We are Zophiah, Evan and Lea and of course, Hank. Hank is our 7 month old Bernese Mountain Dog.
We got him January 17th as a seemingly healthy, playful and perfect addition to the family! We couldn't have asked for a more friendly companion. It's hard to express just how much his loving character has influenced our family, our daughter in particular, but those of you with dogs of your own I'm sure understand.
He is that kind of dog you may meet once in your lifetime. That kind of dog who is so unbelievably friendly, kind and handsome. He learned everything so fast and you can tell it's because he wants that we are happy, proud and satisfied. He did and is still doing an amazing job. Hank is a wonderful family member and a life without him is unthinkable... He took our hearts and deals with them in the most lovely and loyal way. He cares so much for each one of us.
Every time we walk with him, hes always counting if every family member is still there, when someone falls behind he waits until we reach him. We can do literally everything with him and he wont be mad with us, he is too kind to be upset. We've never met a more gentle, cute dog with such a great personality. He is something special.
Hanks whole story started picture perfect and changed drastically... Late in March he began to twist one leg awkwardly when walking. Within a few weeks he went from the playful companion who was eager to come be next to you and wanted nothing more, to... Where he is now. Sometimes unable to pick himself up no matter how much he wants to be next to you. After a few days of limping we managed to get in to see a vet where we had some x-rays taken confirming he had hip dysplasia (HD). You can see the left hip (right in the image) is worse than the right hip but both are out of their socket and that's an old x-ray at this point.
Through his pain sometimes he still manages to find the strength to follow us around as he would like but he is quickly losing that strength. Often he just lays with his head on the floor even when you call now and whimpers in response to let you know he's sorry for not coming.
We do daily exercises to stretch his legs/back and bought a pool (he hates it so much) in effort to keep and build on what strength he has. Despite our efforts it seems surgery or suffering are the inevitable choices.
Today, June 17th, we went to speak with the surgeon about options and prices. There is an option "Triple pelvic osteotomy (TPO)" which can be performed before he is 11 months old. Alternatively, if we wait too long it needs to be a full hip replacement. The surgeon said his chances of having a good quality of life after the surgery are very high and in general the replacements are quite successful.
So at that point we had a lot of new hope...
Until we learned the cost of the more immediate option was 4500$ per hip for the surgery alone. If we cannot find a way to fund this before he is too old then we are limited to the full hip replacements... Which are 9000$ each (surgery alone) and half way across the country... Realistically, either operation is going to cost far more than just the initial surgery by the time it is all said and done.
Hank has his own Instagram account and many people follow his story there. They convinced us to start fundraising and that we should not lose hope when there are so many people out there who have big hearts and want to help.
So, we want to give it a try as our last option as we are extremely uncomfortable asking for the support of friends and family let alone complete strangers but we're at the point where if we don't make a move for surgery, with the pain he's in it's the humane thing to put him down.
We want to say thank you to any and everyone who read this far let alone those willing to contribute and help us avoid this tragedy.
To see more of our lovely companion check out his instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bernesehank/?igshid=2i0vz4xvxvk&fbclid=IwAR0gE-y7M64EW1YAQnyHDlqdZla9K81aXFkjVB1BShRc-dGtlImZCorwBDU
- Dixie TheBerner
- Lori Smith
- Nancy Savino
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