Josh was a stray found roaming the streets of Yuma. He was malnourished and injured, but ridiculously cute.
Presumed to have been hit by a car, he had a broken elbow and hip on his right side. Barely able to walk, he was rescued by the Yuma shelter. There, it was decided he might have a better chance at life in Phoenix. So he was sent on the Yuma Rescue Express north where the rescue goup Arizona Golden Retriever Connection agreed to care for him. A phone call, an email, a sad looking picture later, and after a trip to the vet for x-rays and bloodwork, Candy Ziemer delivered a scrawny golden retriever ish pup to me. He hid under the table in my therapy room with no noticable personality.
Fast forward several months, full of life and fully recovered from the intestinal parasites and malnutrition, he raced through my yard, the elbow fracture nearly completely healed, but still on pain medication from the hip fracture that would need surgery. Hip surgery, an FHO procedure, is done the next day. They had to remove more bone than anticipated so there is significant shortening of his right back leg compared to the other legs. He stays the night with the orthopedic surgeon then home to start his physical therapy.
Fast forward to today. Josh doesn't wear lifts or special shoes to even out of his gait with his short leg. He stands with that one leg just touching the ground- its too short to make full contact. He uses it when he walks. He is quite functional and is no longer in pain. He will eventually get arthritis in the elbow - you can't take an injury like that and not expect it to have an impact. He will need lifelong weight control and supplements to keep his joints happy as long as possible. But he has a personality now. He is growing into his own. Cameras scare him, as do vacuums. He loathes going into his kennel at night while his best friend Jade sleeps in the hall nearby. He barks to let me know he wants something. He has taken the liberty of confiscating the ottoman as his personal dog bed and he frequently is rebuked for taking my spot on the couch. He likes to lick toes, mine or anyone else's he can reach. He loves to roll in the grass.
And now its time for Josh to prepare for his next journey - finding his forever home. Interested? Go to Arizona Golden Retriever Connection's website to check him out. His best friend and fellow Yuma rescue Jade is also available for adoption. Is your heart big enough for an unlikely pair from Yuma? More on Jade's story next time.