Adventures of a Super Pup, is an amazing site where Jen Franzino has been chronicling the recovery of Bella, her paralyzed Beagle. Bella became a paraplegic more than a year ago, after a misdiagnosis by her veterinarian led to a complicated surgery and an infection in her spine. Since that time, Jen has been dedicated to helping her dog walk again.
According to Jen, Bella wasn’t even supposed to be her dog. A friend had adopted the Beagle as a puppy after Bella’s pregnant mother had been rescued from a puppy mill. Her friend wasn’t able to keep Bella so Jen offered to take her. That was nearly 6 years ago.
Life for Jen and Bella was pretty normal for the first 4 years. Jen taught her class of third graders every day at a local elementary school and afterward she and Bella would hang out.
Then one day Jen realized Bella was having trouble jumping on and off the bed. She took her dog to the veterinarian where Bella was examined and received a shot of cortisone. The next morning Jen woke up to Bella crying and panting in pain.
An MRI showed that Bella had three bulging discs and fluid in her spine. A veterinary specialist rushed the dog into surgery.
Jen said, “I was in shock when the vet told me that Bella might not walk again.”
Jen was told the surgery went well, but Bella came down with an infection and this led to a second surgery to save her life. Bella was in the hospital for more than a month. Jen would visit every night for 2-3 hours talking and soothing her dog.
When Bella was finally released, her back legs were paralyzed and she had a large pressure sore. Jen took off work for two weeks to nurse Bella. When the crisis was over Jen had spent her lifesavings and it looked like Bella would never walk again.
Jen said it took several months to mourn the loss of “old Bella” and accept the fact that life would be different. Her school bought Bella a wheelchair and Jen started researching how she could get her dog to be as healthy as possible.
The search landed the duo on the doorstep of a physical therapy clinic where Bella the Super Pup has worked hard on a water treadmill for the past 18 months. Jen said the commute to the clinic is an hour each way, but she gladly takes Bella for her treatment twice a week. This summer Bella even got her own swimming pool so she could practice her skills at home.
With Jen’s amazing dedication Bella is making great progress and beginning to use her rear legs again. She can stand on her own at times and take a few steps. I hope you’ll check out the Adventures of a Super Pup and keep up-to-date with Bella’s recovery. I love Jen and Bella’s story because it shows how life can change in an instant, but it is possible to transform a tragedy into an adventure.
One More Request
Bella is having an ongoing problem with repeated Urinary Tract Infections. If you have a suggestion how to stop UTI’s please share them in the comment section. Jen will appreciate your help.
If you like this story you might want to read: Vestibular Disease – When Dog Head Tilting Is More Than Cute