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Story of the Month - August 2008  

"Lou"   

           
                                                                          

I always laughed at the idea of having a “lap dog”. One day I was randomly given a gift of a mini daschund of the black and tan variety. The little guy just looked like a “Lou” so hence he was named. From the first day I got him, Lou became my best friend and most loyal companion I ever knew. Many people began respectfully calling him Mr. Lou and that name stuck too.

Lou is so much more than just a dog, he’s my right hand man and best friend. He went EVERYWHERE with me. He sleeps on a pillow next to my head or buried below the blankets every night since we met, as you all know with your own dogs. All my friends laugh at the fact of a police officer having a little lap dog for a best friend but Lou is more like a son to me than a pet. We are completely attached.


In February of 2008 when Lou was 3 years old, I noticed he stopped flying around the house at the speed of sound and he didn’t want to jump on the bed. I had no idea what IVDD was at the time and figured he was just sore or tired. I then noticed his back feet curled back in that dreaded position and now knew something was wrong. I took him down my grandparents’ house that day and that was it. Lou was “down” without deep pain. He suddenly couldn’t walk with his back legs and was incontinent and had uncontrolled bowels. I ran him down to the vet immediately and the vet explained the dreaded IVDD to me. I was shocked. The vet stated time was of the essence and put him on immediate crate rest for two weeks.

I was shattered at the thought of the little guy being crated. He was so free and happy everyday and when he was suddenly left in a crate the awful howls and cries began. This is where the common feelings we have all gone through came into play. Extreme sadness for our poor doxies, depression, panic, worry that he’ll never recover, crying, and frustration. I then found Dodger’s List.

So many Doxies and their owners going through this terrible and heartbreaking ordeal. Like many of you I’m sure, I couldn’t get through one Dodger’s List story without looking at my Doxie and crying. It was so hard to even type with so many tears in my eyes. I was devastated completely. I then began posting and getting advice from the saints of Dodger’s List, like Guadalupe and Linda. Armed with so much more knowledge that I had a week before, I took Lou to a fantastic neurosurgeon in West Hartford, CT. He explained the costs of surgery but also the benefits of surgery. This now has been two long weeks since my poor Mr. Lou was down for the count. I changed his bedding three times a day from soiling as well as bathed him and was forced to abandon him in his crate while I worked. It was heartbreaking at best.

I told the good doc to do whatever it took regardless of cost to bring back my Louie. The cost was hard to swallow but easier than knowing I could have done something and didn’t. Surgery was subsequently performed and Lou came out healthy and safe. I was worried sick the whole time he was under the knife. He was in recovery at the vet for about a week, and these people took care of him better than hospitals take care of patients. They played with him, fed and watered (obviously), petted him, and really loved him. I couldn’t believe how much they loved and cared for animals there.

When I got Lou back, we were told to do physical therapy and he was on strict crate rest for 6 weeks. I took Lou on fishing trips and sleepovers while in his crate, for a change of scenery for him. A week after surgery I saw his little legs start to inch forward when he came out of his crate. I couldn’t believe it!!!! Lou could move his legs again!!! Then his tail started wagging!! Weeks of physical therapy showed Lou improving week by week. I almost fell over one day when he walked out of the crate on his own. I took him outside and he walked over to a bush and peed on his own.


Lou was a little wobbly but was gaining strength and stamina. Lou could stand indefinitely, walk, and was beginning to run. He had a funny little gait but he was almost full blast again.

Today, Lou is chasing squirrels and chipmunks again and runs and plays like never before. He can’t jump on furniture (thank God) and doesn’t do very well on stairs, but he is fully functional otherwise. This is a true Dodger’s List success story. From being down with no deep pain to running around the yard like he owns it, Lou’s recovery is owed to Dodger’s List.

Lou and I intend on adopting an IVDD doxie soon, most likely one in a wheelchair. These dogs are full of life and deserve to live long and happy ones. My plea to all doxie owners is this:

Please have your doxies operated on if they need it. Yes, the cost sucks--but we owe it to our best and littlest of friends. Never give up on them, they love you unconditionally and we all should do the same—right to the end if necessary. They truly are people too and they will—WILL—know that you did your best to help them. NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!!!! I can assure all of you that seeing Mr. Lou living a happy, healthy life after being down is the best experience I ever had. A million thanks to the people of Dodger’s List…Here's a before and after picture of Lou down in his crate and swimming in the pool happy and healthy again:


Kevin Sultaire

 

Have a story you'd like to submit? Send an email to lindox5@yahoo.com



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