This is the last month for the Chinese year of the Wood Horse. It was a great year for me as I got two new siblings who happen to be miniature horses. Next year is the year of the Wood Sheep/Ram. Think I’ll pass on additional family members, although those pigmy goats at Dunbar Village are sure cute.
For one New Year’s resolutions I’d like all my human readers to think about their animal pets. Please remember to spay/neuter, keep them current on vaccinations and for Heaven’s sake microchip or put some ID just in case. Here is a “just in case”
This sweet fellow was found on Dunbar Avenue just before Christmas wearing a blue Argyle sweater. He had no ID. Micky Evans took him home for two days as the shelter was closed. Signs were posted – no calls.
“Mr. Argyle” was taken to the Hancock County Animal Shelter on Monday and on Tuesday his owner came to claim him. Seems the dog was visiting from Alabama and he vanished when he was let out of the house, off leash, to do his business. Funny thing was that the owner said the sweater was not his so there is a little mystery to where he was before being found on Dunbar.
One good side bar is that Froogles is going to work with Friends of the Animal Shelter to host a lost and found board at the grocery store. This will be a big help if a pet is found when the shelter is closed. Thank you, Froogles!
Something else you can do is to foster a kitten or a puppy from the shelter to help them be socialized and in a better environment while waiting to be spayed/neutered and placed in a forever home. Here are a pup and kitten who are currently in foster care.
Last resolution is to plan on being a parent for the long haul. I am getting a little long in the tooth myself, hard of hearing, and my eyesight is not what it used to be. Here is my candidate for the thought provoking image of the year:
My feel good story of the year is a follow up on a story I did when I lived in Virginia.
This is my friend Joe Mocha:
Joe Mocha has packed a lot into just a few years of living. He was one of the more than 1,000 dogs, nearly all of them Dachshunds that were rescued from a puppy mill operation in West Virginia.The rescue began when the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection received reports that the owner of Whispering Oaks Kennel was discharging dog related pollution without a permit.
After obtaining a warrant all the dogs were seized from the property. They were living in rabbit hutches with poor ventilation and had visible signs of neglect – matted fur, dehydration, foot problems, and eye and ear infections.
Joe Mocha was taken in by the Washington Animal Rescue League and adopted by Alexandria Resident Connie Graham to be a companion to her other Dachshund, Heidi. “He was in poor health” Graham said. “We spent a great deal of time and resources in order to make him well again.”
One of Joe Mocha’s primary issues was a missing left right side paw which greatly reduced his mobility. After extensive searching Graham located Derrick Campana, a board certified orthotist who created a new artificial paw for Joe Mocha. Animal Ortho Care, LLC, in Vienna, Virginia is one of only a few companies in the world that builds prosthetics for animals. The company works with orthotics (the use of braces to correct or accommodate an effected limb) and prosthetics (the replacement of a lost limb).
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Another dog helped with an artificial leg by Animal Orthocare
have been in this business for thirteen years and began by working on
humans.” Campana said. “Ten years ago a veterinarian friend asked if it
would be possible to help her lab Charlie who had a congenital
deformity. An orthotic brace helped Charlie become mobile again.”
still works on humans but most of his clients today are dogs and cats,
with an occasional duck or lamb here and there. In the past ten years
Campana has helped more than 1,000 clients.
An orthotic or prosthetic device can be an alternative to surgery,
especially if the animal is older and at a higher risk for surgery.
Equating the occasions when the use of a brace for a human would be
applicable also works for a pet.
A brace can be a healing tool
after surgery and is crucial in helping a limb heal successfully while
allowing the animal to stay mobile and get some exercise. A prosthesis
can replace a paw or a leg, as long as there is enough stump to attach
Permanent bracing for congenital problems or flexing problems with a joint provide the same support that they do for humans. “There were no models for what I was doing with bracing and prosthetics for animals so I did some pro bono work at first.” Campana said. “The animals we work with know that we are trying to help and are usually very cooperative although I will say that casting a mold on a cat’s leg can be challenging.”
According to Campana, orthotic and prosthetic devices can dramatically improve the quality of life for a pet companion.“Little Joe loves to run on his prosthesis - especially in the parking lot, where it is smooth and quiet,” said Graham. “He has had a deprived life, so all things are wonderful to him.”
In an update I am thrilled to report that my friend Derrick is now taking these devices to the next level. He came to the rescue of a rescue dog named Derby who was born with disabled and deformed front legs.
Derby is the first animal to be successfully outfitted with 3D-printed prosthetics. If an animal is in need of a device the local veterinarian is able to do the casting and send the information to Animal Ortho Care for crafting. More information on Animal Ortho Care, LLC is at www.animalorthocare.com
Daisy Mae Delray is a seizure-alert dog and author of Puppy Dog Tales - both the column and the blog of the same name. She has been writing about the human-pet companion bond since 2004 as a journalist for a number of newspapers including the Alexandria Times and the Sea Coast Echo.
We are coming up on Mardi Gras season and I am excited to say that the first Annual all canine parade on the Mississippi Gulf Coast will be held on the 24th of January in Diamondhead.
For details on how to participate please visit the Hancock Chamber of Commerce website or visit the Mystic Krewe of Pupseidon Facebook page.
While there are other pet Mardi Gras events around the county, this one, Diamonds are a Dog’s Best Friend, is going to be the premier event. The proceeds will benefit Gulf Coast regional animal shelters so this is a win-win for all of us.
I succumbed to having my photo taken in costume so I could show it to you. We took a couple of shots but this one kind of says it all. Me, the reluctant diva and brother Robbie getting a kick out of my discomfort.
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