My new friend Sammy wrote to me to share his story about how he just became a Tripawd and had his surgery where I did, in California.
Sammy is from Mexico, and the way he started out his life is not an easy story to read. In fact, it made my Mom cry. But it has a hoppy ending, and it will put a smile on your face.
Welcome to America, Sammy. Your story is proof that miracles do happen, and not all humans are jerks. What a lucky, lucky Tripawd you are!
Barely Alive on the Beach
My name is Sammy. I was born in a tiny fishing village in Baja, Mexico. Some jerk ran over me when I was only 3 months old and then dumped me off at a deserted beach to die a slow, agonizing death! I had a broken pelvis, broken femur, terrible mange, open sores all over, millions of fleas (at least that’s how it felt) and a tummy filled with nasty worms…I was a mess!
So there I am, lying on the wet sand with the birds circling above and the crabs closing in thinking, “this really stinks – I’ve already tried to drag myself out of my own potty to no avail; I’ve been baking in the sun and now it’s dropping into the sea along with the temperature and I’m starting to get cold – I don’t know how I can handle another hour of this misery…” Then suddenly I head a car approaching. I’m pretty sure at this point I was hoping it would run over me again and finish me off so I didn’t have to feel the pain anymore, but instead it pulled over right next to me.
I could hear a man telling his wife about a “dead puppy” in the sand. She told him she didn’t want to look. Well, helllllooooo….I wasn’t dead yet!!! I waited until the man looked at me again and did my best to take a big breath (that was about all I could muster)….. He saw me and told his wife, “OMG it’s still alive!”
At that moment my life changed forever. The lady jumped out of the car and ran up to me. I was so happy to hear a kind voice, that I somehow found the strength to look up and wag my tail. She scooped me up in her arms and we began a desperate search for anyone capable of treating me.
A Hard Journey to Recovery
I was taken to the local “vet”(whose office was a travel trailer) and my new parents reluctantly handed me over. I guess this guy did the best he could do on a Friday night in the middle of nowhere… He taped my leg to a coat hanger and covered me in flea powder (I was black when I went in and white when I came out). I was soooo happy to see my parents the next morning – I couldn’t stop wagging my tail.
Realizing I was in urgent need of serious medical treatment, my new parents changed their trip and drove over 2 hours to the only real veterinary hospital in Baja. After a lengthy consultation, the only option was to leave me at the hospital so I could get healthy enough to travel to the US. Oh how my mom cried like a little baby when she had to say goodbye. They promised to fly back once a week to visit me, and by golly the did!
The next 5 weeks were really hard for me. I was stuck in a yucky cage that didn’t get cleaned out as often as it should. I had a surgery to fix my broken leg, and they stuck a big pin in it, which eventually started poking through my skin. I was so frustrated because I didn’t have anything to chew and my puppy teeth were hurting. Luckily, my parents made good on their word and would visit once a week. They always brought goodies for me – chew toys, potty pads, treats…Mostly I just loved to have someone sit with me for a few hours.
Angels in America
My “get out of jail free” pass finally arrived, and I was on my way to becoming a US citizen!!!!!! My father picked me up, and when he asked about my stiff leg, the vet told him to just massage it. Well, as soon as we got home (ohhhhh how I LOVE my new home) my mom said I had to go to their vet immediately because something was DEFINITELY wrong with my leg-it just stuck straight out and wouldn’t bend.
Sure enough the doctor said my leg would probably have to come off – WHAT?!?!?!?! Well, my mom just about passed out and requested a second opinion from the University of California at Davis’ Veterinary Hospital. Trying to get into Davis is not very easy apparently because my mom called and called and left begging and pleading messages to try and get me in to see a specialist.
On the third morning my mom left a message explaining my sob story, trying to play the sympathy card. We went out to play – I could get around pretty good despite dragging my back leg around – I must have jumped harder than my leg could handle because suddenly there was a loud snap and I went crazy – I fell to the ground, screaming in pain. I had broken the ankle in my bad leg. Apparently my bone wasn’t very strong because it hadn’t been used for most of my life.
Once again, my mom ran up and scooped me into her arms. She frantically phoned UC Davis again and this time they answered. My mom was trying to explain the situation between sobbing and holding me. Luckily for us, they were very sweet and very concerned. They said to come in through the emergency and the orthopedic doctor would see us.
Finally, Free from Pain and Ready to Romp
Sure enough, the x-rays confirmed that my leg was too far gone to be repaired. Then they said the “A” word! Amputate – My poor mom – she just about passed out. I, on the other hand, was elated. This stupid leg has been nothing but a pain in my rear since the day I was run over. My other three legs were already used to doing all the work, and as far as I was concerned, I wanted the lead weight off!
That’s where you come in, Jerry. The nice lady at Davis told us you had your leg removed at the very same hospital and that you have this cool website and that I would be just fine with only 3 legs!!! She was right. This is such a cool website and it really helps moms and dads going through this difficult event. We love my friends at Davis. They made us feel so special. Everyone was sooooo nice to us. They all fell in love with me and told my parents that I was the best puppy ever…I get that reaction wherever I go…I’m just so flippin happy to be alive and it shows!!!!
Well, I’m on my second week of recovery. The hardest part is staying quiet. I just want to run, run run!!!! You would never know I didn’t have all four legs. This was all much more traumatic for my parents than it was for me. I am so lucky I got a second chance, and I LOVE MY LIFE!!!!!
That’s my story. I’m sorry it is so lengthy, but my parents are proud of my journey and like to show me off. If you ever come back this direction (Grass Valley, CA) please let me know. I’d love to hang out with you for the afternoon. I should be able to go hiking and swimming and all of those other fun outdoor activities soon. I can’t wait to have some fun adventures like you!
Amigos para vida del perros con tres piernas! Friends for life of the dogs with three legs.