Dear Mama-T, a 58-lb pittie mix, was found just off a busy I-5 interchange and brought to a shelter by a Good Samaritan. Mama-T (“T” for tripod) cannot walk very far or very fast as her left front leg was amputated years ago and her overworked right front leg tires very quickly. She just doesn’t have the ability to escape from a vehicle on her own so she was probably dumped in a parking lot near the highway. While she’d been micro-chipped about 12 years ago and the shelter was able to reach the owner, that person had given Mama-T away before moving to the southwest.
The shelter contacted Old Dog Haven for help and we’re happy to report that this loving old girl is now thoroughly enjoying her Final Refuge forever home. She’s receiving treatment for a chronic ear infection, severe arthritis in both knees (and possible cruciate ligament rupture), miscellaneous skin growths, and generalized itching and flaky skin–all treatable and all now being managed to keep her healthy and happy!
Her ODH mom reports that Mama-T loves to go outside, and really loves to go for walks – she can hop along slowly – but after just a short way she tires and will face plant. So thanks to the generosity of Old Dog Haven donors, Mama-T now has a 4-wheeled cart that she can get out and about in while staying balanced and safe. When not out hot-rodding in her fancy rig, Mama-T just loves to lay in the sun, chase water from the hose while her mom waters the flowers, and eat. If her mom picks up a fly swatter, Mama-T will bolt up and follow – her mom thinks she must have learned to chase flies in a past life because she’s instantly on the hunt for anything mom might take a swing at!
Friends, this old, tripod dog once dumped by the side of the highway is now living the golden life because of your loyal support of ODH. Mama-T gets to hop off into her bright future with snappy pink “hot-wheels” because of YOU. Go, Mama, go!
Update: From her Final Refuge Mom – Mama-T had severe osteoarthritis in her one front leg and her spine, and the cruciate ligaments in both her knees were torn. She started out with an arched back, bunny hopping both rear feet together, and face planting. Her chin was so red and sore.
A comprehensive pain management plan allowed her to move around much easier. When Mama-T first got in her cart, she moved the same way ie bunny hopping with her back severely arched. But eventually she learned to use the harnesses for support, and then was able to flatten her back and paddle the cart with her feet. I would “run” behind, barely able to keep up, watching her little ears bounce up and down in front of me as she cruised along.
I had to keep an eye out for cracks in the concrete, drainage grates, and potholes. The front wheels being smaller tended to drop into these depressions which would then cause the cart to flip forward. Also the carts don’t come with brakes, so I had to not only steer away from the obstacles, but also stop the cart. At first Mama-T tried to stop the cart herself by planting her feet, so booties were immediately ordered to protect them from the wear and tear of the pavement. In all, she completely wore out 6 pairs of booties.
Mama-T would run about 2 miles a day – up and down hills providing all the power herself. She would start lunging to go faster if she saw a bunny or squirrel or cat that she thought she might be able to catch. Eventually her cart was adorned with a hot pink supplies pouch at the rear, flashing white headlights, and flashing red tail-lights. She adored people and would head straight over to anyone who would stop and talk to her. Her most favorite place to run was along the Edmonds shoreline where many people did their daily walking.
After about a year and a half, Mama-T started slowing down. She could no longer go up hills without assistance, and eventually she could not help herself at all on the hills – I had to pull her. So then I started driving the car down to a parking area with the other dogs, leave the car and walk home. Next I would run Mama-T down to where the car was, load up and drive her home. She would still get her daily run, but I didn’t have to pull her up the hill.
Mama-T was with Old Dog Haven for 2 years. She was 14 years old. She started stumbling/tripping with her front leg, and therefore started moving slower and more cautiously to avoid faceplanting. When she moved I could hear and feel crepitus over her rib cage on the right side. Eventually she could no longer adequately hop around the house and yard to get to her food/water, or to poop/pee easily, so I kept a harness on her to quickly provide assistance. When laying on her dog bed, she looked sad.
Mama-T had a perfect last day – it was the first warm sunny day in a week. We drove down to the walkway along the shoreline and headed out to see all the people. Mama-T stopped numerous times just to watch the passersby, or to close her eyes and rest in the sun next to the rose bushes. She even scored dog cookies from one of the walkers.
Thanks to Old Dog Haven donors, Mama-T was provided with 2 years of mobility to get out and about around the neighborhood and meet oh so many new friends. She loved running in her cart right up and including her last day. The veterinarian came to our home, and Mama-T fell asleep for the last time in the sun – once again able to run up the hills all by herself.