After reading your article my wife Kelly suggested I write to you and share our experience.
We have a Bouvier Des Flandres, his name is Bojangles.
Like most large dogs he developed Hip dysplasia*
A few years ago he ventured out in the marsh and injured his front legs getting stuck in the mud. He was so injured he could not stand at all.
Even as he slowly healed, he was unstable to stand on any tile or carpet without falling. That created a real problem since he lived at our office.
Taking him back home to live was a problem because at that time where we lived was 90% concrete and very little access to any yard or grass.
He could barely walk, at times he could not walk at all.
I literally carried him to the Vet. He was over 8 years old and our vet Karen Kane told me it may be his "time" and we should consider his low quality of life. Like us she was heart broken. We determined that there was no surgery to correct the problem.
I said I need to take him home and give it some thought.
I jumped on the Internet and looked at carts and dog wheel chairs and other devises to assist him.
My vet said he would have no quality of life being dependant on a device. Especially with his life long companion, Rusty being an active Australia Sheppard.
I posted the possibility of having to put him down and my sadness on Face Book. My cousin in North Georgia, Gene Spiva is a Chiropractor, he offered to travel to Savannah and work on my buddy, Bojangles.
I called Dr. Kane back and asked her if she knew any chiropractors who worked on dogs? She gave me some names. We called Karen Voss**.
After a few treatments Bojangles could stand up on his own and slowly worked his way from walking to again running within weeks.
Karen Voss is awesome. She treats Bojangles (and now Rusty too) once a month.
It has now been several years and he does great. Most large dogs live 8 to 10 years where small breeds often live 10 to 17 years. Bojangles is now 13!
Although he has difficulty getting up and it takes him a little time to warm up he gets around fine and loves to play in the yard (we moved back to a previous home with lots of yard and grass).
Our favorite vet, Karen Kane, prescribes him meds to help control inflammation and pain. Karen Kane is amazed at his recovery and says she no longer guess at longevity based on the miracle recovery of Bojangles by our Chiropractor friend Karen Voss.
Best of luck with Rascal !
Make it a great day!
* is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints.
MAKE IT A GREAT DAY!!
A Proud supporter of
The Justice for Children Foundation
Children's injuries are no accident
Hughes: For the love of a good dog
By amy haywood hughes
OK I admit it: There are days when my dog is my favorite “person” in the whole world.
When I first realized this, I felt a bit guilty. How could I love something more than the man to whom I have been married for 23 years or the three children I carried, birthed, nursed, nurtured and raised? But then I realized Rascal, my 120-pound yellow dog, is not a “something.” He’s a “someone.”
From time to time, he wags his way into my writing, possibly because he follows me around from room to room and sits outside staring in the door or window awaiting my next move. Perhaps he just wants to be close to me or perhaps it is some centuries-old pack-instinct in which he is guarding me, protecting me from predators like the Amway salesperson, the meter reader, the UPS man or the occasional Jehovah’s Witnesses.
So undemanding, all he asks for is a nightly bowl of food. While those other people that live with me constantly whine, “What’s for dinner? We’re starved!” Rascal never utters a word as he counts the scoops of food I put into his bowl expectantly waiting for the fourth and final scoop before he gratefully gobbles it up.
While the kids gripe that we’re out of milk yet again, Rascal prefers pool water to bowl water, so there’s no pressure regarding hydration either.
Best of all, he greets me at the car door with a full body wag and a big smile every time I come home, whereas my kids barely look up from their video games. When I arrive with a trunk-load of groceries, every one else mysteriously disappears, but Rascal goes straight to the family truckster to look for his 60-pound bag of kibble.
About the only time he objects is when we go out in the boat and leave him behind on the dock frantically barking the canine equivalent of “Hey wait! Come back! You forgot me!”
Our cats approach life on their own terms. Every morning, we wake up to one rather arrogant feline sitting outside the bedroom window glaring in at us as if to say, “Get up lazy bones, where’s my food?” He is not even our cat; he’s a stray that stayed because he knew a sucker when he saw one.
The other cat who owns us became an outdoor resident after she developed a propensity for going tinkle on the nice warm heating vent in the master closet. Occasionally, she will allow us the privilege of petting her, unlike the stray that dines with us daily.
Wherever we go, people think Rascal is some kind of rare dog-pony breed. “What is he? Part horse?” they inevitably ask due to his long legs and substantial build. Great Dane, Mastiff and Rhodesian Ridgeback are all popular guesses concerning his lineage.
Since Rascal was simply the product of neighborhood indiscretion, we never really knew his heritage, except that his momma was a big white lab. For Christmas, I had his DNA tested confirming his doggie daddy was a Golden Retriever Casanova that jumped the fence. People do strange things for their pets. He had a right to know.
Rascal’s favorite activity is going to the Sand Gnats Bark-in-the-Park night, which is quite the pick-up scene. At one game, a peculiar man kept staring at us and approached us afterward. “I was gonna’ ask if you wanted to mate your dog,” he said, “but I see you done taken care of that,” referring to Rascal’s lack of testicles.
Like big dogs often do, Rascal started limping recently. As I drove him to the vet for x-rays of his bum knee, I realized this one will probably cost me big bucks. But I don’t care. Whatever it costs, bill me. I’ll take out a second mortgage on the house, empty the retirement savings and sell a kidney if I have to. Just please fix my dog whatever the price.
I love him and he loves me. You can’t put a price tag on love. Like our children, we’ve got to love our dogs while we’ve got them because the years fly by so quickly and then they’re gone.
When Rascal comes home from the vet this afternoon, I promise to be a better Doggie Momma, to take him to the dog park, to the Sand Gnats games and for long walks on Bluff Drive. Every time we go out in the boat, I’ll take him along, even to the doggie-forbidden beaches and barrier islands.
Love is a beautiful thing and sometimes it is best found in the soft fur of a big yellow dog with adoring brown eyes and a snout that likes to nuzzle up under your armpit like a horse. Priceless.
Amy Haywood Hughes is a Savannah-based writer and a partner in Hughes Public Affairs. email@example.com