Amazing Grace

By November 30, 2014Kendall De Menech, Pets

By Kendall De Menech. This young dog stole my heart and broke it at the same time Grace was rescued from a backyard breeding program. Her owner had about a dozen dogs and was determined to create a new breed: half Pit Bull and half English Bull dog.

Just the thought, makes me shudder. English Bull dogs have been designed for show through the years to have large heads, stocky bodies and short legs. The breed relies on veterinarians to survive. Because the legs are so short, Studs cannot often mount the females and the females have difficulty supporting the weight of the males.

Artificial insemination is a commonly preferred method. At the completion of gestation the puppies often cannot pass through the birth canal to safe naturally delivery as their heads are too big. Caesarian section is very common with English Bull dogs. So, why would anyone want to combine that history with short stocky, large headed Pit Bulls?

Gracie may have been an off-spring kept for breeding. Her body shape is unique. She has a long chunky back, big head and short short legs. But her eyes are black pools of sadness and gentleness.

Someone horribly cut her ears off but she can wiggle them up and create the most lovely and expressive wrinkles over her forehead. In the pool, or on a rainy day, though, they constantly fill with water.

A situation, upon rescue, brought Grace to K9H2O. She was fostered into the care of a wonderful group known as HugABullls, based in Vancouver.

HugABulls comes to the aid of many dogs of Pit Bull origin who have suffered at the hands of humans. Dogs are evaluate, re-trained if necessary, given medical care if needed and then fostered and/or sent to loving homes. Members are highly trained and compassionate. I love working with HugABulls and support them whenever I can.

Grace had been used for breeding so off she went to a kind veterinary office for surgery, to be spayed. Although she faced the most common of surgeries, complications occurred and Grace hemorrhaged and needed a second surgery to stop the bleeding. That led to two transfusions which were necessary to save her life.

Then something went wrong with her long back and paralysis ensued. Luckily, the paralysis abated but she ended up with nerve damage to her right hind foot. It dragged and she was unable to lift it up as she stepped. HugAbull called me and we got her in the pool.

The day Grace arrived she looked so sad. It was as if she was saying: “I don’t know what to do. I have spent my five years of life in a cage.” She was so sad. I reached down to pet her head and she flinched and lowered herself to the floor. At some point, she had been beaten.

Grace and Nevaeh Rose

Her hind foot was limp and knuckled over. The skin was scraped and raw and the muscles of her thigh were atrophied. Her new foster Dad, EJ, and his wife and children (ages 2 and 4) have done a wonderful job of keeping her on soft ground and wrapping her foot in a bootie. His two little daughters had fallen madly in love with Grace (and she with them) and his little two year old daughter would often toddle over to Grace and pick up and turn over Gracie’s right hind foot and place it properly on the floor: “Fix it Gracie.”

Gracie learned to love the pool. She started to retrieve toys. Then she got a glint in her eye and would hold onto a toy. We gently coaxed it out her mouth. She is so soft and sweet and now gives up the toy so gently.

I recommended Gracie go visit Dr Susan Calverley of Mission Veterinary Clinic, who is the Canadian distributor for OrthoVets.

Besides running a great practice, Mission Vets has a wonderful program of physio for dogs and cats. The clinic has now expanded and is creating braces, splints and orthotics for dogs and other animals.

They have a specially designed bootie that has elastic straps attached pulling up from the toes which automatically will lift a weak foot up as the dog steps, thus preventing dragging. It is a clever new tool, and a great new invention for the animal world.

Grace will get her bootie soon. She is already showing signs of walking better and with the help of antibiotics and great care by her owners, the foot is much healthier. Her muscles in her thigh have improved and she is weight bearing better on the leg. The big thing is that she no longer looks lost or scared. She is the sweetest girl, loves to hug and is quiet and patient. Thank gosh for HugABulls, E.J. and his family and Mission Vet. Grace is a wonderful
rescue story.

Contact Mission Veterinary Clinic at 604.826.8456
Contact HugABulls at They have a wonderful website.

K9 H2O:

Kendall and Kobi smile for the camera

Kendall De Menech owns and operates K9 H2O which hosts an indoor canine aquatic facility with diverse and multifunctional programming.

Secluded in a casual working environment, the facility offers an 80,000 liter, warm water indoor swimming pool, retrofitted and sanitized to accommodate dogs.

All swims are by appointment only. Please call or fax to: 604-864-2284.

Email: k9h2o@shaw.caWeb:

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