Playing Nurse

Yesterday was the date of Kingston’s surgery in which they removed the pin that had been stabilizing his fracture. It is such a relief to know that he is one step closer to recovery. While he is, of course, uncomfortable, this surgery should have a much quicker recovery time. Before we know it he will be able to run and play like a little pup again! (Gaige will be thrilled!)

The original X-ray image

The original X-ray image

I dropped him off for the surgery yesterday morning around 8, but not before going in for the pre-surgery consultation. The good news? Kingston’s fracture site had produced a large amount of calcification, which should be helpful in strengthening the leg and protecting it against future breaks. The doctor (who was amazing, guys! So much better than our last experience…) was confident that Kingston should be able to live a relatively normal life, without worry of re-injury in the future.

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Nervous Nelson…

The bad news? Most likely a mix of his past, as well as the traumatic visits to the vet for surgeries and other uncomfortable procedures, has resulted in a dog who is displaying fear-reactive behaviors when at the vet. Can you imagine having suffered a traumatic life, and then meeting the only people who have ever cared for you? Then these people leave you in a scary place, with strange people and new smells, where you are locked away. Those strange people do things to you that make you nauseous and cause you pain, and you have no idea why! Now, as soon as we arrive at the vet, poor Kingston becomes a trembling mess, and then growls and barks whenever anyone but me tries to come close to his hideout in the corner. While he never tries to aggress or snap at anyone, this behavior is still something we want to resolve for everyone’s comfort. Thankfully, the doctors and staff were incredibly understanding, gentle, and cautious with our little guy. When I left him, his tail was wagging as he walked away with an awesome technician who remembered him from past appointments (where he’d been fine!). When I asked if I could make an appointment once he had healed, simply to allow him to come ‘hang out’ and ensure a positive experience, they were more than willing to make it happen. Do you have a dog that is fearful of the vet? Try asking if you can schedule a few appointments with the technicians! Most likely they will be more than happy to oblige you in puppy cuddles during their lunch break! Kingston is an endlessly loving and affectionate dog, and so I have every confidence that this behavior is nothing a little bit of positivity can’t remedy.

What’s crazy about all of this? When I went to pick him up, I spoke with the manager. I asked her how Kingston had been for the staff, and she looked at me like I was crazy. She laughed and told me that in fact, she really needed me to get him out of there, because none of her techs were getting any work done! She said that every time they passed his kennel, every one of them had to stop and have a quick snuggle. She said he was the most affectionate and popular dog she’d seen come through the clinic! So that leads me to wonder if his antics weren’t more in defense of me, since they seem to disappear when I’m not around…

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I feel so blessed to be a part of this little dog’s journey to happily-ever-after. He really is a special one, friends. As always, thanks for joining us on his adventures 🙂

Foster Dog Update

Sorry it has been a few days, but hopefully most of you have been able to stay updated on Kingston’s progress via our facebook pages. He is doing so well, and it is in large part thanks to all of you and your generous contributions. His surgery was largely successful, although more extensive than originally anticipated. Many thanks to the wonderful team at Butler Veterinary Associates, who took care of Kingston like one of their own, and made every effort to make it as affordable as possible for us. As of tonight, he has officially finished his antibiotics and pain meds, and we are looking forward to his suture removal on Saturday (when he will FINALLY be able to get a bath!)

Not a day goes by that I don't hear Foster Dad reminding Kingston that 'chicks dig scars,' and 'scars are tattoos with better stories'.

Not a day goes by that I don’t hear Foster Dad reminding Kingston that ‘chicks dig scars,’ and ‘scars are tattoos with better stories’.

In approximately 5 weeks, he will again be put under in order to remove the rod that was placed to stabilize the bone as it healed. Only then will we truly get a handle on how he has healed and how his future movement will be affected.

In the meantime, we have enjoyed getting to know this wonderful little guy as he grows more comfortable, physically as well as emotionally. We have learned a lot about him, including:

1) What’s yours is yours and what’s his is yours…

Kingston has no concept of guarding his toys, food, bed, etc. He is more than happy to share with us, our guests, other dogs, and even the cat!

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2) He really does love everyone

Along those lines, Kingston hasn’t met anyone that wasn’t his friend! He is friendly and appropriate with other well-mannered dogs, and if anything is somewhat passive. With that being said, he can be a little nervous around new people, especially at night if he cannot see their faces, or in other new situations. The more friendly and loving people he is introduced to, the more confidence we see in his interactions with them. He warms up very quickly, but his adopters should be prepared to keep his history in mind, and therefore take introductions slowly.

3) He has his driver’s license

Okay, so obviously not really. But he does make an awesome passenger!

4) Basically a teacher’s pet

This boy is SMART. Tell him something once, and he’s got it nailed. He is easily mastering sit, down, stay, come, and a few others.

5) Nobody is perfect

We are working on improving a few things… the first being his masculine tendencies (let’s just say he REALLY loves the dog beds, and loves to display his affection whenever the opportunity presents itself) the second being how to greet people appropriately (now that he has 4 working legs, he seems to want to test their strength!) and the third being house training (although we are almost positive this has been compounded by the many medications he’s been on). Finally, he has some separation anxiety. Any unique or creative tips on how to approach these issues would be appreciated!

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All in all, this dog is absolutely going to make someone a fantastic family member. Even with limited opportunities for exercise, he seems to have the ideal activity level, as he is happy to run and play in the yard, but easily entertains himself when you would prefer to relax. Kingston is incredibly appropriate with other dogs, although it is important to note that his tendency toward timidness may not make him an ideal candidate as a dog park dog. He absolutely revels in human attention and affection, and would do best in a home that is prepared to lavish him with both.

A few of you have reached out to ask what you can do to help our little guy, even though the donations have met the estimates for his medical care (THANK YOU!). You may know that we weren’t planning to foster at this time, but we just couldn’t say no to his handsome face! If you would like to donate a dog bed (even a lightly-used one!) or a bag of dog food (Acana Grasslands) it would be very much appreciated. I should also mention that he has two awesome adoption applications in the works. Pretty exciting stuff! As always, thanks for following along in our journey, and for all of the love and support you’ve sent his way. You are as much a part of his success story as his foster family!

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