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HELP NEEDED IMMEDIATELY ^ A Dog Story

You know when you start a dog story that it most probably has a sad ending. Well this is my real life dog story, and I need your help to keep it from having a sad ending.

Recently I posted about adopting a new dog. I strongly support adopting from your local shelter, and if you do too I know you’ll help!

I said before that he chose us, not the other way around. He turned out to be a very shy pup with anyone but us. He follows me around like a baby duckling. He’s put on a little weight but he still has a ways to go before he’s out of the underweight woods. Today we had him neutered, and while he was under the anesthesia they did an xray to see why he’s been limping. We hypothesized that he was recovering from an injury, and physical therapy would have him strong and running.

When we took him in for his pre-op check up the vet said he more likely had a recent injury but agreed that it looked to be healing. I told them that he doesn’t cry and he even walks up and down stairs, but the vet said that it simply “isn’t in his nature” to show pain. Most dogs, especially male dogs, hide pain as much as possible on the instinct of wanting to please the pack – boy does THAT sound familiar. They also said that humans are total wimps compared to dogs because dogs have a waaaay higher threshold for pain. So I guess I should have gathered that there was a good chance the problem was worse than it seemed.

The vet called me as soon as he was out of surgery and assured me that Dudley did very well. Bad news though. The xrays showed that his leg was broken. Broken?! I had him walking up stairs and yesterday he played in the ice and slipped all over the place… broken?! I was panicked. I cried. I knew very well that broken bones don’t kill animals (unless they’re horses. Or characters from young adult novels.) and logically I knew everything would be fine. I also told myself it was inordinate to flip out emotionally for a dog you’ve only had for two weeks. But that had no impact on the emotional distress I was suddenly possessed by. Worried sick – and I still can’t tell you what I’m worried about. I’m just concernicus.

The doctor used the word “fracture.” Of course, my well educated mind thought back to biology, and I thought of this:

But no. You don’t have to play I-spy with Dudley’s x-ray. First, though, let’s learn a little bit about dogs.

Here’s a look at a normal, healthy dog leg:

dudley1And here’s Dudley:

dudley2Yeah. Yeah, when the vet said “broken” he meant broken OFF. It’s clearly been injured for a while, and his muscles on that leg are badly atrophied. If we hold off on surgery much longer, he won’t have enough muscle to ever recover.

I was distressed. I’ve never had a broken bone before so I know little about it, so I’m just beside myself. I’ve only had Dudley for a short time, but he means so much to me. We’ve bonded very tightly. Even the cat has begun to tolerate him. When we went to look for a dog, we were looking for the dog to protect our budding family, the dog who would be my kids’ childhood companion. We were looking for a forever dog. That means that we’re keeping him and we’re helping him, no matter the cost.

But even if he wasn’t my dog, I couldn’t help but be moved. Dudley’s only 1 year old. A 1 year old dog who is looking at surgery now or never running again. That’s horrible. Every dog deserves to run and fetch and do what dogs do. Even with this surgery the vet said he’ll likely never be able to jump. But if running is all I can give him, I want to give him that.

I posted a couple of long, rambling, distressed statuses on facebook just needing friends to comfort me and tell me he’ll be okay. What I didn’t expect was for three separate people, two of whom have never met Dudley, and one of whom has never met me, to suggest I start a fund raiser and say if I did, they’d donate.

Ever since we bought our first house earlier this year, I’ve been surprisingly not worried about money. We saved for the house and we were financially prepared for the change. We were financially prepared to adopt a new pet. But this surgery will be expensive, and in this nation where humans have trouble getting health insurance, there isn’t much help for a rescued dog. I know it’ll be okay, and I know money is just money. Still, it’s only sensible to be concerned about finances. It would never stop me from getting Dudley the care he needs, but it does scare me. It’s a leap of faith. And sure enough, by reaching out emotionally I was met with answers to financial trouble before I even asked. Heck, before I even had much time to really freak out!

So I thought I’d share the fund raiser here too. If you are able and want to help a rescue dog get his second chance at a quality life, click here to donate. Dudley has already shown himself to be a true spoonie, and I feel so profoundly understood by this creature who never looks like he’s hurting. Seeing him get better would be great not only for me, but for anyone who’s hurting and reading this blog. We need success stories. We also need more people to reach out to shelter animals and people who do adopt animals. All of this is a small but important step towards fighting puppy mills and the overpopulation of domestic animals. Also, unfortunately, we need to step up to clean up the uncaring mess that others have left. I don’t know how Dudley got hurt or how he ended up stray, but it’s clear he had a human family before us. He knows about human life and how to be a pet – he’s even house trained. And somehow he ended up hurt and alone.

My husband says I have a severe case of bleeding heart about all animals. Maybe that’s true. But I think that’s good. Animals are worth so much. They offer so much. They should be treated like the treasure they are. I will always treasure Dudley, and if you’ve ever read a post on this blog and it made you smile, know you can give that smile back to me tenfold – a hundredfold – if you decide to help us take care of Dudley.

