Thursday, September 20, 2007

Laura Will Have Surgery On Monday

By now, you may have already read about Tina (left) & Laura (right), my foster pups. Once people saw Tina's video, there was an overwhelming interest in her, and she has since been adopted. Laura, however, with her special physical needs, is still waiting for her forever home. (Laura's profile is below.)

It isn't hard for me to fall in love with any dog, and to say I love Laura is no big thing since I love them all. But like every dog, Laura is special in her own unique way. Her initial hesitation, her gentleness, and then her bunny-hopping silliness and exuberance have made her one of my favorite fosters. And of course her loyalty. No matter where we are, in the house, at the park, offleash on the trails, Laura always has an eye on where I am and will never wander far.

When Laura came to me, I immediately saw that there was something very wrong with her hind end. It was very narrow back there, almost like a skeleton, with zero muscle mass, and protruding hip joints, particularly on the left side. In addition, her left hind leg angled inward and twisted every time she walked or ran. She put most of her weight on her right leg and would sometimes limp after a heavy bout of playing.

After xrays were taken, Laura was diagnosed with hip dysplasia in both hips as well as a malformed growth plate in her left hind ankle. After consultations with multiple vets, we have decided to proceed with surgery for Laura's leg since it is the leg that appears to give rise to most of her issues. The dysplasia in her hips, surprisingly, does not seem to affect her much and does not result in very much, if any, pain. The surgery for Laura's ankle will require an exact breaking of the bone and then resetting it properly so that it no longer bends awkwardly. It sounds awful, and I'm sure it is, but I am hopeful that it will free Laura from the source of most her pain.

Surgery is scheduled for Monday, Sept 24. Laura will stay overnight for pain monitoring. My heart is pounding as I write about this, but as I glance at Laura, I find her sleeping soundly on the dog bed. It was just today that I took her in to see the orthopedic surgeon, where she was poked, prodded, put her on her back, her limps extended and bent every which way. Laura is timid with strangers but she was a trooper during the entire visit, allowing herself to be handled and making not one peep. It's been a long day for her already.

The recovery period for Laura will take 5-7 weeks, and it will be difficult for her not being able to run and hop and play. We could have had the surgery performed today but I wanted to give her one last weekend to be free before she faces this next ordeal in her life. I was in the process of putting together a pool in the backyard so that she could swim and build her muscles but I guess she won't be able to use it for a long while now.

The estimate for Laura's surgery on Monday runs along $3000. I know the rescue doesn't have this kind of money--like most small rescues, they barely break even with just their every day expenses. But Laura will have this surgery nonetheless, even if it comes from my own pocket.

Some of you have already generously donated to Laura's medical fund--thank you so much. We're still a long way to get to even half the estimate, so any donations are much appreciated. Donations are fully tax-deductible.

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Online

Donations may also be mailed to:

Walkin' the Bark Rescue

4464 Lone Tree Way #1064

Antioch, CA 94531

Updates to come . . . .

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Hi. I'm Laura.

Please click on my picture to watch my video.

Nobody is sure when I was born, and I was too young to remember, but everyone thinks I'm about 6-7 months old. I look like a miniature German Shepherd but I'm probably what they call a Heinz 57. How I resemble ketchup is beyond me but it sure is yummy. I'm about 25 lbs now and on the lean and narrow side so I won't get much bigger.

I don't have a home of my own yet, so for now I'm staying with some nice doggies, Phoebe and Boomer, and their humans.

Here I am with my little buddy, Sophia. She's waiting for her forever home too. You can read more about her here:

Let me tell you a little about myself. My sister, Tina, and I used to live on the streets. There wasn't much food to come by so we were always hungry and thirsty. One day there was this kind-looking woman who walked past us. Tina and I followed her home. I think that was Tina's idea. She's pretty smart but it runs in the family.

The woman gave us some bread. We were so hungry that it was the best bread I ever ate. Too bad it only lasted for about 2 seconds--that Tina can be a hog sometimes. The woman's house was already full of other dogs she had saved and she didn't have room for us, so she walked us back to where she originally found us. But we liked her so much--it wasn't every day that people were nice to us back then--that we decided to follow her home again. We had terrible skin and coats back then, from something called malnourishment, but the woman saw our beauty underneath and got in touch with another kind lady, who took us in.

