As I am sure you all know, it can be hard to acknowledge when you need help--and even more uncomfortable to ask for it. At the same time, Mark and I both recognize that we all lean on our friends during difficult times and, as many of you already know, we have had a really frightening and sobering experience over the past few days.
On Saturday evening I called to the dogs to feed them dinner, basically Hudson's favorite 30 seconds of the day. Riley came running inside as usual and promptly ate his food, and it hadn't even registered that Hudson wasn't there by the time he turned to help himself to another bowl of kibble... who among us wouldn't!? So I went to look for Hudson, and he was sitting outside in the sun, looking back at me. He wouldn't come when I called. In fact, he wouldn't move at all.
As Hudson isn't one to take orders, at first I thought he was just being, well, Hudson. But when I went outside and picked him up, I realized something must be wrong. He was breathing weirdly and his eyes seemed glossed over. Not seeing anything visibly wrong, I plopped him in front of his dish and watched as he ate his food.
Then things got a little scary... As he turned to walk away, his back leg crumbled underneath him, bending out at a weird and unnatural angle. At that point I became concerned and examined him more closely for any signs of injury. Despite everything looking fine, I figured that he must have strained a muscle or something and should stay off of it. So I wrapped him up in his favorite blanket and we posted up on the couch.
Aside from some heaving breathing and grunting, he seemed to be doing alright. We stayed in with our little nugget hoping he'd wake up the next morning like new.
Sunday morning was absolutely terrible. I woke up to Hudson thrashing under the sheets--not that uncommon for a dog that thinks we sleep in HIS bed, but he was just sitting in place. I pulled back the covers and he was just sitting there, trying to drag himself forward with his tiny front paws. The lower half of his body was completely paralyzed.
We jumped in the car and took him to VCA to have him checked out. On the drive there he was whimpering--it didn't seem like he was in acute pain but I could tell that he and I both knew that something was very wrong. About an hour later, Mark and I were told that Hudson had a ruptured disc pressing on his spinal cord, causing his paralysis. They told us that he needed surgery immediately--and that it would cost $9,500 plus an additional $1,000 to get the surgeon in on a Sunday. Even if we acted right away, we were told there is a 15-20% chance that he would never walk again. We had to make a decision right then, because they said that with each hour that passed his chances of ever walking again decreased substantially.
I am not going to lie, I basically had a total meltdown at this point. Thankfully Mark held it together and had the sense to ask the doctor and our friends for candid advice. He quickly found another clinic nearby, and while the estimated cost was still insanely high, they were available to perform the emergency procedure for substantially less and they had a surgeon ready to go. Still, we had to come up with $6,800 up-front. There was never any question of whether we would pay for the operation--just how. Luckily Mark was approved for a $5,000 loan through their CareCredit program and we paid the remaining $1,635 surgery balance and $190 emergency fee in cash. A few minutes we were saying goodbye to our little buddy.
Luckily, the surgery went well and we were able to bring Hudson home after two nights in the hospital. He's in a lot of pain and is facing 3-6 long months of recovery, but his chances of walking again are high. Bathroom time currently consists of holding up his back legs and manually squeezing his bladder for him. It's crazy to me how that sounds like good news now... but as I write this he's snuggled up in my lap and my heart couldn't be more full.
We both truly hate asking you all for help--especially financially. It has been painful to realize that we can't fully afford to provide Hudson with the care he needs so desperately. On the other hand, we are blessed to have our pup back home, and incredibly grateful for the countless messages we've received over the past few days. It has also become clear to us that Hudson is loved more than we ever could have realized, and that he has touched many of your lives, even if just in a small way.
Most of you will understand that we really had no choice when it came to saving Hudson's life, regardless of the cost. So, if you're able and would like to donate to Hudson's recovery fund, it would mean the world to us. Anything you are able to contribute will help us cover the cost of his procedure, and your generosity is appreciated more than you could possibly know!
We are hopeful that with the amazing care he has already received and all the love being sent his way, he will make a full recovery. Regardless, we want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your love and support. Thank you!
- Melissa Baron
- Dan DLC
- Waylan Wong
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