As professional pet sitters we are trained and qualified to care for animals with special needs. Meet Pedro, a special-needs dog. Here is Pedro’s story:
Pedro was adopted by his family as a puppy from an animal shelter. He is a border collie/australian shepherd mix. When his family arrived at the shelter to look for a new furry family member it was love at first sight for Pedro and 5-year-old Aaron. The entire family knew that Pedro was going home with them! Pedro was a happy, playful pup, and did his job to keep track of and be the best companion to Aaron. He loved to go on hikes with his Mom, a Wildlife Biologist, running and jumping all along the way.
When Pedro was about 9 months old he became very sick with a serious GI infection and a very high fever. Pedro was put on strong antibiotic therapy. When his fever went down and he had improved, the vet sent him home. Several days later his fever spiked again, and after having a grand mal seizure, Pedro had to be put on a ventilator to be kept alive.
Pedro did survive, but had a very long and arduous journey ahead of him to regain his health. He had nerve damage at 3 locations along his spine: in the neck causing Korner’s syndrome (one pupil dilated more than the other), above his shoulder causing his left leg to contract, and near the tail causing hypersensitivity in his back. Pedro was paralyzed and couldn’t move…not even to lift his head! With many hours, weeks, and even months of therapy, being driven many miles to and from specialists, and the undying love and support of his family, Pedro slowly began to gain his strength back. Sadly, his front left leg had sustained so much nerve damage that Pedro couldn’t straighten it past a 90 degree angle at the knee-joint. Prior to his illness Pedro’s loyalty was to Aaron and he never left Aaron’s side. Now, Aaron’s job was to encourage Pedro to walk! With Aaron’s help and the support of a wheeled cart Pedro was eventually back to running in circles, spinning Aaron in his hammock chair, and making him giggle!
During the next several years, though, due to the fact that his leg was bent and constantly hitting against things as he walked, Pedro endured many serious infections in his left elbow and his family was forever treating and bandaging it. Unfortunately, Pedro’s doctor eventually recommended amputation. The family was very concerned that if Pedro lost this leg, he wouldn’t be able to get around at all considering the other issues with his gait due to the nerve damage along the spine. But they trusted their veterinarian’s advice and scheduled the amputation.
When Pedro’s Mom came to the clinic to pick him up after surgery, her heart broke for him. The poor guy was shaved on his left side and had 47 staples in the shape of a large “Y”. But after getting him home, comfortable, and out of pain as much as possible, Pedro was able to sleep. The very next morning he was up and getting around better than before!! By that afternoon Aaron had to encourage Pedro to rest and let himself heal!
Today, Pedro is again a healthy, happy and very playful dog. He cannot go for hikes or long walks, but he can do his job: looking after his now 13-year-old buddy, Aaron!
It is always a joy for me to spend time with Pedro. After all he has endured in his 8 years, his spirit has not been broken. He is an inspiration to all who meet him, and I feel blessed to be included in his life! Pedro…he is special indeed!