Happy Tails: TJ

tj 00546Hello world.  I'm TJ, and I'm a good boy and I will make you smile...if you give me a chance.  

I belong to a wonderful family who rescued me from a pet store when it was all the rage to have "designer dogs".  I get my wavy golden locks from my cocker spaniel mom and my big round eyes and my loving personality from my bichon daddy.  My humans rescuers say that makes me a "cockachon".

When my humans brought me home, I thought I had hit the jackpot.  I didn't have to live in a glass box anymore and I was able to take walks and even pee on grass!  Wow, that was something new for me!  I lived happily for many years with my humans and a couple of funny cats and I thought I must be the happiest dog on earth.  Then something strange happened.

tj 00547One morning I woke up and couldn't stand up on my back legs.  I desperately crawled to the door to get outside to pee, but I didn't make it.  How embarassing.  I looked around and noticed my humans had a funny look on their faces.  They knew something was wrong with me.  My back was aching but I was brave and didn't cry.  My humans cleaned me up and carried me to my doggie bed.  I decided to just lay around and take it easy and my human mommy stayed home from work to watch over me. She gave me some chicken and rice but I didn't really feel like eating.  In fact, when my human daddy got home from work that day, I soiled my doggy bed and he was not happy.  Embarassing moment #2.

Everyone went to sleep that night hoping that by resting, I would be better the next day.  Well, that night was rough.  I soiled myself again without even knowing that I had to go.  My humans put my bed in the bathroom and I had to sleep on the floor in there all night.  Oh how I longed to snuggle with my humans in our big bed.  It was not to be and I knew I had let them down.  I cried a little bit that night, some from the pain, but mostly because I was scared that I was losing control of myself.  I had always been a good boy and now I was disappointing my family.

The next morning my humans took me for a ride to the veterinary hospital.  The people there poked me with needles and gave me an exam and some medicine.  By the time we got home I was feeling a little better, but I still couldn't control my system and I continued to have accidents.  My humans began arguing about my situation. I wished I could make things better, but I felt helpless.  All I could do was try to stay in my bed and not cry.  I thought if I didn't eat very much I would not have as many accidents, so I tried that.  Not a good idea I guess, since it just made me weaker.  I just wasn't the TJ everyone was used to.

I must have looked pretty miserable, because I heard my parents talking as if there wasn't much hope for me.  I heard them say it might be better to put me to sleep forever so I would not be in pain.  The doctors had told them they could try doing surgery to fix my back, but that it might not work, and it was very expensive.  They felt it might be better to just let me go to sleep.  I continued to be strong and not cry, but I think they cried more than me.

Just when I thought my situation was hopeless, I heard the tone of my mom's voice change.  She sounded sad, but hopeful as she talked to my dad about this group called the Bichon Rescue Brigade that might be able to help us.  Instead of putting me to sleep, they might be able to find a new home for me with a family that could spend the kind of time and money it was going to take to try to fix me.  They didn't want to give me up, but they couldn't stand the thought of putting me to sleep either.  I wanted to LIVE, even if it meant I might have to live with a new family.

For the next few days I did my best to drag myself out the door to get outside to do my business.  I was successful most of the time and I could tell my dad and mom were proud of me.  My mom got in touch with the Bichon Rescue Brigade and explained our situation.  To her surprise, the lady she was working with had two dogs just like me.  Two of her bichons, Snuggles and Chipper, had injured their backs and they weren't sure how.  Both had been told they would probably never walk again and surgery was recommended.  BOTH are now walking, and neither had surgery!  

tj 188The Bichon Rescue Brigade arranged for me to see another vet, Dr. Bausone at Acacia Animal Hospital, for a second opinion.  Although he says there's a 50/50 chance I'll ever walk on my own again, I am determined to prove him wrong.  

Our new BRB friend, Debbie, will help us by sharing the experiences and methods she used to get her dogs on the road to recovery. And the best news of all is that I CAN STAY WITH MY FAMILY.  My mom and dad are so encouraged to have the assistance of the rescue volunteers that they are NOT GIVING UP ON ME.  They have ordered me a cool wheelchair and I am hoping to start swim lessons with Trish at Cutting Edge K9 rehab very soon.

Oh, one more very exciting thing. That other dog, Chipper, well, he let me take his wheels for a spin.  W O W ...I hadn't been able to walk for about a month!  With wheels like this, I can do anything...even chase the cats!  Maybe Chipper and I can have wheelchair races!

Thanks for reading my story and THANK YOU MOM and DAD, and Bichon Rescue Brigade, for not giving up on me!

I am TJ

Stay tuned to this website for progress reports.  I'm hoping my story will help other families with dogs like me so their owners don't give up on them.