Oh hi! I didn’t notice you all there…I was just busy lounging at my temporary home, the Blue Moon Pet Resort, dreaming about my days as a younger dog…Ahhh those were the days when I could run like the wind all day long! I’m really hoping I can get back to my daily fitness regime soon – my favourite being the walk-sniff-pee interval training – keeps me svelt to attract the ladies! Walk for ten minutes, sniff for five minutes, pee for two minutes…repeat. It’s my personal favourite! Lately though this hip is making it really hard to lift my leg and mark. My dog friends are all going to think a Chihuahua has taken over my body when they sniff my messages at the park. Sigh! But it’s getting better every day now. Dr. Fowler at Guardian Veterinary Centre did one heck of job fixing this hip after I dislocated it through a series of unfortunate incidents. Yup, dislocated. You know I survived the motorhome accident and then got clipped by a train and rescued from nearly dead I’m told….oh boy…Stanley had a Wild Party and ended up with a children’s book about his misadventures. Me…I ended up with a shaved leg full of staples which I painstakingly removed one by one with my teeth and then I got the Cone of Shame for TEN days!!
I should really back up here…so I was on this great holiday with my newly adopted family motorhoming through British Columbia and Alberta. I moved in with them ten months earlier. The view from the motorhome was FANTASTIC – who knew there was so much to see and smell! I was so excited to finally be going on my first trip at age ten I could hardly stand myself. I had my kid with me - he’s the same age so we hung out in the motorhome together. And then out of nowhere I was flying across the pavement, suddenly there were a lot of lights and sirens and people everywhere. It was terrifying and confusing and yes, I’m a coward…I RAN. I ran all night and all the next day and all the day after that. There was people trying to catch me, lure me with food and treats but I just kept running. I was really getting hungry though – you would think I would just eat garbage but hello! I’m a dog with a discerning palate…okay, and pretty severe food allergies so I can’t just eat anything while I’m on the run. I was hoping my family would find me but we didn’t cross paths. I heard after the fact they stayed looking for me but then had to get back home to deal with their injuries from the accident.
The people of Tofield didn’t give up on finding me though. Thank goodness because I had a bit of a mishap chasing the train in Tofield – I’d just never seen a train before and it seemed like a fun thing to do while I was waiting to find my family...In hindsight, not my best idea. I don’t really remember what happened but I woke up in really tall grass in the ditch beside the train tracks and it was dark and cold and I couldn’t get up and my leg REALLY hurt. I thought this was it – I’m going to survive a motor vehicle accident and then die in a ditch and get eaten by coyotes. Ugh…not the glorious end I had envisioned for myself…On the coyote note…seriously, a message to my coyote cousins…thankyou so much for leaving me alone that night or maybe old labradours just don’t suit your tastes or maybe, like me, you have food allergies and you’re careful what you eat. Whatever the reason – I am grateful.
Back to my story…so some really nice people scooped me up that night and took me to Hastings Lake Animal Hospital as an emergency patient. I was a nervous wreck – I’m not good a t meeting new people at the best of times but I did my very best that night. I even let Dr. Karen put my iv catheter in my front leg without a lick of trouble. She gave me some medicine through the iv that made me feel pretty funny but the pain in my hip went down to a dull roar so I was grateful. Running lose through the prairies for four days has it’s perks but honestly, I was happy to have a proper dog bed to sleep on and I fell right asleep in my hospital bed until the morning. I was exhausted – physically and emotionally from the previous four days events.
I heard Dr. Karen talking to my family and I couldn’t understand everything but it seemed like my family wasn’t going to be able to take me back. I was pretty bummed admittedly – but then I heard the hospital staff say that my family wasn’t going to be able to take care of me after this injury because they were trying to take care of their injuries. They thought if I could find a good home in Alberta that would be my best option. And then I heard that they started me a GoFundMe Page called Save Oak! Wow! I am a celebrity!! Finally somebody recognized my star quality – too bad I’m a bit of a wreck right now for all my media appearances. I really need to update my profile photos on Facebook and get my Instagram up and running…and who knows what platforms all those young dogs are using now! So much to do!!
I was working really hard on my recovery at the clinic and I even was able to do some walking on my own even though I was pretty wonky in the hindend. And I thought everything was proceeding perfectly and then I overheard one of the staff at the clinic whispering about how much money we needed for my hip surgery….$4800!! I freaked out! I ate through my ecollar that night, ripped up my blankets and peed in my bed…I was having a full on panic attack because I knew the bank account of Oak for sure did NOT have $4800 in it! And I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with my hip dislocated….oh, if I had just left the train alone…
But you know what? People I don’t even know – and to be honest, I’d probably be scared of them initially anyways because I’m a big chicken and make horrible first impressions – these people were donating money to help get my surgery done. Incredible isn’t it? For little old me a mutt with a grey muzzle and a broken tooth and a dislocated hip and an anxiety issue and a really ugly wart on my chest….Dr. Fowler said we could go ahead with the surgery and he gave me the rescue dog discount so we squeaked in just under the wire with the money everybody raised for me. Amazing!! I will never be able to thank all those folks – but you know who you are and thankyou so much!
My big surgery day started like most days except that Sarah forgot to give me my breakfast – I was pretty suspicious…and then Ryan and Dr. Karen took me to another big fancy veterinary clinic (with a really cute Pomeranian in the waiting room I might add…). Dr. Fowler went to look at my hip and I tried to nip him….aaaaaahhhhhhh….I am a FAILURE at first impressions! I really need to work on this. Thank goodness Dr. Fowler didn’t kick me out right there but instead he laughed and said “oh, sorry Oak I went right for your sore hip. Let’s try this again.” And so me and Dr. Fowler became fast friends – good thing because I guess my surgery was REALLY REALLY hard. Eeeek. Dr. Fowler pinned my hip back together during a very long surgery – the xrays are pretty cool. I think I’ll put those on my Facebook page…or wherever the cool dogs post stuff like that. And thank god, Dr. Fowler removed that unsightly wart from my chest!!
And here I am at the Blue Moon Pet Resort with my bionic hip, a really bad haircut and a new family waiting to adopt me! Seems kinda surreal doesn’t it? I’m a little nervous to meet my new family but I’m pretty sure they’re gonna love me because I am going to be the best dog ever for them! That’s the only way I can thank all those people who raised money for me, took care of me, drove me around and saw the real me when I was crazy with pain and fear and anxiety and really missing my home.
Dr. Karen Allen has a small veterinary practice on her farm in rural Alberta. She cares for companion animals and farm pets, plus two growing children and her own menagerie of misfits from Sully the bed pooper to Ruby the naughty red pony who was sent home from the trainer's with an "F" on her report card! Karen's passion for veterinary medicine only barely eclipses her passion for surfing...which she took up at age 39 when she probably should have been looking at one piece bathing suits and cruises! And yes, her husband is a saint :)