Hi, my name is CLOUD and I'm ten months old. Aren't I handsome? I must be, 'cuz everybody tells me so!
I was hit by a car and my back is broken. The nice folks at SOS say that they will make me all better, so I can run and play like a young Irish lad should do. I can hardly wait!!
Save Our Setters, Inc.
I have an appointment tomorrow morning with
Dr. Peacock. Hmmmm... I wonder if he knows I'm a bird dog? Anyway, I've got a good appetite and a terrific personality, and I will be all better in no time!!
Dr. Peacock is nice, but I really like the techs and kennel helpers - they couldn't keep their hands off of me! I must admit that they have good taste in dogs! Anyway, Dr. Peacock wasn't super optimistic like my foster mom and I are. He must not know about the Setter spirit!
I get to meet Dr. Miller tomorrow. She's the CCRT that will be in charge of my physical therapy. In the meantime, I started PT today. Keep your paws crossed for me!
CLOUD's Heroes: ZOE and FINNIGAN Lai, Charlotte Reback, Linda Warlyn (in honor of Gail and KATIE Parker), Merrilee Dulaney, Jim Kotva, Terry B & her furkids RUSTY & ROXY, Henry & ABBIE Pozzuoli, Christina Phillips, Kelli & LADDIE Smith, Tim & Kim Kleinschmidt, Barbara Janicek, CRIMSON & BREA Kenney, Edwin and Ann Mussinan, BUCKLEY Conrad, Denise Spracklen, John, Carla, RUFUS and MILLIE (in memory of BEAR), John Clemens, CORY Fitzpatrick, Janet Bullard, Patti Willis and furkids, Dina Perrine, Cathy Baruth (in memory of MADDY and her thirteen great years!), Beth Rand and Terry Snider (in loving memory of SUZIE), KEEGAN Miller and family, Jeffy Orr, English Setter Aus.Ch, Can. Ch, Am.Ch, S.Afr. Ch Set'r Ridge's Born Free (WHIDBEY), Donna, ECHO, and SUGAR Barnett, Jackie Hawley (in memory of TEDDY), The SHILLINGER DOGS, RUSTY McMonigal, Elizabeth and MERLIN Forsberg, SAM and ALEX Stala, Pam Back (in honor of CLAIRE), SHANNON JANE Herrick, Donna, Jeff, RUBY, RUSTY, RACHEL, MEGAN, and JADA Salisbury, Anonymous Donor (in honor of Terry Moberg), Ann and KATIE SCARLETT Newbauer, Randy and Kathy Lake (in honor of SOS rescue girl MADDIE aka MALLORY II), Dave and Linda Esteve, Eileen Kamerick, DUNCAN Jacobson, Mark and Chris Paquette (in honor of JACKSON and MURPHY), Lynn Kwiatkowski, Carolyn Bilski, Marta and EMMA Goldman, Gill Pearsall, Linda Warlyn (in memory of RENEGADE Parker), Jenifer Stoico (in memory of DUNCAN), DEVLIN Jacobson, Barb Janicek (in memory of RUSTY II), Terry Balsley, The Leahy Family (in memory of KATIE), Shirley Sostman (in memory of BHRETT), Gwen Mazanetz (in memory of RUSTY II), Irish Setter Club of Milwaukee (in memory of RUSTY II), Bryan Duff, Drs. Hall and Campbell, and Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates, Ginger Kenney (in memory of TOBY), SAM, SEAMUS, and MAGGIE MAINE (with love!), Carolyn Jacobson (in memory of MALCOLM), Mary Hurner, Anonymous Donor, Penny Burnside, HOOLIGAN, KATY, LEXI, SAMMI, and Bill Runyon, John Barry, Jackie Hawley (in memory of LITTLE RED), Peggy Meehan, Janet Parker (in memory of DERRY), Carol Ackley, Linda Blackman, Five Furry Friends in California, Anonymous Donor, Garth (in memory of TANNER), Dennis and Tracy Drath (in memory of BRITTNEY, MAGGIE, and CEDAR), Carolyn Mauritz, Barbara Hayes, Wendy, RUSTY, MOLLY, WENDY and TIGER Pedersen, A Secret Admirer, Erin Murphy (in memory of MOLLY and BOZZY), Sandra Forrest, Anonymous Donor, Judith Blatt, Kate Williams, Carolyn Jacobson (in memory of PUPPY-UPPY), Carol Quan (in memory of TASHA, MAGGIE, and ABBY), Ginger Kenney (in memory of POPPY & BILKO), R.D. Thompson, Mary Tieman (in memory of JAKE), Patty Culliton (in memory of SCARLET), Sam Curtis (in honor of SAMMY), Cynthia Rasey (in memory of McKENNA), Julie Hudson (in honor of her Brittanies), Brenda Boutin (in honor of DANA and RUSTY), Lisa Brisse, Judi Brisse, Claudia Alphin, Susan Tate, Susan Shillinger, Jessica Burns, Mary Hurner (in memory of JASPER), SALLY Alnwick, Jay Levy (in memory of BAILEY), Wendy Edgecombe (in memory of HEATHER, CRICKET, NOTTY, & CHRISTIAN), Lynne Van Luven (in memory of BAILLEY), Shauna Orullian (in memory of IDGIE and KYLEE), Tim and Kim Kleinschmidt (in memory of our Rescues TOBY and SHEBA), Get Well Soon from GRAIDY Davis, Meagan Hindsman (in honor of MARTY), Justin and Danelle Scott, the Baum Family in NJ, REBA & MARILYN WILKERSON Forsberg (in memory of MERLIN), REBA & MARILYN WILKERSON Forsberg (in honor of Mom!!), Garth Oldham, Charlotte, Ruud, GILLIE, & PADDY, John, Carla, RUFUS, and MILLIE Webb (in memory of
BEAR), Joan C Willson, Carolyn Jacobson and friends at Beaux Chevaux Farm, Marti and LUCKY Cunningham, FIONA, SCARLET, TRACY, & JILL Evanetz (in memory of IAN), DAISEY & TY Spracklen (in memory of FIONA), Virginia Herrick (in memory of SHANNON), Jacquelyn Hawley (in memory of RED), RONAN Kmonicek, Doug and Karen Peters (in memory of SHANNON), Vicki Swartzell (in memory of MAGGIE), Theresa Szpila, Peggy Tucker (in honor of the indomitable spirit of the Irish Setter), Peggy Meehan (in memory of SHANNON and MORGAN), BREA & CRIMSON Kenney, MAGGIE Maine, Donna Koch (in memory of MERLIN Forsberg), Five Furry Friends in California
Original Estimate:$ 8,000
Revision: Hypercalcemia 3,984
Revision: UT-Knoxville 3,182
Donations for CLOUD: $ 15,493
Amount Still Needed: $ 0
WOW!! CLOUD says THANKS!!!
