Turn Back Thursday. Yes like, retro, you know. I am using my old lap top. And, feeling groovy. While cleaning out the files, I found this is an old article. It is the article that was published in the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Newsletter. Publishing in Print is different than digital, so the work is lengthy, grammatically correct, etc. I wish that I still had the pictures of Dixie. Anyway, if you are one of the people that a pet owns then read on (the article is also posted on Pet My Pet)…
Roll on, Dixie. Roll, on.
By CGH, Southern Pet Sitters
Pat Coleson called to schedule pet sitting as typical when she and her husband vacation. “Sure,” I responded. Her three dogs are very social and always a pleasure. “This time Christy it is going to be different,” she said. Okay. No problem, I thought. “Dixie is paralyzed,” she continued. Paralyzed? Oh, no.
I scoured my pet sitting manuals and researched on the internet the proper handling of animals in this condition. I called a vet. I asked questions. My pet first aid certification is reliable, right? I was prepared when I arrived. Ready to take care of the Coleson crew. File in my left hand full of techniques, tips and safety guidelines for easy reference. My right hand bore my American Red Cross Pet First Aid Manuel. Pet-Nurse Christy ready for work. I entered the home.
No textbook or reading could have prepared me for the feeling that panged my body when I saw this immobile cocker sitting quietly on the floor. She used to run about and bark in true spaniel spirit I remembered. Dixie. Oh, Dixie. Now quiet and afraid, timid she sat unable to move. Tears came to my eyes. Yes, Jan I am serious. They literally rolled down my face. My heart beat fast. I was sad. Poor Dixie. Poor girl. She used to be so happy and so vocal, always talking and dancing around my legs. Jumping up and asking for treats. I pulled her legs behind her like a baby doll. She could not feel them. I changed her diapers. My cheeks wet with tears. She did not flinch. I, feeling silly, wiped my tears. She is just a dog, right?
I fixed her supper, picked her up and placed her at her dish. “What can I do,” I kept thinking, glad that the Colesons opted-out of euthanasia but deeply disturbed by the quality of life she is now destined. Still. Very still she sits. Wanting to scamper and move but can’t. I lifted her to her cot. The other two dogs are moving independently about the room. One jump off the bed led Miss Dixie to never walk again. One jump. Checking off her report card, I locked the house and left. My mind churning. Obsessing, in fact. What can I do? I thought. And, I thought.
A cart! I must convince handy Brian to make one. Or, come up with enough money to buy one. These works surely cost several hundred dollars. Oh, no what can I do? Through researching the internet I found several companies that construct wheelchairs for dogs to encourage mobility of pets with paralyzed rear legs. I contacted each one with my plight. Please, please help, I requested. Dixie must resume her normal habits like eating, exercise and body elimination. If she is going to live, she is going to have to live somewhat normally. And the Colesons, surely they can not live this way for very long.
An email came from Laurie from a small family owned business called Dogs to Go. Their carts were priced reasonably she said. Sympathetic to my plea they would absorb half the cost if I would pay half. Done Deal. With Dixie’s measurement and commitment to financially make this work, Dixie will have a cart. I don’t care how much it is I am going to do this. It turns out the cost was more than reasonable. She will be able to get the support and security she needs to move freely and without pain. Knowing the Colesons had hard decisions to make and knowing this time must be emotionally trying, I could not wait to tell the Colesons of my donation, of my idea, of my solution to this horrific problem. No one likes to see their pet struggle to execute movement once performed with ease.
She zooms everywhere,” Pat said when I followed up. When I tell the girls to go out she “rolls out with them.” Sometimes she gets so excited she flies off the steps, she said. Dukes of Hazard style? “Exactly,” she chuckled. Yay. I couldn’t be happier.
Thank you soooo much,” she said. After her accident and stint of immobility Miss Dixie can now shake, rattle and roll.
They’re only animals, right? Yes, just animals. The same ones that bring us laughter and smiles day in and day out. The same ones that shine a little bit of god on us every day. With the benefits of medical advances we can now help them when they need us. We can cherish them as they have cherished us and use our resources to help them live longer happier healthier lives. With the Colesons kind consent and dedication to let Dixie live, and Dogs to Go’s gracious donation Roll on, Dixie. Roll, on. Glad I could help.
Hulsey is a graduate of the University of Georgia Journalism School. She currently owns Southern Pet Sitters, as she is an accredited pet sitter with Pet Sitters International. She is also in the National Association of Pet Sitters.