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Story of the Month
On April 15, 2004, I returned home
from work to find Flint unable to stand. He would not pee. He would
not eat carrots. We went to the vet immediately. My vet called the hospital
and I brought him over there. He had surgery around midnight that day.
Many of you know the emotions I went through. That first week he stayed
in the hospital, I visited him every day after work for an hour (luckily
the hospital is only a half hour away from my home.) Just sat with him
and tried (in vain) not to cry. Even worse than the sight of my baby
with stitches, pain patch, tubes and bandages was the persistent thought
that I might have to put him to sleep.
Then my husband found Dodgerslist. You people taught me that there was
hope. I was so apprehensive when I brought him home from the hospital
– he was still paralyzed. They taught me to express his bladder
but I had a difficult time with this. My vet helped me out for the first
week or two. Then by about 3 weeks later, I finally really knew how
to express him. Dodgerslist was a wonderful source of advice, encouragement
and ideas. You pulled me through the worst of the crisis.
We got his Eddie’s Wheels on June 25. It took him about 2 or 3
days before he would really move on the wheels. Now I can’t stop
him. When he spots a rabbit, cat, bird, squirrel and sometimes another
dog – off he goes! Before Flint’s injury, walking with 2
long-haired wiener dogs was often a conversation starter. Believe me,
a dog in wheels is a huge conversation piece – lots of inquiries
and everyone looks.
I have adapted fairly well to life with a disabled dog. The routine
is different: he needs to be expressed, I do regular physiotherapy,
he gets supplements, and when he’s dying to get into the backyard
to chase away a squirrel he has to wait 30 seconds while I get him in
his wheels, struggling against his pulling (those front legs work fine!).
My back is sore from frequently having to carry this 30 pound boy around,
especially up and down the stairs. But I still have my baby. He whines
for attention now; that has changed. He sings a lot more than he used
to. He’s quite expressive - sings lots of different notes and
melodies to get my attention. But he is still the super-affectionate
couch potato who loves to eat and chase birds, rabbits and cats. He
and his sister Cheyenne don’t play as much as they used to (admittedly
she does have an advantage in the maneuverability department) but they
do still get going from time to time, and they often lie down next to
each other for companionship. So they still love each other.
We got through our first winter in wheels. It was not as bad as I expected.
Only 3 times could we not walk for all the snow. The day might still
come when he can use his legs again, but even if that does not happen,
he’s still a happy boy. He knows how much I love him, and often
when we walk he is smiling as his nose twitches with the scents and
the breeze blows his ears inside out.
submitted by Mary Rutherford
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