My partner and I adopted her that day. I still remember picking her up and putting her in bed with us that first night. As I laid there holding her, I felt her heart beat, listened to her breath and watched her as she slept and whispered to her, "You are home now and I promise you no one will ever hurt you again."
For the next three years I made good on that promise. Up until four months ago, Artemis had become a completely different dog. Everyone who met her when we first brought her home always commented that not only did she physically look like a different, healthier dog but how surprised they were by her confidence. Gone was even the hint of her traumatic past.
About four months ago she started favoring the leg she had hip surgery on. At first we assumed it may be a complication caused by the surgery but after 3 visits to the vet were assured it's just arthritis and was probably made worse by over exertion and we were instructed to give her both a narcotic pain medicine and a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication with her breakfast and her dinner possibly for the rest of her life.
I too was prescribed pain medication for arthritis and know first hand all of the side effects one suffers in order to manage pain this way. It took me almost a year to ween myself off of them and decided right then and there that I would not subject my soul mate to a similar situation.
Not one to give up and through the encouragement of my mom I took Artemis to a holistic veterinarian that she is friends with whose expertise is in treating large animals. I made an appointment with her when I was in Kalamazoo and after physically examining her and watching her walk said she was 90% sure that she had a torn ACL.
I took her to an orthopedic surgeon yesterday fully expecting the same diagnosis. If only...
Not only does Artemis require surgery to repair the torn ACL, but he also showed me on the x-rays that were taken on December 30, 2016 and May 12, 2017, the kneecap on her right leg is dislocated and appears on the x-rays that it has shifted so far that it can clearly be seen on the outside side of her right leg. He further explained that based on the physical examine he did, the lack of pain she exhibits and the amount of scar tissue around the kneecap as detailed on the x-ray he thinks that she was either born this way or experienced a significant trauma when she was fairly young. He said that typically this type of damage to a dog's knee can only be caused by a severe physical trauma like getting hit by a car.
He believes that the damage she suffered to her right knee is more than likely what caused the damage to her left leg. I asked him, "In other words, while she was teaching herself to eat frozen food, to go to the bathroom in such a way she wasn't going on her siblings, as her front legs were being deformed by the rabbit cage she was kept in, she also had to teach herself to use only her left leg as her main source of support because someone may have broken her kneecap and chose not to get her treatment for it?" In response, he simply and with sadness said, "yes".
I could spend all day being angry at all of the people who have failed my sweet best friend but it won't do her or me any good. That's their karma to own and I choose not to bare it for them.
Instead, my thoughts keep drifting back to that first night when I held her as she slept and the promise I whispered into her ear, "You are home now and I promise no one will ever hurt you again."
This leads me to my request to you, we cannot afford both surgeries and I am hoping that my faith in the kindness of strangers will help me keep my promise I made to her. The total for both surgeries, physical therapy, medicine and follow up treatments ranges from the low end of $5,000 to the high end of $7,000. Asking for your help is an incredibly humbling experience but it is something I must do. From my heart and soul to yours, will you please donate any amount so we can pay for her care? Even if you cannot make a donation, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Namaste- Todd
- Lorraine Peake
- James Shepard
- Nad Tan
- Shannon Visser
- Nancy Crouch
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