It Takes An Army – Maverick is Helped by Vets, PTs, RVTs, Even A Pediatrician

One of the “nice” things about having a paralyzed puppy that is also adorable is that everyone wants to help him. People consistently, daily, hourly stop me when I’m carrying Mav around and ask what happened to him, tell me he’s adorable, and then ask me how they can help. People just can’t help themselves when they see him. He’s so damn cute and so damn paralyzed. It’s impossible for most people to NOT want to help him. Even my neighbors who are certain that I am completely crazy, neighbors who probably hate the noise and barking that come from my house and watch me a cajillion times a day bending over to pick up poop from their yards, see Mav and say, “Oh my god how cute is that PUPPY?!!!!!”

Total aside: Today I was working with my dog trainer, the world-famous Michael Chill, trying to get my hideously behaving young, albino Doberman, Kashmir to walk nicely on a leash. Complete and other aside: Dr. Sue Downing (also world-famous) is India’s oncologist, my other albino Doberman. Dr. Downing had gotten mad at me during India’s recent melanoma recheck because one of the areas on her body that seems to be producing melanomas the fastest is her nose. Dr. Downing asked me if I put sunscreen on it every day and I meekly said, “No” while vowing that as soon as I got home I’d be slathering her and her brother Kashmir in Hawaiian Tropic sun block SPF 5000.  Back to my original aside: As Michael and I were about to take Kashmir out to work on his bratty behavior I stopped and slathered his nose in sunscreen. He recoiled as he always does (and tries to run away from me) when I pulled out the sunscreen. So Michael, taking advantage of Kashmir’s fear of the sunscreen, promptly borrowed the bottle and we proceeded to do an hour’s worth of training using the bottle of sunscreen to “scare” Kashmir into walking politely. My neighbors, seeing me walking around the neighborhood for an hour threatening my dog with a bottle of sunscreen once again were reminded that I am truly, completely nuts with my dogs.

So, when they come out of their houses and actually ask how they can help Maverick I am nothing but astonished. I stifle the urge to explain any unusual behavior they might have seen, just as I do at Costco when I’m in there buying my 10,000th carton of Poise Pads “for the heavy menstrual cycle”. “They’re for my paralyzed dogs’ diapers, I swear!” Mav always gets giddy with delight when people stop and want to talk to him. He wiggles and squirms while his tail goes about a thousand miles an hour with excitement. I wish sometimes that they were all actual physical therapists so I could take them up on their offers of support and pawn him off for some good PT for Mav and an hour or two of R&R for Bryan and I.

One client was kind enough to send her own personal PT over who spent two hours helping us build some custom carpal splints to put on Maverick’s front legs when we were doing assisted walking exercises. He’s coming back this week to help us build a thermoplastic splint that we can use to keep his elbows in place. And has offered to come back weekly to adjust it as Mav gets more flexion in his elbows. Another super awesome surgeon, Dr. Kim Carey took Mav for the day, shot radiographs of his elbows and shoulders and created a custom splint to help us flex his left elbow, his problem joint.

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