
During this time period, they took him for a ride
in the back of a pick up truck, and did not tie him down to anything.
They tried to keep an eye on him and hold him to make sure he didn't jump out.
Well, they didn't do a very good job, and he jumped out of the truck...
...at 25 mph...and hurt his leg. He was not taken to the vet.
A week after hearing of Chevy's injury,
we found out that our niece no longer had him
and that supposedly, he was dropped off at the APL.
In hearing that he was there, my husband immediately said:
"Let's go get him"... 'cause he's really a sweet little dog.
So, I called the APL to see if he was there,
describing him & the injury and saying that my niece
probably dropped him off sometime during the week.
Well, they had a stray that fit his description
that was picked up by the animal warden on the same day
that we had found out about the injury
(The niece had told us as we were traveling to MI for a weekend vacation).
So, apparently my husband's ex-sister-in-law
told her daughter that the APL had come and picked him up,
when really she dumped him on the side of the road
while her daughter was with us.
So, we adopted him from the APL
(to add to our already large brood of 4 cats, a beagle mix dog, and hermit crab)
and immediately took him to our vet for x-rays.
It was his back left leg, and the femur was broken all the way through,
and moved over.
The break was pretty high up, and since scar tissue
had already formed, it added to the complication of the surgery.
As there was no guarantee that a pinning surgery would make it heal correctly
and enable him to walk on it again, we opted to amputate,
as we didn't want to put him through all the recovery,
knowing that he might still need to have the leg amputated.
Chevy was already pretty comfortable getting around on 3 legs,
with the broken one hanging, so we didn't think it would be too bad for him to adjust...
and we were right!
Chevy is an incredibly happy little guy...
regardless of being mistreated and abandoned twice!
He and Louie (our beagle mix) are just like brothers!
They get along great and wrestle and run around the yard together playing all the time
(So, we've included a picture of them both).
Happy home, for a brave little pup!
Andrea C. Struhar
Saturday October 24, 2009