Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Friends

I started this blog about my angelfish but while I am working I usually have two or more dogs by my side.

I currently have four dogs: Mattie, a foxhound who was adopted through the Richmond, VA SPCA;
Simone, a tri-colored collie, who was adopted through the Robeson County Humane Society;
Eddie, a Jack Russell, who was adopted through the Robeson County Humane Society;
and Lucy, a Jack Russell and part corgi or bassett who was adopted through the Robeson County Humane Society.

When I adopted Mattie, I also adopted her twin brother Skipper. They had been seized in a raid of a hunting lodge in South Carolina that was neglecting and abusing the dogs. They were just five months old.

When Skipper was four years old, he suffered a fibrocartilaginous embolism (FCE), which means a piece of disk or a blood clot lodged in his neck. He was instantly paralyzed from the neck down. We took him to North Carolina State's Veterinary Hospital, which is renowed the world over for their work. They diagnosed him and stabilized him and after a few days, he was transferred by pet ambulance to ARWI, the Animal Rehabilitation and Wellness Institute in Cary, NC.

Under the supervision of top-notch vets and their staff, Skipper learned how to stand again by resting on a peanut (a ball with a scoop in the middle) while two vets gently moved him back and forth so he got used to his feet on the floor again.

He graduated from there to learning how to stand and walk on an aquatic treadmill. The vet techs would hold him up with a sling and the water kept him bouyant to take the pressure off his joints.

Special laser therapy broke up the embolism. And while he was at ARWI, he was not in a crate. He shared a large room with a Newfoundland. They had a television between them that played animal shows all day and the staff was fabulous at loving him as well as taking care of him.

After several months, he came home again. At first, he needed a sling to stabilize him as he walked. But after awhile, he got to the point where he could walk independently. However, if he ran, his back legs went at a different speed than his front legs so he would run in circles.

Skipper was a happy dog and lived for more than five more years. In the end, it was bloat that caused him to pass over the rainbow bridge, not the FCE. By then, I had a collie and a Jack Russell and I'm very thankful for them - they helped Skipper's sister Mattie get through what could have been a tough grieving process.

I am very grateful to everyone at NC State and ARWI for all their efforts in saving Skipper. They do fabulous things with animals these days; veterinary care has taken amazing leaps and bounds!