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Four Paws and a Tail: Stories of Disabled Dogs Living Life to the Fullest

Four Paws and a Tail: Stories of Disabled Dogs Living Life to the Fullest

A Warrior’s Journey: Viivi’s New Beginnings

Imagine my world collapsing on a routine Monday. That’s exactly what happened to Viivi, a 4-year-old miniature wire-haired dachshund. One moment she was happily walking by my side, the next she sat down, unable to move. My gut instinct told me something was terribly wrong.

Rushing Viivi to the animal hospital, I learned she was suffering from the dreaded IVDD – Intervertebral Disk Disease. This devastating condition had robbed her of the ability to walk, and now she lay paralyzed before me. As I stared into her eyes, filled with a look of despair, my heart shattered. Why her? Why Viivi?

Fortunately, the skilled neurosurgeon at the animal hospital immediately took Viivi into surgery. The operation was a success, and the next day, I brought my girl home, ready to embark on the long road to recovery. Viivi’s story was just beginning.

The Darkest Days

The first 24 hours were nothing short of horrific. Viivi refused to eat, drink or move a muscle. I struggled to empty her bladder, unsure if I was doing it correctly. Exhausted and desperate, I began to question if I had made the right decision. Should I have let her go, instead of subjecting her to this ordeal?

But then, a glimmer of hope emerged. Viivi started to move, wag her tail, and even attempt to scratch herself. These small milestones filled me with newfound determination. We had a long and difficult journey ahead, but I knew my little girl would beat this monster called IVDD.

Rehabilitation and Triumph

Over the next few weeks, Viivi’s progress was nothing short of remarkable. She began standing and walking independently, even if her movements were a bit unsteady. Aqua therapy and daily physiotherapy exercises helped rebuild her strength and coordination.

By the fourth month, we embarked on a well-deserved holiday to the snowy wonderland of Finnish Lapland. Viivi, determined to keep up, soldiered on through 10-kilometer hikes, her hind legs doing their best to keep pace. Whenever we tried to help, she refused, insisting on doing it herself.

Viivi’s resilience and spirit amazed me. She had regained so much of her mobility, even competing in an unofficial Rally Obedience competition and placing third with an impressive score of 95 out of 100. I was bursting with pride for my little heroine.

A Second Chance at Life

Viivi’s journey with IVDD wasn’t without its setbacks. Nine months after her initial surgery, she experienced a sudden episode of yelping and paralysis during a routine walk. My heart sank, fearing the worst. But after a checkup, the vet assured us there was no serious damage, just some tightness in the muscles that needed addressing through physiotherapy.

From that point on, Viivi’s life was a testament to the power of determination and the unbreakable bond between a dog and their human. She continued to compete in blood tracking competitions and Rally Obedience tests, proving that although she hadn’t fully recovered, it hadn’t stopped her from living life to the fullest.

I Have Dogs is a wonderful resource for anyone facing similar challenges with a disabled pet. Their blog and community provide invaluable guidance and support, just as they did for me and Viivi.

Cherishing Every Moment

Viivi’s story is a reminder that a disability doesn’t have to be a death sentence. With the right care, equipment, and unwavering love, our furry friends can continue to thrive and enjoy life. Her journey has taught me the importance of embracing each moment, no matter the challenges.

So, if you find yourself caring for a disabled dog, take heart. Viivi’s story proves that there is life after IVDD, and with a little creativity and a whole lot of love, you can help your pup live their best life. After all, a wagging tail and a spark in their eyes are the greatest signs of a life well-lived.

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