Update 12/20/07: Dr. Peacock called and left a message for my foster mom. He told her I am doing fine, but that I should have surgery since my spine is unstable, and that we are not going to get the results we want until the spine has been stabilized. We are planning on operating next week.
While the prospect of spinal surgery is scary under normal circumstances, this is even more so, since my issues are at the T4/T5/T6 area. There is a lot of stuff there like nerves, muscles, and really big blood vessels, and will be very delicate. Hopefully, the estimate will come through today. SOS says it's only money, and will do whatever it takes to make me all better. They sure could use a lot more help. Please keep your paws crossed for me!
Update 12/21/07: Since the spine is so unstable, there is a risk that further injury could occur without surgery, so surgery is scheduled for Wednesday. Dr. Peacock will be putting plates on the dorsal spinal processes, and pins and wires on the transverse processes secured to the dorsal processes/plates from T3 through T8. This is the preferred "fix", as going under the spine could result in damage to major blood vessels as well as internal organs, such as the lungs.
I will get to rest a few days (thank doG!) before they start PT up again. I'm hoping that during my down time I will get LOTS of heavy petting (he he he)! Anyway, it may be several weeks before we know whether the surgery and PT will be successful in restoring my ability to walk. My foster mom says she just wants to see my tail wag! I promised her I would be a good boy and work really hard! (I haven't told her about all the pretty girls here that I am trying to impress!!!)
Update 12/26/07: Dr. Peacock will be performing the surgery on Thursday. Bummer that I have to wait another day, but apparently the holiday emergencies or the special order of my plates have pushed things back a day.
I had Christmas a little early. A lady that looked and smelled just like my foster mom came in to see me (I'm not supposed to have visitors, so I know it couldn't have been her). The lady gave me some lovings, and she brought me my first Christmas presents ever! All of them were yummy treats, and I enjoyed the few I got to have right then.
Come on over and meet the crew! Not everyone who is caring for me is listed on the site, but you can get a good idea of the wonderful folks who want to use their knowledge and skills to make me well again!!!
Update 12/28/07: After I woke up from surgery, I wasn't feeling so hot, and I thought that everyone would be super nice to me. The Dog-ter came over to me and I spoke to him. Really, I did! Wanna know what I said? I said "OUCH!" Can you guess why? That mean, nasty dog-ter pinched my toesies, and it HURT!!!!!
The worst part is that he was happy about it. I just don't understand those nutty hoo-mans...
Update 12/29/07: Alright... I really don't like the new game of pinching my toes. What is their problem?
Update 12/30/07: Mom-meeeee! I wanna come home!! These Dog-ters are not nice to me, coming in here and pinching my toesies. I told them that they are hurting me, but they just won't stop!
Here's my Dog-ter!!
John T. Peacock, DVM,
Small Animal Surgery 2004
Organization: MedVet Memphis
Address: 830 N. Germantown
Pkwy #105, Cordova, Tennessee 38018
Office Telephone: (901) 624-9002
Office Fax: (901) 624-9014
Web Site: www.medvetmemphis.com
Veterinary School: Univ. of Missouri-Columbia 1998
Internship: University of Tennessee 1999
Residency: Texas A&M University 2002
Practice Type: Private Referral Only
Area of Surgical Emphasis: Small Animal Gen & Ortho
Here's my CCRT!!
Dr. Lisa Miller, DVM, CCRT
Lisa A. Miller graduated from
the University of TN College
of Veterinary Medicine in
May of 2003. She remained in private practice in small animal medicine in Virginia until moving back to the Memphis area in 2004. She is concurrently pursuing her internship at MedVet Memphis in internal medicine and a non-traditional veterinary residency in small animal nutrition.
Dr. Miller is a certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. Her case load includes many types of therapy protocols, including post surgery and sports medicine.
Dr. Miller is currently on the health committees for both the Pharaoh Hound Club of America and the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States. She has written health-related articles for national breed-club magazines and has been published in a veterinary journal on the topic of dermoid sinuses in Rhodesian Ridgebacks and other breeds of dogs. Her special veterinary interests include endocrinology, renal disease, theriogenology, holistic medicine and nutrition.
Update 12/31/07: I overheard them talking today, and they said my foster mom is coming in on Wednesday. Do ya think she heard me calling for her to spring me from this toesie-pinching place???
Update 1/2/08: My foster mom came in today. She came to meet with the Dog-ter, and got some pics of my x-rays for all to see. I'm not sure, but I don't think she should post them. I was naked, ya know!
The good news is that I not only have deep pain perception, but also now have peripheral perception. The nerves are healing!
The bad news is that I started running a fever this morning, and had a slight cough. They are treating it as pneumonia. That doesn't sound very good to me, so I think a huge batch of Setter Zen is in order. Until this infection is brought under control, I am excused from PT. I guess I can fold up my gym clothes for the time being.
Update 1/4/08: My fever is down and I am responding well to the antibiotics. I am also eating and drinking well, which is good since I need some good weight. I am getting high calorie food to help my body condition improve more rapidly. They are now thinking that they caught the infection really early, and that it is just a urinary tract infection, likely due to the catheter, and not pneumonia after all. WHEW! Good for me!!
I'm one week post-op, and I have sensory perception (deep pain and peripheral). I'm still working on bladder and bowel control as well as motor function. My prognosis is still listed as "guarded". Will you please tell them to be patient? These things take time, ya know!
I am doing minimal PT until the sutures come out, which includes ultrasound, electrical stimulation, massage therapy, and range of motion exercises. I get to go for walks several times a day with four of my best two-legged friends here. They have a hard time keeping up with me when they are supporting my back half, cuz I really want to RUN!
