Our new “normal” lifestyle with Sophie was actually one of constant change. As soon as Ken and I would become accustomed to a particular way of helping of her, the paralysis would take over more of her body and we would have to make adjustments. One of the biggest changes came when Sophie lost her voice. Did I ever mention that somewhere between year one and two of her illness, Sophie lost the ability to bark?
Giveaway of sample products and informational materials for handicapped pets and pets with disabilities and special needs.
Adding a third dog to our family grew out of a bet during a baseball game at Wrigley Field. In an attempt to keep me interested in the game, my husband made the wager to adopt a new dog if the Chicago Cubs hit 12 homeruns. He thought he was safe about winning the bet, but he didn’t take into account that it was 1998; the year when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa broke world records for the most homeruns hit in a season. I returned to our hometown of Las Vegas and went directly from the airport to the city shelter. That’s how Sophie came to be part of our family.
Sophie fit right into our household and thoroughly enjoyed being the “baby” of our canine family. One of her greatest joys was going with her older housemates to run at the dog park. She would approach a group of dogs minding their own business and stand in front of them challenging them to a contest. Once she got their attention she would turn her back to them and take off running as fast as she could. Of course they chased after her and she loved the idea of leading the pack in a race. Ears flopping out to the side and her tail straight up, Sophie became the fastest runner in the dog park.
During a walk one day in 2008 Sophie’s back legs gave out and she fell on the sidewalk. Soon she began to slip and fall on a regular basis so we went to our veterinarian. After a long series of tests and no diagnosis, we took our little girl home. By summer 2009 Sophie was paralyzed from her mid- section to her hind legs.
Our family started a new “normal” life that included taking care of Sophie’s needs 24/7. We learned many life lessons from this journey that lasted nearly 5 years. Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is a tribute to Sophie and to all pets with special needs. It wasn’t a sad journey; in fact some of it was downright funny. I hope you’ll follow along with Sophie’s story at Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog.
Did you know that you can learn just about anything from watching a YouTube video? Seriously, there are people who film instructional information on every subject imaginable and the one I stumbled across, early during Sophie’s illness, saved my dog’s life. “I learned how to help a paralyzed dog use the bathroom, on YouTube.”
Once Sophie’s hind legs stopped functioning altogether, my husband Ken and I realized that we had two very big obstacles to overcome to manage her care. We had to come up with a way to move our dog from room to room around the house and we had to learn how to express her bladder to keep away potential infections.