By Kendall De Menech. Skullster, Skulliwag, The Man, Skullinkster, Skulls, Buddy, Skulligan Man, or just plain Skully. He comes to all these names. This little Boston Terrier/Chihuahua cross is such an awesome pup but he came so close to dying a year ago. Here is his story.
Skully was found, by a passerby, in a park in Chilliwack and brought to Sardis Animal Hospital . He was near death from starvation. That is how he got his name. His emaciated head looked huge on his little starved body. The poor little guy also had a herniated bladder that was protruding out his back end. Because he was lost and without an owner, the staff at the veterinary clinic did not have permission to do the surgery to repair his dangerously enlarged bladder so they quickly set in motion a plan to try and find his guardian. They created posters and stapled them to telephone poles, contacted other vet clinics in the area and attached his description in hopes he might be recognized as a client dog. They also emailed notices on Craig’s List and Petfinder and notified the many shelters and rescue groups. Many hours passed and there was no response to these efforts. The little dog was getting weaker and weaker.
The entire clinic staff knew they needed to do surgery and finally decided to follow through. His hernia was repaired and Skully was also neutered. He made a slow recovery in the safety of the clinic.
Lynn, who works with me at K9H2O, is one of the veterinary technicians at Sardis Animal Hospital and she quickly fell in love with the 2 year old dog and gave him his name. Much to her chagrin she noticed that, although Skully had sailed through his surgery, once he was up and about, he was limping on his right hind leg. X-rays were taken and they showed that Skully had sometime in the last year, had hip surgery and there were screws and a plate implanted in his thigh bone. What was more frightening was that the top of the bone looked irregular. This might be why he was limping. In a further search for his owner, his x-rays were sent to a number of veterinarians and sugical specialists to see if a file could be found on Skully. Again, there were no results but one specialist replied that this little dog really needed to have the damage bone removed.
Lynn committed herself to Skully and began taking him home. She tried swimming him but the hind leg was too painful Skully was now tri-podding (only walking on three legs) and looked dismal. He was in a lot of pain and something needed to be done or he might lose the leg. Over the course of the next few months Skully underwent two more surgeries to repair his hip and remove pins. He contracted a bone infection which was caught quickly and helped by antibiotics. Lynn diligently started Skully on a regular regime of swimming, physiotherapy visits and home exercises.
It has been a year since Skully first entered his new home with Lynn. Today, he walks very well on four legs and occasionally runs on three. His weak leg has gained muscle and is now weight bearing. We think he has made about a 90% recovery on that leg. He has taken our Boating Etiquette course and learned this summer to love kayaking with Lynn and her husband. He loves camping, and, when at home, he has his own miniature recliner in the livingroom. He is the world’s best dog to snuggle with and given the chance, he will dive under the covers for a warm night’s sleep. He loves to eat spiders, lay in the sunshine and after a walk around the block, he gets the “zoomies” and races up and down the hallway. He goes everywhere with Lynn, even back to the clinic to spend the day there when she is on shift. He has an impressive wardrobe of rain, snow and warm-up coats and this October he dressed as a hula dancer for Halloween!
Skully was so close to death, so close to amputation and worst of all so close to abandonment. His journey over the last year has been exceptionally difficult but he was fortunate enough to be found by a kind person who took him to a safe and compassionate place and that led him to excellent medical care and special support. There, he found his new adoptive Mom and Dad who love him so much. He is now happy, well cared for and content. What a wonderful long life he will hopefully have.
K9 H2O: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.