Time for us to dive into Willow’s progress on her rehabilitation plan.
Willow has now been with us for nine-and-a-half months. She has lost twenty pounds. She still won’t get up on her back leg and that gives us some concern. We’ve tried making her walk in her wheel chair, which allows her to lift the weak leg off the ground move along using just her front legs. We’ve also tried a sling which becomes an incredibly awkward ballet as she tries to avoid using her back leg and we pirouette and brisė our way down the sidewalk.
We had hoped by now she would have built up enough strength to lift herself. While she can bump along at a pretty good pace, she does not get herself far off the ground and she ends up with a pretty messy tail and stump. A big concern is that as a 12-ish-year old German Shepherd, she may have other issues preventing her from using the back leg that are common to the breed, such as spinal myelopathy or hip dysplasia. She could also have nerve damage from whatever accident caused the amputation of her leg. We are, however, holding out hope that we can at least build up enough strength in her back end that she can move about comfortably during her golden years. So, we turned to swimming.
We went to Bow Wow Fun Towne, a daycare and doggie pool owned by our friend Mary Mark. Mary was very patient with us as we tried this same route with our former dog, Thor.*