UPDATE August 9, 2016 – Hope is fitted with her new cart today. She took her first spin around North Durham Animal Clinic and didn’t get a speeding ticket. We can’t wait until she is free-wheeling and whipping corners. Her personality continues to infect everyone who meets her. It’s not difficult to want to help this vibrant little girl. What a twist her life has taken. We can’t save every animal like Hope, but Hope wants you to know that she won’t squander this opportunity she’s been given by representing all the other babies out there we’ll never meet. Hope is our hope and their hope.
Friends of BARC would like to extend a special thanks to Jason Parker, who donated Hope’s new cart. She is the very first recipient of a cart under his Gunnar’s Wheels foundation.
UPDATE August 2, 2016 – Friends of BARC took Hope for her neurology evaluation at Gulf Coast Neurology. Hope met with Dr. Longshore, who conducted an extensive evaluation of her body. It was Dr. Longshore’s conclusion that while Hope’s spinal cord does not appear to be severed (he observed Hope wag her tail voluntarily without prompting or human contact), her spinal fracture has likely rendered her back legs incapable of walking in any normal fashion. We discussed the possibility of surgery to fuse her spinal column with a plate, but Dr. Longshore felt her chances of walking again even if surgery went as well as expected were incredibly slim. We discussed her ability to live with the aid of a cart, and he felt this was a good option as long as her caretaker was prepared for the rigorous rituals of making sure her bladder was constantly emptied to prevent urinary tract infections and eventual immunity to antibiotics, a common problem with cart animals.
Hope had no name when she was found under a house in Houston on Sunday, July 17, 2016, another victim of a “hit by car,” or HBC as they’re known at BARC. It was believed she dragged her non-functioning back legs from the street to find a place to hide. The homeowner told BARC she could have been under his house as long as two days.
Edwin, the BARC Animal Control Officer who pulled her from under the house, brought her in after hours to BARC. Dr. Radix was on his way out the door after a long, hectic day, but when he saw Hope, he realized he’d just have to get home a little bit later that night. She did not appear to be in any pain, yet she couldn’t use her back legs and could only prop herself up in an awkward fashion of self-preservation. We see these cases occasionally and they usually signify damage to the spinal column or spinal cord. It usually means a death sentence for most dogs.
Her face said it all. “I don’t know why I’m here, but I need help.”
Dr. Radix checked her in, gave her some medications, and prepared her for the night. We fed her a bowl of wet food, which she gobbled in seconds. She slurped up much needed water. We put her in a kennel with a soft blanket and pillow, and covered her with a blanket for the night. This would probably be the most secure and comfortable sleep of her young life, and that’s sad considering it was in a shelter. Friends of BARC arranged for Hope to get x-rays at our local vet clinic partner a day later.
The results were as expected – “Either spinal cord damage or fractured back, need to see Orthopedist or euthanization suggested.” Paige, an employee at the vet clinic where Hope currently is, quickly fell in love with her. She could see that shining light beaming from her contorted body. Paige cleans her every day and makes sure she is able to go outside and relieve herself.
Hope is the perfect candidate to become a cart dog, and Paige has been working to line up fosters and potential adopters. There are rescue groups who specialize in dogs with injuries like Hope’s, so we might have to find one and make arrangements to transport her, possibly out of state.
Paige’s foster Fizz, seen in the photo and videos with Hope, has been a willing partner of comfort. The photos and videos below (after you grab the Kleenex) are as powerful as the bond these two have formed. Hope is pure, unadulterated love. Sadly, it took having her body broken for us to find that out.
Please help us ensure that Hope hits the lottery by finding that perfect home life where she can spread her wings and wheel around with the best of them!