Zelda's TPLO Surgery(ies)

Hi I'm Betina and this is the story of Zelda Roo, a 1 year 9 month old blue-nose Staffordshire Terrier mix with a passion for play. I fell head over heels in love with her when her photo popped up on my Instagram feed as available for adoption through APS of Durham in February of 2021. I called and made an appointment to meet as soon as they opened. The next morning my husband and I loaded Pixel (our 9yr old Staffy mix) into the truck and waited as they unlocked the doors. She was a perfect little goofball of energy. She jumped into my arms and snuggled up so close I knew she needed to meet Pixel. With the help of an APS volunteer, we did a meet and greet with her and Pixel in the play yard where she showed off her speed and fun-loving attitude. We knew at that moment she was the missing piece of our family. We took her home within the hour. The next few hours we spent time with her running through names trying to see how she reacted to them. We landed on Zelda. I was picturing Aunt Zelda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch and my husband was picturing the video game princess. Later I looked up the meaning of the name: Gray Battle/Strong Woman. It fits her beautifully. Roo comes from a little hop she did as a puppy that reminds me of a kangaroo.

Over the past year, she has become my little shadow. Since I've been working from home, she has been my constant co-worker and I'm so thankful to have her here to keep me and Pixel company. She loves napping behind me during long Zoom calls, chasing a frisbee or tennis ball, and playing keep away with Pixel. She loves running as fast as she can in tall grass and basking in the sunshine. She is a joy to be around and makes friends with every human and animal she meets. I can’t image life without her energy in the house.

A few weeks ago, she started limping, skipping a step when she walks, or not putting any weight on her left hide leg at all. So, we brought her to our vet (Eno Animal Hospital), and they scheduled an X-ray. The images showed that she ruptured her CCL in both hide legs. After a consult with the surgeon, and a second opinion, she is diagnosed requiring Bi-lateral TPLO surgeries. Our vet recommended that we do the left hind leg first as it is the one that is more damaged than the right.

I was in tears. My little baby girl, my high-energy fun-loving goofball was in serious pain and there was nothing I could do of her. We started her on pain meds and tried to limit her exercise and activity. Her personality went from non-stop play to sleeping all the time.

I’m heartbroken. I started to question everything she did. Whether or not to let her jump on the couch or play with Pixel. What did she do differently to have caused this? What did I miss? Am I a bad dog mom? She’s so young, what happens if we don’t do the surgery? How do we afford this? No one plans for this when they get a pet. It wasn’t until I was sobbing to a friend that I thought about you all. My community, my family, my tribe, my village. I normally would never ask for help, but this bill is getting beyond our reach. Each leg’s surgery is roughly around $4000. The 12-week recovery time is full of pain killers and sedation meds, and a follow up x-ray at 8 weeks post-op. Then we do it all over again for the other side.

At the end of the day – we can’t not help her. She’s our kid and she’s less than 2 years old hopping around from pain – she’s got a long life of snuggling and playing Pixel to which to look forward. If we have to figure this out entirely on our own, we will find the money ourselves but any help you would be willing to give would be greatly appreciated – by us and by her. Our thanks will be heartfelt, but hers will be cuter.


Betina Huntwork
Durham, NC

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.