Update 1/10/08: They haven't removed my sutures yet, but at least they aren't itching anymore. ;-))) I'm about the same, so no good news, but no bad news, either. It will be a couple more weeks before any significant changes are likely to occur.
I am still the favorite here, and am eating well and am in good spirits. That's because they've stopped pinching my toesies!
Update 1/16/08: Guess what!!! My foster mom came to see me, and she brought me some toys! She said they are from KEEGAN Miller, and that he sent enough toys and treats for all of the rescues for Christmas! That was sure nice of him! He must have found a wonderful furever home!!
Hmmm... lots of toys and treats... toys and... HEY! NO FAIR!! Where are my treats?? Miss Elizabeth, please tell my foster mom that they are starving me here. No, it's not true, but I betcha it'll make her bring me some treats!
Mom is coming back tomorrow to take me for a stroll. How cool is that???
HEY! What in the... MOM! How could you??? I'm naked in these pictures, and you can see my diaper! I'll never be able to show my face in public again...
Dog-ter CORY studies CLOUD's file.
Update 1/17/08: I was feeling better today than yesterday. I was even pawing at Mommy so she would pet me more and more and more and more and more... The petting felt so good that I didn't even want to play tug with her. Hey, we all have our priorities, ya know!
Mom and Dr. Miller are meeting next week to discuss my very own cart to help me get around while I continue to heal. The one Miss Elizabeth's boy MERLIN recommends looks pretty neat, and is Mommy-friendly (meaning it does not require lifting me into the cart). It makes Mommy's back hurt a lot when she has to carry me and walk me by holding me up. It's not that I am heavy; it's cuz I try to take off as soon as I know my back end is supported! Setter boyz gotta run, ya know!!!
Update 1/22/08: YIKES!!! Dr. Lisa did something new today. For those of you who may be candidates for this type of therapy, RUN, and FAST!!!
Since I could not run, fast or otherwise, I was stuck - literally! Let me just say that undergoing acupuncture is like becoming a doggy pin cushion. I can tell you that, were I not afraid of needles before, I am now!!! Seriously, it wasn't that bad. If it helps, I'm all for it!
Dr. Lisa took my measurements (no, I'm not 36-24-36, but thanks for asking!), and sent in the order for my cart. It should be here in about a week. I can hardly wait!!
Update 1/29/08: Rumors were premature. The dog-ter has decided to wait before doing the other little surgery that will help me sit more comfortably in my cart. WHEW!!
Speaking of my new cart...
Update 1/23/08: Ruh-Roh! They made me work today. Crud! They put me on a ball, which gave me some support, but not as much as I get when they walk me with a sling. Guess my trip down "Easy Street" is over!
Rumor has it that I will get a little break from the work-out. I'm going to have another little surgery that will help me sit comfortably in my cart. Double Ruh-Roh!!
Update 2/1/08: Mom spoke with Dr. Lisa, and apparently she is going to speak to the warden next week. I should be released soon! They feel my spine is stable enough for me to have more freedom of movement. I am also able to control my bladder fairly well at this point. That means they are letting me pee-pee all on my own, just like a big boy!
Dr. Lisa is pleased with the progress I am making, but is still cautioning about getting my hopes up. You see, I now have a little bit of gross motor in both legs. It will be several months before they will really know just how much I will get back. It takes a while for nerves to grow, and it's a long way from the middle of my back to my feet! Anyway, sometimes healing continues until the function is close to what it was before the accident, and sometimes it gets to a certain point, then stops.
Considering where I was a month and a half ago, I'm very pleased! Well, mostly pleased... I still don't see why they felt the need to pinch my toesies!!
Update 2/4/08: Dr. Tracey Gillespie called this afternoon. CLOUD has developed an unexpected complication in that his calciums levels are elevated. Tests are being run to isolate the cause. This is a very serious situation. Updates will be provided when new info becomes available.
Update 2/4/08A: A very astute vet (thanks, Dr. Alina Culica!) noticed that CLOUD was drinking more and peeing more, and alerted Tracey, who called for bloodwork. The bloodwork was normal in all respects except for elevated BUN, Creatinine, and Calcium. Samples have been sent to the lab. Some results should be back tomorrow. Other tests, such as those where they grow cultures, take longer.
Save Our Setters, Inc.
Update 2/5/08: CLOUD was sleepy when I arrived. Test results today showed BUN and Creatinine now in the normal range, but Calcium is still elevated. It takes longer for calcium levels to come down, so the results tomorrow should show a levelling off of calcium, followed by a decline towards normal. Once we get the numbers where they need to be, the test results should be in, and we can start treating the underlying cause.
Save Our Setters, Inc.
Update 2/7/08: CLOUD's calcium is still elevated, but is slowing coming down. It was 13.3 this morning. That, compared to a high on 2/5/08 of 16.0 with normal being between 7.9 and 12.0, is good news, but we still have a ways to go. He is continuing with diuresis (fluids), Lasix, and antibiotics. We are hopeful that some test results will come in today.
After two days of being off-feed, he is eating again. That is good news, too!
Save Our Setters, Inc.
Tracey N. Gillespie, D.V.M, Diplomate,
American College Veterinary Internal Medicine
Dr. Gillespie graduated from Purdue University's School of
Veterinary Medicine in 1997. She completed a rotating
internship in small animal medicine, surgery and emergency
medicine at Garden State Veterinary Specialists. She
remained in private practice for an additional year working
as an emergency clinician and intern supervisor. She left
private practice in June of 1999 for a residency in internal
medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, veterinary
teaching hospital. Following completion of a 2-year residency,
she joined MedVet in September of 2001 and has been
practicing internal medicine. Dr. Gillespie is board certified in
Internal Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American College
of Veterinary Internal Medicine.
Dr. Gillespie has comprehensive experience in endoscopy, colonoscopy, bronchoscopy, and rhinoscopy. She also has training in abdominal ultrasound and echocardiography. She has a special interest in endocrinopathies, hepatic and gastrointestinal disorders with research experience in canine diabetes mellitus and hepatitis. In her spare time, she enjoys horseback riding and SCUBA diving.
