Recommended Readings  |Emergency FAQ | Join Dodger's Message Board | Home

Story of the Month - February 2005    



A Success Story….
Possibly Not By the "True" Definition Of The Term
But A Success Story All The Same

In our society, success is usually measured by an income which designates a career success, by the size of one's house, by the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive or overcoming the odds in a health crisis and coming back whole. And actually, we could go on with our society's definition of what success is.

His name is Baron and he is a miniature long haired dachshund, 14 years young. I should have known the first time we went to look at him that he would forever change my life when he could barely open his eyes he gave me one big dachshund smack! I was hooked for eternity!

Baron has always lived the blessed life in my book. He was never sick and besides those first stubborn dachshund puppy years, he was the epitome of the perfect No. 1 son. Baron knew and to this day, knows no strangers and greets everyone into his life as if the world is his big family.

Two years ago the picture perfect portrait of Baron started to turn in the blink of an eye. We came home to find him dragging his hind legs. Like so many of the members of this special list, he was rushed to the vet who immediately turned him over to a neurosurgeon. The surgeon was somewhat optimistic but due to the severity of his disc and the time between him going down and to being seen, we were under 50%.

Well Baron being Baron, he came back 100% within a very short period of time. Even chewed through is little baby pen because he obviously wanted to not just observe the family happenings around him. And so success was achieved.

Six months later we were traveling out of town and received a call from our petsitter – he was completely down again. She rushed him to the emergency hospital, where all of the vet specialists were luckily housed. As we were frantically driving home the surgeon called with the news that another disc had gone bad and there was little time to make a decision. His spinal cord was severely compressed.

After this surgery the story turns. He was not bouncing back. He was not urinating on his own and at times you even had to help him with a bowl movement. We were devastated and thought that this was the beginning of the end. How could our jovial, loving Baron survive not walking? Having to be carried around and assisted in urinating? I remember the first time I brought up the cart to my husband and the horror that registered on his face. He just felt that Baron was not ready for that when in reality I believe my husband was not ready to face it.

And so the cart was made, the diapers were bought, a Red Flier All Terrain Wagon was bought so that he could still enjoy walks with his brothers and the mop always out for those accidents. We did everything and for months and months kept thinking one day we are going to see him walk again. My Baron had to be that prancing perfect companion. I could not accept defeat, success had to be right at my finger tips…..or so I thought.

I realized over all that time that Baron was still a success story. His success? By just being Baron. Plain and simple. My little one still prances around but instead of running full tilt on 4 legs, he runs full tilt with 2 legs and wheels. He wears his diapers when we are fighting UTI's as if they are all the rage! He still greets every person who comes into our home as if he has waited forever for them to arrive. He has been taken to a nursing home and I have watched his gentleness with those confined to a wheelchair. I have watched him change skeptics into full blown believers when they felt that we were doing him an injustice by being in a cart and then when seeing him first hand believing in the amazing adeptness of animals.

And on a very personal note, Baron's success is in how through his shining example, he has taught those closest to him to accept success not by society's definition but in small wobbly steps, by the first wag of a tail when the day before there was no movement at all, by showing supreme dignity when he can no longer do for himself and will look at you with those soulful eyes and tell you everything is still just grand in his world!

His success? I have come to realize that it is really very simple – his success has been his example to those around him. His success has been in being able to continue on with the celebration of life.

- submitted by Kim Ramsey


Have a story you'd like to submit? Send an email to