I know this little video won't mean much to most people, but to me it means the world!
Brace yourselves for a long missive here. On 11/27 my little doxie friend started going up our steps kind of slow. We went to bed and she cuddled as usual...nothing unusual. She is our furry hot water bottle. Hubby gets up for work at 5:00 AM and since he can pour his own cereal, I stay tucked in the covers with Sweetie. When I woke up to start my day, Sweetie was very quiet. No barking, no "come on Mom, get up I'm hungry!" We have a ramp at the foot of our bed for her and when she started toward it, her hind end just drug...NOTHING! Then I noticed a little puddle and small turd which she NEVER does. I let her move around a bit more and couldn't believe my eyes...she was paralyzed! The first thing in my mind is we're going to have to put her down because we just could not financially handle that kind of surgery bill and we could not let her suffer so much. My heart broke and I couldn't stop crying. She has been the little heartbeat at my feet for 10 years.
Called hubby at work and we got her to the Vet. She seemed to think that we would not have to put her to sleep and she gave us some meds to help with swelling, pain and to protect her stomach. We were to keep her quiet and bring her back in a week. When the Vet was checking her, I just couldn't bear to watch Sweetie and hubby was not much better. We have had five dogs since we've been married (40 yrs.) and loved every single one of them but Sweetie was his absolute favorite. We went home defeated and depressed. We got out an old laundry basket, filled it with soft towels and placed her in. She didn't fight at all which, in itself is unusual for her. For two days I just sat there and kept her close to my feet or held her next to me. I couldn't leave her. Hubby was the same when he got home from work.
I had to get away for a bit so I went on the computer and did some research and stumbled upon dodgerslist.com which is a site for for dogs with Sweetie's problem...a ruptured disc. WOW!! The information was wonderful! While reading through everything I found that they also have a Yahoo group which I promptly joined. They are all owners of IVDD (Intervertrebral Degenerative Disc Disease) dogs and totally understood what I was going through! They were so helpful and so encouraging that I felt a glimmer of hope return. I learned that there are two kinds of treatment...surgery and Conservative. We just couldn't manage the surgery so it was going to have to be Conservative for us. What encouraged me were all the success stories from Doxies with this treatment. Now we were looking at 8 weeks of crate rest.
Off to Petco for a crate. It looked like an endless amount of time but we HAD to do it. Once the pain subsided, she was having none of that crate! If we had to go out, she would carry on terrible screaming, chewing at the sides, barking and anything she could do to make us feel guilty. It worked! We felt terrible every time we set foot outside. I now think a lot of it was she just didn't want to be alone. I guess she was scared too. We have finally come to the end of that time and I was able to let her loose. SHE FLEW! Doxies really do fly! She was still dragging an anchor but she moved so fast and was so happy to be set free!
Through Dodger's List I found out about Eddie's Wheels...wheelchairs for dogs. There are loads of videos on Youtube of doxies in their wheelchairs. These apparatuses are custom made for your dog so we measured and sent for a set. They arrived, we put Sweetie in and she hasn't been the same since!
She is now able to support herself and even has a little hop in her step. She still looks like she's been on a week long bender but she's getting around! When she tries to run in the house her hind end gets ahead of the front end and she will sometimes stop and look at it like "What do you think you're doing there?" Then she takes off again. When she's in her wheels, she just prances and is so happy. When hubby gets home she is relentless! She sits right in front of him barking and looking back and forth from her scooter to him..."Come on Dad, lets go!" I never thought I would see her run again. I just LOVE to watch her now and she has brought laughter and joy back into our home again. They say it can take up to a year to recover with IVDD. I don't know how much better she will get but I'm thrilled so far!
I am somewhat handicapped and Sweetie is such an inspiration to me! Everyday is a joy for her and I'm so glad God didn't take her from us. We lost two of our other dogs in 2010 from different reasons and I just could not face another loss like that. Now we have her back!
I know this was long but I wanted to write it for myself mostly. Thanks to all who read it and I hope you are as encouraged as me. Now I'm off to cuddle with my furry hot water bottle. Talk to y'all soon! Ren