Update 2/8/08: Did ya miss me? I bet so! As you can tell, I'm feeling better!!! I even tried to paw my foster mom every time she stopped loving on me. They are still keeping me in jail because I still have a tube running into my leg. They also have me wearing this funny hat that I really hate, but they say I hafta wear it to keep me from chewing on that tube. Get real! If you had a tube stuck in your leg, wouldn't you want to chew on it, too?
Anyway, I'm being a good boy, and am eating everything they give me. My calcium is now down to 13.0, so I am still making progress. I do get tired pretty easily, but that is to be expected. They are reducing the IV fluids a little every day, and are monitoring my water intake so that I get just the right amount for me. My foster mom plans on asking how they can determine how much water I am actually getting in my tummy. She says that there must be a trick, since Irish Setters are well known for having drinking problems, as evidenced by the puddles around the water bowls, and the long trails of water leading from the kitchen in every direction!
Update 2/12/08: Mommy is bringing that file tonight so I can bust outta this joint! Seriously, she says we are taking a road trip to Knoxville. Once we get there, we go straight to the ER (so we don't hafta wait), and the nephrologist and endocrinologist will be ready for me! Gosh, I must be really important!!
My calcium is now down to 12.7, with BUN and creatinine holding at 24 and 1.3, respectively. I'm still on fluids at 100ml/hr. The issue I had initially with anemia has resolved, and my UA is still normal, no crystals, no casts, and specific gravity is normal.
Update 2/15/08: Now just a doggone minute! I bust outta one jail to be put in another? NO FAIR!! This new jail has more wardens, too. Bummer... Oh, and they are comparing me to someone named BEAUMONT. Seems everyone here knows that dog, and thinks he is the greatest. I'm gonna hafta work extra hard to show them that I am the greatest!!
The trip here was okay for me, but the humans were not real pleased that it snowed most of the way. I don't know what snow is, so I don't know why they weren't happy about it. The trip took a little longer than expected, but we got to Knoxville in plenty of time.
I'm keeping it a secret for now that I have a new girlfriend. Her name is Becca, and she thinks I'm pretty special. She's the senior vet student charged with taking good care of me, so I get to spend a lot of time with her (thump, thump)! I know she loves me cuz she unhooked that pesky IV tube that I didn't like, which means I don't hafta wear an e-collar or a basket muzzle to keep me from trying to take it out myself. If my numbers stay where they are now, I get the catheter out tomorrow. Yippee!!!!
Becca got Dr. Scott Rizzo to help her take me for stroll this morning. Little did they know that they are no match for a young Irish Setter who loves to RUN!!! I figured since they had four legs between the two of them, they could keep up. Nope!! They got their exercise, though. After the first stroll, they decided that maybe taking me out in my cart would be wiser, so we did that instead. ZOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!
Dr. Scott says that I will move out of ICU tomorrow if my bloodwork looks good. I get to go visit Dr. Drum over in physical therapy. I get the impression that Dr. Scott is trying to get someone else to take me for walks - I wonder why he would do that... I'm scheduled to stay there for a week. If everything is going well after a week, I'm supposed to go home!
Speaking of home, my foster mom says that we are gonna wait until I get home to celebrate my first birthday. She says we will have a party just for me - how cool is that?!!! Yep, I'm special, all right! Oh, Becca told my foster mom today that she thinks I'm special, too!
(Please don't tell Becca that Miss Elizabeth sent
me a Valentine's Day card and some presents!!!
I really don't want her to get jealous, you know.)
Here's a picture of the snow stuff. If you
look closely at the trees, you can see the
flakes. The snow is blowing horizontally.
Update 2/16/08: It's official! I'm now released from the "I See You" department. With the number of eyes I had on me there, it's easy to see why they call it ICU!
Anyway, my ionized calcium was 1.45 this morning which made Dr. Scott very happy (me, too!!). We'll do bloodwork again in about three days. Some test results should be in by then, too, so stay tuned!!
My most sincere thanks to all those who have contributed to funding my enormous vet bills, and to the many folks who have been sending Setter Zen my way. Zen works!!!!!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a previous engagement that I must attend...
Update 2/17/08: My ionized calcium was 1.35 this morning which is almost normal - YAAAAAAYYYYY!! Becca called my foster mom this morning, and told her that I am doing very well in my cart. Even better, I am starting to demonstrate using my rear legs. I have a long ways to go, and only time will tell whether I'll have enough function to walk and run without assistance, but we all have to start somewhere!
Zoom! Zoom! Zoooooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!
Update 2/18/08: My ionized calcium was 1.29 this morning which is NORMAL - YAAAAAAYYYYY!! I am starting a new diet that will help me beef up my muscles more quickly. I am still trying to run down anyone and everyone in the hallways (leashes spoil all my fun)!!! I'm scheduled for hydrotherapy today, too, which sounds like fun. I hope the humans like getting wet!!!!
Dr. Drum called my foster mom this evening, and told her what a good boy I am. She was very excited about my motor skills, and says the major barrier at this point is muscle tone. There is no question as to whether I will have close to full function when I am done with therapy. The question is whether the muscles will come back enough to support my weight. Looks like I'm gonna be put through the paces for six to twelve months, and I am ready!!!!
Dr. Drum also told her what a brave boy I am... I wasn't scared, just startled, I tell ya! Hey, you'd be scared, too, if all of the sudden you had this huge 1600 pound creature looking down at you, snorting and pawing a hoof!
Update 2/21/08: Not only is my ionized calcium normal, but my total calcium is 10.5, which is also NORMAL!! The best news is that I get to go out in my cart a LOT (15 times around the hospital this morning), and in typical Irish Setter fashion, have to stop at every door and peep in just in case there are a pair of idle hands just waiting to pet me!
Today, I am wagging my tail, so we now know that still works! I am also standing, but can only do so for a few seconds since my muscles are still pretty weak.
Becca has graciously taken several pics of me so everyone can see how well I have been doing. She loves me a lot!!!! It's gonna be a happy day for me when I get to go home! Of course, it will be sad, too, cuz I really do love Becca, and I'm gonna miss her.
Update 2/25/08: Hmmmmm... do ya think Mom should clean the lens before taking pictures?
Update 2/26/08: Ruh-Roh... I think I'm in trouble with my foster mom!! We went to the clinic today for physical therapy, and I had to meet everyone in the waiting room. She was happy with that, as I have been working at my socialization skills, and I came back to her for neck scratches in between visits.
