Meet Leonardo, (we call him Leo for short) our two-year-old basset hound we rescued from the middle of a road on a cold, rainy day up in Bellingham, WA.
Rescuing Leo and adopting him as part of our family, we came to learn after some investigation that our poor pup was either abandoned or had decided he was fed up with the abuse of his then owners and ran away because he was a filthy, emaciated mess when we found him.
After washing the dirt caked on him off his beautiful tri-color coat, and cutting his overgrown nails, we were able to get him to drink some water, and slowly began to feed him some good food. Little-by-little, with patience, love, and attention, Leo began to trust us and became enfolded into our tight-knit Italian family.
Leo’s healthier months developed a routine, and he was joyful. You could tell he was happy from his rapid tail-wagging and how loud it was when he thumped it on the ground or against a wall or against a cupboard as someone approached to pet him. He also loved to be walked around the neighborhood several times a day! In fact, he demanded walks.
About a month ago, Leo's energy suddenly and drastically began to fade. Something triggered a current spinal injury initially brought on by abuse from his previous owners. The symptoms were critical in a span of three days, Leo went from walking four times a day, to struggling to walk to the end of our block, to refusing to walk past the front yard, to not being able to walk at all. It was scary and heartbreaking.
Saturday, May 18th Leo woke up and all he could do was drag himself around by his front paws. We called our vet and asked if we should bring him in, and they asked us if he still had feeling in his hind legs. It seemed like he did, so they told us to hold off - and referred us to a specialist for the following week.
But by Sunday, May 19th, we discovered in the morning that he lost the ability to urinate on his own, so we took Leo to our usual vet clinic right away. Upon arrival, our veterinarian implanted a catheter and fully examined him. She concluded that there was likely a neurological issue causing the condition and strongly recommended immediate emergency care for a possible spinal problem, which included an MRI.
We rushed Leo to the closest emergency veterinarian facility in downtown Seattle where he underwent an MRI that evening and a subsequent emergency surgery into the early hours of the next morning. It turned out there were two herniated discs that were putting extreme pressure on his spinal cord.
Leo made it through the surgery with an 85% prognosis of walking again and is recuperating. His road to full recovery will be long, but the doctors are optimistic that he can regain use of his hind legs. Meanwhile, the medical treatment bills for Leo are stacking up, putting some serious financial pressure on us.
This Go Fund Me page is incredibly important in helping Leo's journey to walk again. Our insurance is fighting us on what they will cover for his surgery, physical therapy, and future appointments because they categorize his injury as a preexisting one. They have denied everything.
So, we are asking for your support to raise money to help pay for Leo’s surgery and physical therapy. Please consider donating to help our baby boy out. Leo did not deserve the trauma inflicted on him, and whatever his previous owners did, their abuse will affect him for the rest of his life as he re-learns to walk again. We just want him to be able to wag his tail again. Thank you so much.