Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Week 3, Day 6: Maeby's Story


We are on the eve of 1 month post-TPLO. I can say as of right now, I have zero regrets. Maeby has had a partially torn ACL since the day we adopted her in January, so until her TPLO, I had never seen her walk normally. Instead of bending her knee, she would swing her leg out to avoid bending it at all. Eventually, when she completely tore her ACL, she hobbled around on 3 legs.

To watch her actually bend her knee when she walks now is so amazing. I am so glad we did this for her.

I really have to dedicate this blog entry to all those who helped this happen for Maeby. You see, I couldn't afford her TPLO, so many kind and generous people donated money to help her have the life she deserves!

Here's her story:

happy gal pre-TPLO

Only 2 days after I adopted Maeby, I took her to the vet for what I thought would be a routine physical exam. I actually found out that she has major ortho problems in her hips and pelvis (due to possibly getting hit by a car when she was young) in addition to a torn ACL that required a TPLO. The shelter I adopted her from said they had no idea there was anything wrong with her, and refused to give me back my donation money. There was no way I was going to return her to that shelter, but I couldn't afford a $3500 surgery. You see, by the time we decided to proceed with the TPLO, I had already spent nearly $800 on her medical bills. As I had only had Maeby for 2 days, most people told me and my boyfriend to just give her back! But we decided to fundraise for her surgery instead.

Through my personal blog and a website I set up for Maeby, our incredibly generous friends donated $1700. Her vet also gave us a huge courtesy discount and lowered her estimate from around $3500 to around $2500. United Animal Nations donated $300 in grant money, and Orthodogs' Silver Lining contributed another incredible $500.

Her surgery was estimated somewhere between $2300-2800. We had fundraised $2417. Guess what her final surgery bill came to?


I truly believe in God's good work, and in the power of prayer and miracles. I will not call the final surgery amount a coincidence -- I know it was truly a miracle!

So thank you to all my friends for helping me do this for Maeby. Thank you to United Animal Nations for the grant money. Thank you OSL for accepting Maeby as a "Pet in Need." Thank you Brenda, for being so supportive and responsive through everything. And thank you to all my Orthodog friends for being there for me and Maeby as we go through the healing process.

Hugs and belly rubs to everyone and their dogs.

Week 3, Day 5: A dose of calm and assertive

I forgot to mention that Maeby got attacked by a dog on Saturday.

When we first got Maeby in January, she was afraid of EVERYTHING -- especially big dogs. I read Cesar Milan's "Dog Whisperer" book and really worked on changing my attitude from one of fear when bigger dogs approached, to one of confidence. Maeby turned into a complete social butterfly and in the 2 months we had her pre-TPLO, she grew to love all dogs, big and small.

Fast forward to this past Saturday. We were on our afternoon walk, when a man and friendly looking dog approached. I allowed Maeby to approach the other dog and said to the owner, "She just had surgery on her leg."

Unfortunately the dog went straight for Maeby's leg, trying to sniff it. Maeby let out a little growl. And then the dog attacked. The next thing I knew, Maeby was on her back letting out little yelps while the dog was on top of her.

It all happened so fast. The man pulled his dog off and kept apologizing, while also mentioning to me that I should be more careful because dogs post surgery can be pretty sensitive and protective.

Thankfully nobody got hurt. But Maeby held up her leg for a few minutes after the attack and of course, in those minutes I thought THE WORST. But she started using it again normally and it's looked fine since.

So what's the moral of this story?
I know my thoughts have a great impact on Maeby. I've been fretting so much over it for the last month, and I know that she can pick up on my nervousness. My nervous energy + her natural instinct to protect her leg = one semi-agressive Maeby. Prior to the surgery, I've NEVER seen Maeby act agressively. She's barely even BARKED or let out a GROWL. Since then, in a matter of just a few days, I've heard her bark AND growl at a person, (another story for another time) and she's been attacked.

I have to remember this: She's doing well. She's healing nicely. So I should stop freaking out and be confident so she can feel confident too. Maeby needs a calm assertive pack leader right now, not a worry wart that's falling apart at the seams.