Then... I saw my buddies that work there, and I was sooooooo happy!! I went from one friend to the next, to the next... and I totally forgot to go back to mom for neck scratches! I'm guessing it's a good thing that she doesn't have a dog house, cuz I might be in it!!
Dr. Tracey says she'll run follow-up bloodwork on Friday to see how my calcium is doing. Dr. Lisa is working with me on muscle tone and proprioception. Both are so thrilled with how well I am doing! I like making girls happy!!!
Update 3/05/08: I'm warnin' ya - I have vocal chords and I know how to use them! Okay, so I can be a little talkative at times. What else is a boy to do?
Anyway, I have come a looooooong way in just two weeks' time! I am using both legs pretty well, and can almost stand from a sit. Getting up from a down will take a while longer. Everyone is very pleased with the progress!
Rumor has it that some video of me walking in my cart will be uploaded soon. Stay tuned!! Oh, and I am supposed to be having my birthday party this coming weekend, if the weather is good. I can hardly wait!!
Update 3/07/08: My test results from last Friday are in. My ionized calcium is at 1.35 which is in the upper end of normal. The Dog-ters will be playing vampire again today and next Friday to make sure it stays in the normal range.
Update 3/13/08: Some of my test results from last Friday are in. My ionized calcium is still holding in the normal range, now 1.1 (low end of normal)!! The Dog-ters will be playing vampire again this Friday, and then monthly thereafter for a few months unless I start to show signs of problems.
I'm getting stronger and stronger. I can almost stand fully upright on my own for a little while. I can stand much longer in a squatting position. I am not graceful about it, but I can even get up from lying down now!!
I've been having lots of fun playing with JENNA. She is little, and is not likely to be able to hurt me if she messes up. She is very gentle with me, though, and we play tug and mouth wrestle a lot. If she gets a toy I want (note that I want anything that she has), I can even chase her in my cart. It's good to be able to play again!!
Update 3/16/08: It was a beautiful spring day in Tennessee, so JENNA and I got some supervised playtime outside...
A picture is worth a thousand words...
Update 3/20/08: I got an A+ on my latest report card!! Dr. Lisa is very pleased with my progress, particularly in the area of building muscle. Mom thinks it's because I must have been working out with a dumbbell. I didn't think that was a nice thing to say about JENNA...
Update 4/2/08: Ruh-Roh... JENNA left for her new forever home today, and I only have big dogs to play with now. Mom says we'll test to see who will be gentle with me while keeping me active. She thinks two of the English Setter girls will be good, if they will play a lot like JENNA did.
Update 4/6/08: I got a new report card. Wanna see it? Okay! Click here!!
Update 4/17/08: I'm now going for walks without a cart. My foster mom calls me the drunk dog, but I don't mind. Pretty soon, I'll be able to walk a straight line - you just wait and see!!
Update 5/5/08: I'm still not able to walk a straight line, but am continuing to improve a little at a time. I've been practicing a lot with steps, and am now doing the right stepping motions, so it's just a matter of time before I can do stairs!!
The treasurer has reported that my bills have now exceeded $15,000, and donations have slowed way down. If you care to donate, I know that SOS will be most appreciative!!
Update 5/13/08: I'm getting better at walking a straight line! I guess I'm not drunk after all!!!!
My appointment is this Friday. I can hardly wait to show them how well I am doing!! Stayed tuned!!!!!!
Update 5/17/08: Sniff, sniff... Oh, I am sooooo sad!! Dr. Lisa at MedVet said that I am doing very well, and she has released me. I'm thinking that I'll never see my friends there again. Maybe, if I ask really nice, my foster mom will take me there one last time to visit.
Dr. Tracey did one last blood draw to test my calcium. Those results will be in in about a week. I'm feeling so well that I know it will come back normal, and then she will release me, too.
Mom and Dr. Lisa must have talked, cuz I am now allowed to RUN!! YIPPEE!!!!! Oh, and I can now do a few steps all by myself!!!!!! (I'm assuming that Mom watching and standing ready to help 'just in case' doesn't count as help.)
Update 5/20/08: I'm still waiting for the results of my bloodwork last Friday, but am not worried one iota. I'm feeling so good, I just know the results will show everything is normal!!
I did go in to the regular vet today. Dr. Darryl said I look terrific!! (I could have told my foster mom that, and saved her the price of an exam so she could buy me more treats and toys!!!!!) I'm up to 68 pounds now, and have just a few more pounds to gain to be about right. There is nothing wrong with my appetite!!
Update 5/25/08: The results of my bloodwork last Friday are in, and they are GOOD! My Ionized Calcium is still holding in the normal range at 1.32 - YAAAY!!! I told ya I wasn't worried!!!
I am now walking better, and am starting to run better, too. It just takes practice, and I'm getting lots of that!!
The wonderful folks at MedVet, University of Tennessee - Knoxville Veterinary Teaching Hospital, and Companion Animal Hospital get some of the credit, but I get most of the credit cuz I did all the hard stuff, like learning to walk again! Oh, I guess I should give the folks at SOS some credit, too, for believing in me and for giving me every opportunity to show just how resilient Irish Setters can be! (My foster mom says "stubborn" is more like it, but I like "resilient" better!!)
Oh, yeah... the majority of the credit for my incredible recovery goes to my many wonderful sponsors, who made it all possible! Also, I want to thank everyone who sent that powerful Setter Zen! I know that made a big difference!!
Speaking of sponsors, the estimated vet bills have been adjusted to the actual amounts (except that one bill that will be coming soon). The expenses listed are just for vetting, and do not include food, treats, toys, some meds, microchip, travel costs to UTK, gasoline to and from the clinics, and Mom's boot lace! Those who have been considering donating to help with my expenses, you are running out of time, as it won't be long before I leave for my new forever home!
Update 6/1/08: Okay, now! I'm hearing vicious rumors that I am being spoiled rotten! I don't know who started these rumors, but they are totally unfounded! I am getting exactly what every setter deserves - nothing more and nothing less!
I have been working very hard, and can now do five steps all by myself, which is not too shabby for a boy who could barely drag himself around a few months ago!! I'm up to about 70 pounds now (all muscle, mind you!!), and am looking and feeling great!
