In my last post, I talked about running with my three dogs: Hogan, Calvin, and Lenny. I was planning on sharing some running tips and gear suggestions, however, I felt compelled to open up about an accident that took place in our family.
Nearly two weeks ago, my family went on our annual camping trip with our kids, dogs, a boat, and enough food to last a month. Calvin and Hogan LOVE camping.
My son, Jakob, forgot his wakeboard and lifejacket back at his college condo. Jakob, his girlfriend Lexi, and Calvin left the lake to go pick up the forgotten equipment. They were roughly 20-minutes away from camp when a car suddenly stopped in front of them. Jakob veered away to avoid hitting the car. Unfortunately, he lost control and his truck rolled on its side. Jakob and Lexi were traveling at slow speeds with their seatbelts and, thankfully, they were not harmed!
Calvin’s back leg went through the window. In an attempt to free himself, he repeatedly pulled on his ankle which ended up damaging his leg and severing his tendons. Jakob, after helping Lexi, climbed to the backseat and freed Calvin. He wrapped his leg using a first aid kit that he carries with him. Once the paramedics confirmed that all humans were safe, my son asked that they care for Calvin. One volunteered to rush Calvin to an emergency veterinarian center.
The ER veterinarian, Dr. Liz, performed surgery on Calvin’s back leg. During the operation, she stopped the procedure and called with the sad news. Calvin’s tendons were so severally severed that they could not be repaired. She suggested amputation and my heart sank. How could my active, marathon running, swimming, dock diving, and fetching maniac dog survive with three legs?
We visited Calvin in the morning. He was so happy to see us! His little leg was bandaged from hip to toe, but his pointer tail wagged. We met with Dr. Liz again. She had two other surgeons look at Calvin’s leg and she spoke with Calvin’s local veterinarian. All agreed that, given Calvin’s active lifestyle, amputation would be the best option. Fusing the joints or using a prosthetic would slow him down.
Dr. Liz asked her husband to stop by with their family dog, Nala. Nala, a beautiful Alaskan Huskey, lost her back leg as a puppy and was adopted by Dr. Liz. She is a sweet and happy dog. She runs, swims and moves around like a champ! It made us all feel better about Calvin.
On Friday, July 13, Calvin had his back leg amputated. The procedure took more than four hours to perform. My husband and I stopped by to see him after the surgery. That was the first time we saw him without his leg. He was laying in a large hospital crate heavily sedated. My husband and I both agreed that he was the cutest little tripawd, and we both knew he would continue to have a wonderful life in our family.
Amazingly, when I arrived the next morning to bring Calvin home, he WALKED out of the office. That’s right, he walked. He first peed (attempting to lift the missing leg and getting it all over his foot) and then walked to the car. I was amazed!! Dr. Liz and the rest of the crew said their goodbyes. They all got attached to Calvin and asked that we keep them updated on his progress. Although their office is two hours from our home, we’re bringing him back for his post-op appointment so that they can see him.
The first two days after the amputation was rough on him given the pain, medication, and the cone, but he’s making remarkable progress! He can go up and down the stairs, jump on our bed and sofa, jogs to the mailbox, sits and shakes for treats, and can almost pee without getting any on his leg (almost). Once the stitches are out and the “cone-of-shame” is off, we’re looking forward to slowly introducing him to the things he enjoys, such as swimming and running.
Dogs are amazing! The resilience they display is inspirational. I’m beyond blessed that Jakob, Lexi, and Calvin walked away from the accident. I’m thankful that Calvin is in my life. Every day he inspires me and reminds me that a positive attitude can help you overcome adversity. Now, I proudly use the hashtag #tripawd.
Looking forward to sharing his bright future with all of you! #calvinstrong @pointandwag
“Because dogs live in the present. Because dogs don’t hold grudges. Because dogs let go of all their anger daily, hourly, and never let it fester. They absolve and forgive with each passing minute. Every turn of the corner is the opportunity for a clean slate. Every bounce of the ball brings joy and the promise of a fresh chase.” – Lily and the Octopu by Steven Rowley
Have you been inspired by a fur-friend? Leave a comment below!
Hi! I’m Nik (short for Nikole) from @pointandwag. I’m a mom of three humans and three furry family members. I have two GSPs, Hogan Sandwich and Calvin T-Bone. I love to run with my German Shorthaired Pointers! Hogan is now considered a ‘senior’ dog, so I’ve had to make some running adjustments. Calvin is 4 and could probably run 100 miles. I also have a Scottish Terrier, Lenny Spaghetti, who’s a just a pup. I’ve never had a little dog but must admit, everything they say about TERRIERS is true. He’s awesome! We’re the @pointandwag crew.