Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog is excited to present this important story about Constrictive Myelopathy, a newly diagnosed disease in Pugs. Dr. Kathleen Smiler is a retired veterinarian who cared for her Pug, Lily, for seven years after the dog was diagnosed with the disease. After Lily’s death in 2012, Dr. Smiler vowed to find the answers to CM and has become the number one advocate for promoting awareness and research. Here is Dr. Smiler’s story about Lily and how Pug owners can participate in finding a cure.
by Kathleen Smiler DVM
Eighteen months ago Kathleen Smiler’s dear companion of almost 14 years, Lily, gently ended her life. She was Kathleen’s best friend, her biggest fan, and a focus for her life’s work helping animals. Lily was an inspiration to the disabled, and she taught Kathleen patience, wisdom, and knowledge to ensure her quality of life. Like all Pugs, Lily was very special, and she was optimistic and TOUGH. Kathleen’s mom was failing that year, and she lost sight of Lily’s needs for a time, but Lily still was always there as a steady comfort. She was paralyzed for more than half of her life, and Kathleen’s mom kept saying “You should put the poor thing to sleep!” But Lily wasn’t tired yet, and she told her mom “You should hope I take as good care of you”, and she did take the best care of her Mom that she could.