During my periods of rest, I have been honing my Setter talents. In particular, my "arrrooooo" has come a long way, and nearly always renders the desired results! I've gotten the neck stretch down pat, which makes neck scratches that much more enjoyable. Watching out the window has become a favorite activity, which provides even more opportunity for me to practice rooo-ing. I'm also trying my hand... er, paw at lap-climbing, but am meeting some resistence from the owner of the lap. I must try harder!!
Update 6/7/08: In spite of the fact that I have been FULLY SPONSORED(!!!), my foster mom apparently thought I needed a job, so I am now officially a trucker dog. Trucker Tom is not allowing me to actually drive, but I have helped by shifting gears! For some reason, Tom was none too pleased, but I was only trying to help!!
I'm on my way to Denver, where I will continue to hone my skills for a couple of weeks. My new mom is driving all the way from Los Angeles to Denver to get me!! Oh, and she is bringing the other four-legged family members along. I hope they ride as well as I do, and that we can all play with toys and stuff on the road!
The CLOUD that COULD!!
Note from Cecily Barker, President of Save Our Setters:
I am in awe of the financial and moral support that CLOUD's case has evoked. We couldn't be more of proud of the results of his surgery and treatment, and we truly appreciate those who understand the uncertainty involved, with no guarantees of success. Thanks for having faith in CLOUD and his indomitable Setter Spirit!
(Check back in a week or so for pictures from his journey to DENVER!!!!!)
Note from Alissa Thomas, foster mom to CLOUD:
Continuing Cecily's thoughts in her message above, I, too, would like to thank those who were touched by CLOUD and his plight, including the Boardmembers of Save Our Setters who were willing to take a chance. The gamble paid off for CLOUD, and the rewards will continue for many years, as CLOUD is only one year old. Thanks to the Board, CLOUD has a future as a reasonably normal redhead. The healing process is not yet complete, so we won't know for many months yet just how normal he will be, but his new forever mom has promised to provide updates that we will share with you here.
I would also like to extend my personal gratitude to several folks, as follows:
Dr. Alina Culica at MedVet, for going above and beyond in the care of CLOUD;
Dr. Todd Tobias at MedVet, for giving CLOUD the chance he deserved and for discounts on the bill;
Dr. Sharon Folsom, for helping me to understand the complicated ins and outs of CLOUD's conditions;
Dr. Tracey Gillespie at MedVet, for using her knowledge to treat CLOUD's hypercalcemia;
Dr. Lisa Miller and Heather at MedVet, for teaching CLOUD how to use his rear legs again;
The Staff at MedVet, for being CLOUD's cheering section;
The Doctors and Staff at UTK, for all their hard work;
Cecily, Katy, Becky, Linda, Ann, Ginger, Elizabeth, and countless others, for their time and moral support;
Gretchen, for dropping everything to help me take CLOUD to Knoxville;
Patrick, for your support and help with all the foster dogs;
JENNA, for giving CLOUD something to strive for, and for affording me a little time to relax;
CLOUD, for working so hard, and for trusting me and having faith in me.
It has been a long journey with many ups and downs. Many miles were logged in the truck, getting CLOUD to and from his appointments, visiting him while hospitalized, and the unforgettable trip to Knoxville in a snowstorm. Many more miles were logged on foot, up and down hills, across bumpy terrain, over fallen logs, through shallow creeks, up and down ramps, and on various surfaces to build muscles in CLOUD's legs. Many hours were spent supervising play with JENNA and other dogs, and being a playmate to CLOUD myself.
Rescue is a labor of love, and emotions run high. It can be both exhillerating and exhausting at the same time. The pay really sucks (nada), but the reward is priceless when a paralyzed dog takes his first step, a recumbent dog gets up on his own for the first time, a sickly dog starts to show signs of improvement, an unsocialized dog starts to trust, and so forth.
If you have never fostered a dog, I encourage you to give it a try. Virtually every rescue for every breed of dog as well as mixes is in need of foster homes. Most foster situations are not as difficult as CLOUD's, but can still afford you the opportunity to test your resolve, build character, love even more deeply, and know that you are the world to that dog. The example you set for others, especially for children, will teach compassion and resolve, and will benefit future generations of homeless animals. I can think of nothing more worthwhile than making a difference both now and in the future!
Update 6/10/08: I'm now in Denver, and am learning about the thinner air up here. I get tired more quickly, but that will change as soon as I get used to it. I am getting to play a lot, and I get to run!!!!! Wanna see???? Okay, click here!
Update 6/25/08: My new forever Mommy is coming for me today! I'm soooo excited!! Boy, is she going to be surprised to learn that not only can I do a whole staircase, but I can also now get up on the couch all by myself!!! Get ready and click here, cuz I'm gonna show you!!!
Update 7/2/08: Boy, do I feel dumb! I gave it my best shot, but I just couldn't find Yogi Bear and Boo Boo at Jellystone National Park. Then, when we were leaving the park, I knew why... We were at Yellowstone, not Jellystone! Well, at least my sniffer got a good workout, what with all the new smells!
Anyway, just wanted to let you know that we are having a great time, and will be arriving at my new forever home in a couple of days. I really like road trips, and I hope we get to go lots of places in our rolling house!!
Email from CLOUD 7/5/08: Guess whooooo- It's CLOUD!! My new mom says that I am a very grand pup in a very big body. But you knew that. Well, my new mom put these really neat shoes on my feet. They are called pawtectors and they keep me from scrapping my toe nails on anything that I walk on that is not soft like grass and carpet. Guess what??? They also make me pick up my very big feet and not scrape my new shoes. I like my new shoes a lot and I want to keep them pretty and nice with no scrapes and so I pick my feet up. My new mom loves my feet - she says they are really big.
The rest of me is really big, too. My new mom has a California king size bed and I climbed up on it all by myself to go to sleep last night. My new mom could not find a place to sleep on it because I lay down right on top of her and squashed her. Princess Reba was also getting ready to sleep on that nice big bed, too, and she told me I better not squish the mommy so I finally (with Reba's help) learned to lie next to mom and not on top of her. Boy, was my new mom happy when I figured that out so she could sleep comfortably. Mommy needed sleep because she has been driving that rolling house a long time each day for many days.