Thank you for reading – even if you decide against helping or can’t help financially at this time, thank you for supporting me by reading and being there. And please, if you’re considering getting a pet of ANY kind, check your local shelter. They have some of the most amazing cats and dogs, plus just about any other animal you have your heart set on. My local shelter has everything from snakes to sugar gliders! Adopt – adopt – adopt!

CLICK HERE to help Dudley!

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About rachelmeeks

My name is Rachel Meeks. I have endometriosis, an incurable pain condition, and IBS, a digestive illness. After keeping my illnesses a secret, I started to get upset about how my fellow sick people were being mistreated because of ignorance. I knew that I'd need to stand up, make some noise, wear my heart on my sleeve, and admit that I am not well to make a difference.

18 responses to “HELP NEEDED IMMEDIATELY ^ A Dog Story

  1. Rachel, FYI, the links don’t work. They take you to the picture of a fracture.

  2. rarasaur

    Ah Rachel, this is so sweet. I wish you the best of luck and I’ll share your links!

  3. E. Milo

    Poor Dudley! Shortly after we got our rescue dog, he became ill and spent two days and nights in the emergency vet vomiting blood. They told me he’d probably die and I remember sitting at my desk at work sobbing, wondering what everyone thought because we hadn’t had him that long. I’m a bleeding heart, too. I like dogs more than most people. The thought of Dudley with a broken leg in the shelter, just putting on a brave face breaks my heart. We have so much to learn from them. I’ll share this on Facebook. Good luck!

    • Glad I’m not the only one! I can’t believe how attached I got to him so fast. Did your doggie make it? It sounds like he did, I sure hope he did. I hope you check out my follow up post to get details of what the vet said but to sum up, the surgeon didn’t want to operate because it was healing already and he didn’t want to interrupt that, so now he goes to a fancy physical therapy place to walk on a treadmill underwater and he’s getting stronger every day! Still working out the right dose of pain meds to get him through recovery – poor guy. Now I can tell right away when he’s hurting, I see right through that “brave face” as you said. :)

      • E. Milo

        That’s so wonderful. Yes, our guy pulled through and he is amazing- still like a puppy and puts us all to shame with his energy and joyous disposition. :-)

  4. Leslie ⋅

    Just in case you don’t know, many communities have low cost vet clinics that will do even complicated surgeries for reduced costs regardless of income. Here in Denver, we have MaxFund, and using their services supports the no kill shelter. Check around since if they are like ours, they don’t require you be from the area. Good luck with Dudley!

    • Thanks so much. We have been looking for an organization that could help and haven’t found a good fit. Luckily, we have found a physical therapist who believes we can take a non-surgical route, so fingers crossed!

  5. I think you’ve done right by Dudley. He’s adorable bye the way. I had a shepherd mix I rescued who’s leg was in a cast when I got him. He was hit by a truck and when the family went to claim him at the shelter, they left him with his leg dangling. That dog changed my life. Luckily the rescue organization that took him out before he was to be euthanized, had an agreement with the vet and they took care of the bill. He was sedated and X-rayed every two weeks. He did run again. And was my angel.
    Bless you and your big heart. Praying you get lots of funds and Dudley gets to run very soon.

  6. great idea to let us be a part of that sweet pups recovery! i have had 2 broken legs (i was in the army) and know how painful they can be. our 3 cats are all from the local shelter and we would do anything for them.

    you are such a wonderful young woman and i am proud to know you. i will of course be going to the link:)

    • Hey! I’ll be posting a long update on Dudley but the short version is that the surgeon doesn’t think surgery will help him as much as exercise and muscle building. We’re also treating him for arthritis, so your donation will be going towards medication and physical therapy. If you would like your donation returned I more than understand. Now we’re looking at a much lower cost over a longer amount of time and we’ll be just fine. If you insist that the money go toward treatment then please email me your address at diehardguardgirl@yahoo.com so we can send a thank you! Let me know and again, thank you so so much for your support during this emotional time!

  7. I hope everything works out for Dudley! Best wishes.

  8. wendy

    I do so hope everything goes well for Dudley. I would help if I could, but right now…we just can’t. Hubby’s been out of work for almost a year..and you know how these chronic illnesses can cost. One of the biggest things that has hurt us, isn’t the fact that we’ve had to borrow money from family, or any of that…it’s the fact that we can’t help with things like this. An animal in need speaks volumes to us.
    When our Sandy needed surgery for bladder cancer, the bills ran very high….plus the follow up ultrasounds ect….many told us that they wouldn’t have spent that kind of money on a dog. What? She was a part of our family. (yes she is departed now, but the cancer is not what killed her, she lived over 3 years after that surgery. She was almost 20 when she passed, and I still miss her every day.)
    I have every belief that Dudley has found the right family, and he will recover a great amount of his mobility. You are great parents to your newly adopted furry family member.
    (Sandy was adopted too)

    Good luck my dear. To all of your family and especially Dudley.

    • Thanks so much for the encouraging words – 20 years, that’s insane! I’ve never heard of a dog living so long! That’s wonderful! Luckily, the surgeon suggested a non-surgical physical therapy regimen after all, which is very cheap by comparison! He has good days and bad, and I’m hoping the bad days will become fewer and fewer with time.

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