Daisy first came to us in the fall of 2003. Her first "mom" had suffered a stroke and could no longer keep her. She went to many homes before Harold had picked her up, nobody wanted her, I didn't want her either, I was a cat person and I didn't want a "yappin'" dog. Daisy is a miniature dachshund and Harold had always wanted one, he convinced me to keep her for a couple days on a trial basis.
It didn't take long for Daisy to own me; and own me is just what she did. She was never a "yappin'" dog, in fact she never barked until one day Harold gave me a kiss, Daisy did not approve. I was hers and who did he think he was touching me without her permission? From then on Harold took a chance of getting bit if he came too close. Don't get me wrong, Daisy loves her daddy but mommy is hers. Daisy and I were inseparable, I dressed her everyday, we went for walks around the neighborhood, all the kids loved her, wherever I was Daisy was by my side.
On July 29, 2004 Daisy and I were in the kitchen cooking dinner, I looked down at her, something was wrong. She was trying to get up but one of her hind legs wouldn't work, I called for Harold, we carried her into the living room, by that time the other hind leg wouldn't work either. I called the vet at home; he immediately met us at the office. The prognosis was not good; there was an 80% chance that Daisy would never walk again. Daisy had broken three discs in her back due to intrevertrebral disc disease, a spinal disease very common in dachshunds. I was devastated, after all she was my baby girl and how could she live not being able to walk, not being able to scratch her face, not being able to go potty on her own, being completely paralyzed from the waist down.
The next morning Harold and I took Daisy to a surgeon to see if the damaged could be corrected. Due to the fact that the damage was so extensive and she had no deep pain sensation there was a less than 5% chance that the surgery would help at all. They said that with the surgery she might regain some feeling and might regain bladder and bowel control but forget ever walking, she would never walk again. Harold and I couldn't see spending thousands of dollars and putting Daisy through surgery for a less than 5% chance of recovery. We took Daisy home.
Our vet told us that in all of his years of practice every time a dog came in paralyzed the owners had them euthanized. I wasn't ready to lose my baby; she was only two years old. The vet had us put her on strict crate rest and anti-inflammatory steroids until we figured out what we were going to do. I went home and spent countless hours on the internet researching the disease. Along the way I found several support and rescue groups and was able to talk to many people who had been through this. Apparently this disease was more common than I thought.
The first couple weeks were the hardest. Daisy had never been caged and it broke my heart to see her that way. Although I knew it was best for her I couldn't help but want to hold and comfort her in my arms. I slept on the floor next to her every night, I no longer sat on the couch but instead on the floor next to her so we could be close and she wouldn't feel alone. Despite all my efforts to keep Daisy comforted she was very depressed. Harold was once again allowed to touch me without any threats; there were no barks, no growls, nothing, Daisy didn't care. We now missed what we once found to be an annoying nuisance. Harold and I tested her everyday; all we wanted was a little growl, a snarl, anything. Finally after about two weeks she did it, she "yelled" at Harold! We were ecstatic, our little girl was back. That was that, there was no doubt in our minds that we had to do everything possible to make sure Daisy had a chance to live a happy life.
Daisy was on crate rest for six weeks, we did hydrotherapy everyday, and occasionally I would put Daisy in a wagon so we could go for our usual walks. It is now February 2005 and Daisy has made several improvements, she can feel everything, she has regained bladder and bowel control, she can wag her tail, she stands all the time and is even starting to walk again. Daisy has a cart to help her get around and she is just as happy as can be and I believe that shortly she will be able to walk without her cart. Not bad for a dog that was never going to be able to feel anything below the waist again, she is my miracle baby.
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