You may have already met my foster mom. She took care of a bunch of other dogs before us, including Iris and Doris. They all found their own families to love them and take care of them, and I hope Tina and I are just as lucky.

But I'm supposed to be telling you about myself, so let's get back to the subject. My foster mom says I'm very sweet and gentle and a good follower. I listen well so you don't have to raise your voice at me. I'm good on the leash and like to stick to my foster mom when I'm off-leash. I sit quietly in the car (I prefer to be on the floor), and I've got the whole housetraining routine down pretty well too.

I love my crate. I like to sleep in it every night but sometimes Phoebe sneaks in there before I get a chance. I am crated when nobody is home and I like to nap in the crate throughout the day. My favorite position is upside down.

I'm bashful with strangers and new dogs when we first meet. When I lived on the streets, I was used to people walking past me everyday. But they didn't usually give me any attention, and when they did, it usually wasn't the good kind. So now I'm a little nervous when strangers give me attention because I'm not sure if it's going to be good or bad. But give me some time to get used to you and we can be good friends. My foster mom says it is very important for my well-being that my new family continue to socialize me with lots of new people.

I like to play with other dogs. Chase.



Sometimes we have so much fun, it's scary.

But really, it's all good.

Even though they call me a puppy, I'm pretty calm. I've got really good house manners. I love to be near my foster mom, but I never interrupt her for attention. I'm just happy to follow her all around the house so that I can be close to her.

I'm just an all-around good girl. But I have my share of problems too. My left hind leg was broken when I had nobody to care for me and it didn't heal properly. I also have hip dysplasia. It hasn't stopped me from having fun, but I do limp a little. I am seeing some vets about this, and my rescuers will pay for anything that needs to be done so that my new family won't have to worry about the expense. Hopefully one day soon, I'll be all patched up. For now, I'm what you would call a Special Needs dog. That means I especially need you to love me.

I'm spayed, current on shots, and microchipped. If you would like to meet me, please email your completed Adoption Application. I would love for you to come visit. My adoption fee is a $250 tax-deductible donation to Walkin' the Bark Rescue, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. That helps to cover a small portion of all the medical expenses they spend on dogs just like me that otherwise wouldn't have a chance. For another $50 donation, I'll also come with a doggie bed, 2 ceramic dog bowls, a bag of dog food, leash, collar, toothbrush, toothpaste, kong, hypoallergenic shampoo, rope toy, stuffed animal, and bully stick treats--almost everything I'll need to get me started with my new family.

My foster mom also made sure that I tell you that she would be willing to dogsit me whenever she was free if my new family had to travel. That's how much she loves me.

I've been through a lot in my life. I know I'm lucky to have a foster mom that loves me so much but my dream is to find a forever home. My foster mom promised that there's one out there just for me. I'm willing and ready to give you my heart. Do you think you could welcome me into yours? I'll be patiently waiting.

* * UPDATE 9/6/2007 * *

My foster mom made a new video of me. She says she wants everyone to see how goofy I am. I don't know exactly what goofy means but I think it's a good thing because it made her laugh and smile so much.

* * UPDATE 9/14/2007 * *

These past 2 weeks I have been staying with some really nice people that work at Google. They take me to work everyday and even to the dog park and doggie social nights. PAR-TEE!

I even got to go to the Santa Cruz beach.

Pawprints in the sand.

I met some nice people.

We shared a few drinks.

It was an exciting day. The ocean, the sand, the sun, the half-naked people. I was pooped by the time we got back to the car.

What, are you still here?

* * UPDATE 9/15/2007 * *

I have a good friend named Ada. I've been staying with her and her husband and their 2 cats for a while.

I really like Ada. She knows how to treat a girl. That's to say, she gives me lots of treats!

More, please.

Are you SURE there's no more?

One thing about Ada is she can be a little clingy. She always wants to hug me. Being lovable can be trying at times.

Ada takes me out a lot to meet people and dogs. Sometimes it's scary at first, but after a while it's pretty fun. Here's a video of me at the dog park.

(Click on image to play.)

It's nice to have so many people take care of me while I'm waiting for my forever home. I'm learning a lot but there's still much for me to discover. I hope me and my permanent family will continue to discover the world together.

To Be Continued . . .
(Please keep checking back for updates.)