Free Canine Rehab for Lena Little
My fur baby’s name is Lena Little. She is a Weimaraner/Lab mix and currently 14 weeks old. She was rescued from a kill shelter in Alabama by a local pet rescue who flew her down to Florida, where myself and my family live. I first met her volunteering with the rescue group, at the private airport where the puppies are flown in and kept until they can be picked up by the rescue. She was handed to me off the plane and I did not even notice her deformed front left paw as I was too distracted by the prettiest blue eyes and most precious puppy face I’d ever seen. From what we could tell, her lower arm/ paw area was not fully formed and very limp. I was told she would likely need to have it amputated and would do much better without it in her way. I left that day and could not get her out of my mind. I convinced my husband that this dog was meant for our family and less than two weeks later, we adopted her officially.
After having her for just a few days, I could tell she would get increasingly more tired and weak throughout the day especially on that lone front leg. It would start to bow and even give out on her as she played. I had done a little bit of research online prior to taking the leap towards adoption and remembered stumbling upon the Tripawds website and that they recommend Rehab. I called and spoke to the receptionist at Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital (who were afterwards recommended to me by my normal vet office) and we determined it would be best to get her in as early as possible since she is so young.
At our first visit, Dr. Mason explained to me that our main focus initially would be strengthening her back legs. We also needed to work on her awareness of her backend in general. She worked with her on a number of different pieces of equipment including an inflatable peanut, bosu ball among a few other pieces scattered around the room. The exercises she told me to work on to begin with would be sit to stands on the K9 Fit Bone, cross overs on the bone and putting her front paw on the bone only for as long as she would hold it. This was to work on her core balance and stability and the crossovers helped with her backend awareness.
Dr. Mason advised that I do these exercises with her no more than 10-15 minutes, twice a day. We will increase in the future as well as add more challenging exercises once she has gained more strength and endurance. Over the last few weeks since I have been working with her, I have seen such a vast improvement. She is able to climb up as well as down stairs and her stamina is improving every single day.
The main thing I have learned from this experience is to persevere. Lena is such an inspiration to me every single day! She has such an inquisitive and fearless personality, nothing at all holds her back. She lives with a disability that would bring most of us human folks down on ourselves, but she knows no difference. She has already overcome so much in such a short amount of life time. I am so excited to continue to watch her grow and adapt!
~ Michon (aka: lenalittlesmama)