I am a happy boy and I love my new home. Thank you for helping me get well, and for helping me find my furever home here with Reba and Marilyn. Got to go - it is time for another walk. Got to keep moving these muscles and working out. But my mommy really likes my special walk - She says no setter in this world does the hula when he or she walks like me. My specialness makes her heart sing inside like a regular setter never would be able to. I am really looking forward to my new hula skirt so I can put all this good hip motion into a stylish dance. It will be really cute.
Email from CLOUD 7/11/08: My foster mom told my new mom that young Irish Setter boys tend to be somewhat 'tarded, and that I was no exception. Mom didn't really believe her, but now says that she is coming around to believing it. You see, Mom has this life size dalmatian statue. I saw it from across the room and started barking at it. When she took me up to it, and I saw that it was only a statue, I felt really 'tarded. Thank goodness Mom laughed and said that it was okay.
I have two and a half years before the UPS truck delivers my brain, so it's good that Mom thinks being a little 'tarded is acceptable!!
Email from CLOUD 7/20/08: It's me - CLOUD!! I just wanted to catch you up on the happenings around here. I am now out of the interior re-decoration business - at least for now. I have things just like I want them. Mom still hasn't replaced the phone wires for the answering machine -- but hopefully today she'll get that done.
I am being a really good Setter boy and mommy says my halo is on really straight now. We walk and I play catch and tug. My favorite toy is my froggie and I bring it back to my mom to have her throw it for me over and over again. I no longer try to rip up my toys! I just play with them under mommy's supervision. My two Kongs are what I work over and that is fun. They seem to be indestructible, but mommy checks them over anyway to keep me safe.
I shook my head really hard and fast when I was playing, and for some reason mommy started to giggle. She said something about that being the sound she had been told about - rubber flews or something. What kind of sound could it be?? I didn't hear anything. These hoo-mans are really odd, but entertaining!
At night time I sleep really, really close to my mommy and I have to have my head on top of her so when I am asleep I know if she moves. Mommy seems to like that and it makes her fall asleep really fast because she feels secure knowing I am right there. I don't know who is watching who, to tell you the truth, but it doesn't matter, I guess. All I know is that I am taking really good care of my mommy, and she of me!
Princess REBA sleeps on the bed close to us but she leaves a space between her and mommy. I leave no spaces. My job is to take really good care of my mommy because I love her. My mommy loves me, too.
Email from CLOUD 7/22/08: It's you-know-who again! I wanted to write and update everyone on my trip to the Dog-ter yesterday. When mom got me to the clinic door, Tammy the vet tech was waiting for me. Tammy took my leash and sat down on a chair next to me to get acquainted. Mom had to go out to the rolling house to get the cat, so while we were waiting, I made some new friends and everyone loves me.
Dr. Suman looked me over really, really good. He checked my hips and my knees and everything!! He said that I look very good!! My last pressure sore is healing nicely, and the big bump that I had on my bottom is almost all gone. (I got the bump from hitting my bottom on the ground when I get going too fast. I am doing better with that since I have been learning to go slow some of the time.)
I was so excited to meet all these new friends, so my legs were carrying me all over the place (that Irish Puppy energy, you know). Dr. Suman said how impressed he is with my movement considering everything I had been through. Had he expected an older dog, perhaps? I'm still very much a puppy!
Anyway, he said that I am doing very, very well. I am to keep up my exercises and build up my muscles some more. He wants them very big and sturdy so that they will support me even better!
Of course, all of Dr. Suman's employees just love me! They saw what a good boy I am, and how well I have done in getting better. They all thought I am incredibly handsome, too. Oh, and they love it when I talk to them. Well, Dr. Suman did tell me to be quiet a couple of times, but I was too busy talking to listen!!
When I did finally quiet down, Dr. Suman told me and my mom just how important I am because I have proven that someone injured as badly as I was can overcome the obstacles, get better, and even walk and run again! He says he hopes that it won't happen, but if ever a dog comes to him after being hit by a car and hurt as badly as I was, that he will be able to tell the owners that, in spite of the odds, the dog can overcome what seems to be insurmountable odds, and that hope and effort is important. He said he would tell them about me - The CLOUD that COULD!!
I'm just glad that I am getting to be an active puppy again, but my mom is also glad that my story can help someone else. I have to admit that it feels good to be able to share my story so that others can get better, too! Gosh, I guess I'm kinda like a positive role model or something.
I thought that I was going to get out of there without having to be stuck with needles, but no such luck. Dr. Suman wanted to check my calcium one more time. I'll write you when the results are in, okay?
Well that's all for now. I have a very important engagement with my dinner bowl, and can't be late!
Email from CLOUD 7/25/08: It's me again! I wanted you to know that the results from my blood test came back today. My calcium level is perfect!! My mom asked Dr. Suman when I should come back to get my calcium checked again. He said I don't have to! YAAAY!! No more needles!!!!
He said I am still heartworm negative, and I am to come back at Thanksgiving to get checked again for heartworm. Okay, just one more needle. Since I was not allowed to take heartworm preventative when I was so sick, they want to make sure nothing bad happened while I was not on preventative.
Mom says I am not hula walking so much. My muscles are getting stronger from my playing and moving, and getting up and down from the bed. I am a very happy boy and am having a good time here, and I like playing with my toys - a lot! I sure am glad SOS thought to send a bunch of the stuff I got for my first birthday along with me!!
Email from CLOUD 7/27/08: I had a really exciting thing happen today while I was exercising. I stopped and stood really straight. I lifted my tail so it was at a level just below my spine, and then I wagged it the full range from side to side really hard six times!! Not "little breeze" wags either, but full-blown "clear off the coffee table" wags! Mom was really surprised!
My tail is resting again, but that's okay. If those tail wagging nerves connected once for the little while it took to do my full tail wag today, they will connect again another day, and another, and another!! My mom is soooooooooooooooooo happy!!!!!
Email from CLOUD 7/31/08: Guess what? I have a girlfriend!! Okay, so I haven't met her yet, but she and I have been emailing back and forth. Her name is LITTLE LILLY, and she is a redhead just like me. We have a lot in common.
