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Story of the Month - August 2009



I have fostered for my local humane society for quite some time. Here the dogs are only fostered out when they are ill or need specialized care so usually I only have them for a week or two. On March 28, 2009, I picked up my new foster was a stray Shih Tzu that animal control had picked up. He was matted and skinny and needed some TLC.

He was found on Curtis street so the shelter named him Curtis. They had shaved him down because of the matting and you could seen all his ribs. They placed him in my arms and I think I knew then that he would never go back to the shelter. I never wanted a Shih Tzu. I thought they were too hard to care for with those long coats and big eyes, but I fell in love with Curtis and decided to adopt him. I have never bonded so quickly with any dog. Curtis went everywhere with me, slept in my bed, and we took long walks together in the evenings.

On May 2, 2009 I noticed that Curtis was not himself. He was laying down a lot away from the rest of us. Normally Curtis is where ever I am but I would find him curled up in another room. He also didn't want to eat. I noticed that when I touched him, it felt like a tremor was going through his body. I though he might be having a muscle spasm. This was a Saturday, so I decided to keep an eye on him. By Monday morning, I noticed the wobbly walking so I took him to the vet where I was told he had a herniated disc. He was given prednisone and I was told to keep him quiet. I didn't let him
run or play (not that he wanted to), but when I took him out for potty breaks, I allowed him to wander a bit. On Friday May 8 I came home to find that Curtis was no longer able to use his back legs at all. So we went back to the vet where I was told that he needed surgery, but I could not afford it so the vet advised hospitalizing Curtis for a week. The vet told me they would put Curtis on IV steroids and if he could walk in a week he could go home and if not, then he would need to be euthanized. I was heart broken but refused to accept those options so I began doing research on my own and that is when I found Dodgerslist.

Thank goodness for this amazing group of people! While Curtis spent his week with the vet, I read everything I could get my hands on from the Dodgerslist website. I learned the correct way to crate rest, how to make a sling, ways to help keep Curtis calm and less bored in his crate, and more. After a week the vet was still resisting sending Curtis home but the people on this list encouraged me that I could care for Curtis at home. He was no longer on IV meds and could stand but still dragged his legs when he walked. So instead of asking, I told the vet that I was coming to get Curtis and take him home. That is what I did and we did the full 8 weeks of crate rest. Some days it was tough but we stuck with it. I had many people tell me that Curtis seemed ok so we should stop the strict crate rest but I didn't. I wanted to give him the best chance for a full recovery.

On June 22, Curtis completed his 8 weeks of strict confinement and I am so happy to say that he is walking almost as well as he ever did. He still has a very slight limp which the vet said he will probably always have but we can live with that. I am so grateful that I found Dodgerslist at just the right time. Otherwise my boy might not be here. Sadly, my vet was not very open to the idea of Dodgerslist brochures. That is a shame because this list literally saved my dogs life. I am so happy that I still have Curtis with me. He is a fighter and I knew that as long as he wanted to keep fighting, I had to keep fighting for him and this list gave me the knowledge and the courage to do that.


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