Ouija's Knee Operation (PATELLAR LUXATIONS)
Organized by: Aaron Van Lieu
My precious little fur daughter, Ouija, is barely over a year old... still just a puppy in every way. In fact, Ouija and I share the same birth date—April 3rd—though I am many dog years her senior. Ouija has become such a huge part of my life, as well as that of my family and friends, and is loved by everyone she meets. I have NEVER met a happier or more loving American Pit Bull/Boxer mix, or dog in general. So you can imagine my growing concern for her as I saw her having the kinds of trouble that no puppy should have, such as a regular limp, having trouble jumping onto the bed, and so forth.
When Ouija recently dfell down the stairs while trying to climb, I truly realized that something was wrong, and so I took her to the vet to get her checked out once and for all. During our visit, I discovered that Ouija was born with a congenital issue known as PATELLAR LUXATION. Basically, her rear kneecaps never fully locked into place as the grooves for her kneecaps are not deep enough for them to stay in place. Apparently, this issue is seen only in smaller breeds of dogs and therefore rare in larger breeds, such as my Ouija. As you can imagine, that news was a real heart breaker.
PATELLAR LUXATION is graded by different degrees of damage, ranging from 1 (being the lowest issue of damage) to level 4 (where in most cases there is a need to operate immediately). Ouija's right rear leg is a level 3 right now, and because of which, we were told to stop doing any form of physical activity with her. Furthermore, the vet also told us that she needs to drop between 10-15 pounds as soon as possible (in order to help take some of the weight off of her leg), in the hopes that it may reduce any further damage. So no more snacking, no more treats, no more running, no more walks to and around the park.. no more playing with her other dog friends... so basically, in my eyes, no more fun at all! And when you have such an amazing little puppy like Ouija, it's a real test of my merit to have to tell her “No” all the time. :'( Now that is just the RIGHT leg. Her LEFT rear leg has been working overtime to compensate for the right, and was therefore graded as being between level 1 and level 2. While that doesn't sound that bad, the leg itself WON'T get better unless action is taken to correct that one as well. Even if we only operate on the right rear leg, her left rear leg will only continue to get worse over time, at which point we will be back to to square one! But fortunately, since her left rear leg isn't in AS bad of shape, it won't be as intensive—and therefore less costly—to operate on it.
The ultimate alternative is to put Ouija to sleep, but the very thought of doing so is just one that I cannot fathom. Heck, I don't want to even think of it as an option. But yes, realistically, I do know that it is one. That is why I am trying to do whatever I can in order to avoid it. But despite the fact that I am fully employed with 3 jobs, my bills, payments, and other expenditures leads me down a path where I'm certain that I won't be able to afford, by myself, what is needed in order to give Ouija the second chance at life that she needs. At the rate I am able to save what little money I can, the damage to Ouija's knees will only get worse, which will require more money to help her, which in turn requires me to save up for even a longer period of time. Basically what that spells out here is that her knees will get even worse in this period of time, making the options to help even that more slim. It's a vicious cycle which will ultimately lead to Ouija's hind legs being amputated, or worse and unfortunately realistically, the possibility of having to put her to sleep—and that's IF I can even afford either!—and so I would absolutely lose it if this ever gets to that point!
And so this is where I am right now: in desperate need to help save my love, my companion, and my best friend. She is everything that I didn't think I could have with a dog, but I am simply unable to help her, and it breaks my damn heart. This is where I hope my friends, family, and even total strangers, can help give both Ouija and I a hand up in our situation.
After doing my calculations, I feel that a total of $4,000 will be what we need to help Ouija get the operations she needs to go back to being the puppy she wants to be, happily running around and going for walks and enjoying the incredible life she has with me. I'm not expecting everyone to open their wallets and dump wads of cash on me. Even $1 is a step in the right direction. But please know that if you DO end up donating something, ANYTHING, it will not be overlooked. Just knowing that someone out there is willing to take the time out from their day to see to offer assistance to someone—and some dog—in need makes a difference in the world. I promise to you that your kind deed will not go unnoticed.
I will make a promise and guarantee right now that if for some reason I AM able to reach my fundraising goal of $4,000, anything left over will be donated to the "PENINSULA HUMANE SOCIETY & SPCA" located in Burlingame, CA., and I'll share this update with everyone who donates as soon as it happens. I chose this location because it is where I first locked hearts with my precious Ouijapup, and I want to give back and help them as much as I can, just like how Ouija has helped me.
I feel like I've covered all that I could. Please, please, please help me HELP Ouija. She is my world, and if you are a dog lover or owner (or any pet owner for that matter) hopefully you have an idea of the fear that is in my heart right now. I hope, pray, and thank you for ANYTHING provided that can bring us closer to receiving the help she needs... as any small step in the right direction is a definite step forward in her future and her recovery.
- Aaron Van Lieu