She was recently diagnosed with IMHA, and has to go to the Dog-ter all the time just like I did. She gets poked with needles a lot, just like I did. She doesn't have a lot of energy now, and I can remember how that felt. If she's not absolutely perfect for me, I don't know who is!! That's why I want everyone to think good thoughts for her. She is my only true love, and I really want her to get all better, just like I did!!
Anyway, I want everyone to send some of that healing Setter ZEN to LILLY so she can start feeling better. I am designating Sunday as LITTLE LILLY Day, so everyone get to brewing so we can all send lots of Zen to her then. Oh, and if you'd like to email me, I can forward your good wishes on to her. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, so let me hear from you!
Email from CLOUD 8/25/08: It's me - that smart, sweet, 'tarded Irish Setter CLOUD!!! All is well here. I am king of the bed, and I give Mom about 4 inches of the giant bed to sleep on at night. She tries to move me over a bit, but I really put on the brakes! She says trying to move me is like trying to move a giant mountain with very deep roots. I like it that way because I really love my mom and want to be very close to her all night long. Also. it gives her something to do and I help her get some good exercise that way!! I 'member how important the Dog-ters said that it was to exercise!
Mom has me on the revolving floor. She helps me get up on this thing and all of the sudden the floor starts moving and I have to move my legs to keep from flying off going backwards. One time, I stopped walking and the revolving floor kept going, and... well, you can guess how well that worked!! I must have looked really 'tarded!! I know now to keep moving my feet and keep walking. I really like the revolving floor cuz I can get my exercise when it is too hot outside. Besides, I'm a big fan of whoever invented air conditioning!! I'm getting so strong now. Who knows? Maybe I will be chosen to compete in the next Olympics!!!
This is the life. I play with all my toys. I like to play tug of war with my mom and also with Princess REBA every day. We have lots of fun. I haven't quite figured out the "Princess" part... she is just as silly as me at times, and has lots of play energy. Not at all what I have heard about princesses. Hey! If REBA really is a princess, maybe I can be a prince! Whaddya think? I'm gonna need a job to impress my girlfriend, and Prince sounds like a great job to have.
I really surprised Mom the other day. I figured out how to open drawers by gently grabbing and pulling the little knobs! It's a fun game!! It really keeps Mom on her toesies, putting back all the stuff I take out. I call it Spring Cleaning!! I have to keep Mom busy... exercise and mental stimulation will keep her young and active, just like me! I've got to keep Mom in good shape. You see, if REBA really is a princess, then Mom must be a queen. It's my patriotic duty to keep her active and healthy, and to protect her at night when she sleeps!!
I got an email from my girlfriend, LIL LILLY. I'm going to share the pics, but understand she is MY girlfriend!! No trying to steal her away from me, okay? I know it will be hard to resist cuz she is soooo pretty!! My heart thumps so hard sometimes that I think my chest might explode!! She must be rich, cuz she has her own yacht! In her spare time, she likes to hunt. What a woman!!! Anyway, she wanted me to thank everyone who sent Setter Zen her way, and to let everyone know she is doing great! She's not out of the woods quite yet, but she's made it past the toughest part!
Anyway, it is time get up on the bed to go to sleep with Queen Mom and Princess REBA. I will e-mail you again next weekend. Mom says she is going to take my picture with Bonnie and Clyde soon. They are two of my friends, though they don't look anything like me. I hope you enjoy the pictures!!!
Love, Prince CLOUD
Dr. Craig in GA called SOS for rescue assistance with CLOUD, and we were only too glad to help. CLOUD apparently did not receive medical attention until about a week following his being hit by a car. He has subluxation of the T5/T6 vertebrae. We will be transporting him for assessment and treatment. The terrific folks at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville did such a spectacular job with BEAUMONT with only skillful and intense physical therapy, and CLOUD deserves the same opportunity for a long, happy, and active life!
LIL LILLY is the captain of her very own yacht!
LIL LILLY is also a seasoned hunter!
Email from CLOUD 10/3/08: I am walking better and better. My back legs are very coordinated now, and the hula movement that I had before is gone. I now have pushing power with my back legs, and I launch myself right up onto the bed where we all sleep at night. I get the spot closest to Mom so I can protect her! After all, I am a big, strong setter now!!!
I am very close to my Mom, and I really like to do lots of things with her. For example, I wait until Mom brings her plate of food and sits beside me, and I watch for her to take her first bite of food before I will eat my own food. I think it's much better to have company at mealtime, and I wouldn't want Mom to have to eat alone! Okay, so I finish long before she does, but that's okay cuz I'm a growing boy. Mom says that I am wonderful company.
I also like to play tug! I will bring the rope toy to Mom and invite her to play with me, cuz I know she likes to play, too. I pull very hard. Mom does pretty good, but I am getting so strong that I actually win sometimes! When Mom lets go, I bring it back and put it in her hand so we can play again. We do this over and over, and it's great funa and good exercise for both of us.
We exercise together every day. Sometimes we run loose in the back yard together, and sometimes we run together with me on a leash so we sort of pace ourselves together. If Mom lets go of the leash, I will stop, turn around, and bring the leash back to her. She says it's like I'm trying to say, "Did you drop this?" I know that when I am on leash that we are exercising together, and, as I said before, I really like doing things with Mom. Sometimes she is surprised by my mannerisms, saying that they are very human-like.
Halloween is coming and we have been working really hard on our Halloween costumes. All three of us furkids are having fun being fitted for our very own homemade Halloween costumes, and posing to have our pictures taken all dressed up is a blast! Of course, all three of us want to win the SOS Halloween Costume Contest. We are keeping our costumes a secret, so you'll just have to wait until the pictures are posted on the SOS website to see us!
I want to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who donated to help me get well. I believe that I have more than proven that I truly am "The CLOUD that COULD!!! Oh, Mom says she wants to write something, too, so I'll be turning the keyboard over to her now.
Love, Prince CLOUD
(From Elizabeth) CLOUD is a very special boy with a very big heart and a lot of love and happiness to share. We are so happy and grateful that he has come to share my life with us. He has brought out the best in both of the girls, and has gently incented MARILYN to play with him. For the first time in her life, she has really come alive and is having fun - all because of CLOUD's winsome personality.
He is the best company anyone could possibly hope for. He is such a sweet boy and truly a perfect companion for all of us. I just couldn't imagine life without him!