Luke the down dachshund and the lady at UGA

The sweet little boy with the back injury came to me on Monday night. His owners had a diaper taped to his body and he smelled terrible. After they left, I took it off and carefully carried him to my big sink. I ran a nice warm bath and settled him in. He was covered with fleas, but thankfully did not seem to have any urine scalds. I got him cleaned up and talked and talked to him. He seemed so relieved to have gentle hands.

He can stand a little bit on his hind legs, if I stabilize him. His back legs are very stiff, but if I hold him up he can support his weight. If I let go he falls right down and flounders around in a panic. But he so wants to be mobile. He does not seem to be in pain. When I express his bladder he has some abdominal muscle tone, which is encouraging. He also does not have atrophy along his back, like my Tabby does. So I am hoping that his injury is not as bad as hers was.

On Tuesday we went to Loving Touch Animal Center in Stone Mountain. Dr. Tracy saw him, and the physical therapist, Lisa. They did a lot of tests on him to evaluate the likelihood that he could get some function back. They test his reactions with his legs to different positions (minimal) and his reaction to pain stimuli (a little better on the right side than the left). His skin reacts by twitching to a pin prick. This is a good sign.

At 6 PM we got in the car to go to the University of Georgia Vet School. Dr. Tracy recommended a myelogram to learn more, so we had to go there to get it. She thinks he has a chance to walk again. I didn’t know whether we would get the myelogram that night, and go right into surgery, or what. They decided to wait on the myelogram and pretty much repeated a lot of the things Dr. Tracy and Lisa did, and then took him into the back to do some other tests. I waited. (Thank goodness for good magazines; bless whoever put the New Yorkers out in the waiting room.) The vet came back out and said the plan was to do the myelogram today (Wednesday). He had to stay overnight. I asked to see him, because I wanted to tell him that I loved him and that they would take good care of him and that I WOULD be back to get him, but he needed to sleep there. So I went out to the waiting room again. A really nice woman was there (by this point, it was all after hours so the entire place was deserted). Her beagle had also gone down in the back. As soon as she started to be nice to me, I lost it and just started to cry. I hate that he thinks he’s being left again. I hate to think he is feeling scared and helpless and alone. No matter how many times I do this, it breaks my heart to think of them feeling scared because of me, even if it is necessary.

I don’t know who that woman was, but I hope she knows how much I appreciate her giving me those hugs.

It was a long drive home to Atlanta in the empty car, in the dark.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. doxiedream
    Aug 09, 2006 @ 01:47:00

    You are amazing and I am so thankful and proud to be associated with you and with rescue. One day, God willing, we won’t be needed, but I doubt it. It’s always for the dogs- thank you for that.


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