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Story of the Month - April 2007    



Dear Humans,

My name is Franky, and I am a 3 ½ year old red, smooth-haired miniature-dachshund. I live with my mommy and daddy in Massachusetts. I was so excited when my mommy chose me out of the litter of my brothers and sister. Mommy had first choice too, so talk about competition, and I was the runt. I kept trying to lick her ankles to get her attention so she would pick me up. It worked! She picked me up and I gave her as many kisses as my puppy tongue could give! Little me was chosen to go to a home! Wow! I must admit that my mommy spoiled me from day 1. I got so many bones and toys, and I was definitely the best-dressed puppy. Mommy is a teacher so she took me everywhere that summer because she didn’t work. I loved my new home. Thank God she took me away from my breeder, because it came out years later that it was a puppy mill. Imagine how terrible???
When I was 7 months old, mommy met daddy. I was nervous he’d steal my mommy’s attention away from me, but he turned out to be very fun to play with and he gives me all the yummy treats. Mommy and daddy got married this summer and I got to wear a tuxedo. When they came home from their honeymoon, my back started to hurt again like it did in the summer of 2005. Mommy took me to the vet right away, and he gave me medicine. The medicine worked for me before, so I had my paws crossed! Unfortunately, my back started to KILL! I didn’t want to be a bad doggie so I tried to act like myself and not whimper or cry, but it was hard when mommy tried to pick me up and it really hurt. I didn’t feel like playing and I didn’t want to sit under the table when mommy and daddy ate dinner and beg for scraps. My mommy knew something was wrong, and she brought me to the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital in Woburn, Mass.

On Sept. 28, 2006 I met a neurologist named Dr. Troxel. He seemed patient and he talked to mommy for a long time. I was scared because mommy looked so upset, and then a nurse took me away from mommy! I ended up having a HUGE ruptured disc, and Dr. Troxel said that I was so brave for not displaying more symptoms. I had surgery and when I woke up, I wanted my mommy and daddy but they weren’t allowed to see me for 24 hours! Another scary and confusing thing that happened to me was that I wasn’t able to move my right, hind leg. I could move it before surgery, but Dr. Troxel said that my spinal chord was very bruised. I thought that if I licked it a lot, it would move for me, but it kind of just dragged along. Mommy came to see me every day in the hospital and brought me yummy treats. I wouldn’t eat for anybody but my mommy. I was just too sad and lonely.

After about 4 days, mommy took me home and explained to me that I would be in a crate because I needed to rest and heal. I HATED it!!! I couldn’t sleep at all and I was so scared that I kept on shaking. Mommy tried to lie on the floor next to the crate, but it wasn’t the same as her bed. I thought that if I kept peeing in the crate that I wouldn’t have to stay in there anymore, but mommy kissed me and said it was for the best. Well 2 weeks later, my stitches came out, and mommy started letting me out of the crate more and more. Then I started physical therapy with Chris. I got to go on a treadmill (like mommy does at the gym), balance on balls and boards, and go swimming. I didn’t like it at first, but guess what??? It helped me moved my right, hind leg again! It is not 100% perfect, and sometimes I hop like a bunny if I run too fast, but I think of it as a new trick.

Mommy explained to me that I have IVDD, and that she was not smart to let me jump on and off furniture and in and out of cars. She also said that I couldn’t go up and down stairs anymore either. I don’t mind the stair-thing because I made up a new game to play with mommy. I nudge my toys down the stairs and mommy keeps going down to get them because she is afraid I might try and walk down. Heehee. The worst thing of all is that I can’t play with my doggie friends anymore because I get too excited and I jump around too much. Mommy and daddy totally retrained me, but I didn’t mind too much because I got lots of new bones when I listened. Mommy leaves me in the kitchen when no one is home because there is nothing in there that I can jump on. She has 2 gates up, but I can see through them, and she leaves me with 2 big blankets (one to burrow under of course) and lots of fun toys.
I saw Dr. Troxel 2 weeks ago for a check-up, and he said I was doing great! Thank God! I have to still be careful because there is a 15-20% chance this may happen to me again. I wish all the other doggies with IVDD well, and I hope they all remain pain-free for a long, long time.

                                                                                   Franky Giannato-DeBerardinis


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