(Picture used with permission of the Romping and Rolling in the Rockies blog)
There are so many friends I am praying for. There is Paco our Italian friend who is 15 and showing more signs of his age every day, there is Charlie, a friend I just met, who crossed over the River of Life this morning leaving a heartbroken family behind. They are both worthy of Pup of the Week honors but on this day Pup of the Week is brought to you by the letter R.
R is the name of a male chocolate lab who lives ‘8200 feet up on the Front Range of Colorado with his sister, Shyla, another chocolate lab, and his parents. Their Mom is a photographer and dog blogger struggling everyday with crippling arthritis. Their blog is filled with stories of their adventures and some of the most magnificent photos you will ever see. You can find it here: http://romp-roll-rockies.blogspot.com/
Much like our good friend Enzo R, Shyla and their family are surrounded by snow most of the year but there life is a lot like ours, except for the neighboring bears and mountain lions and the overprotective moose who has been lurking nearby making sure Shyla and her Mom don’t hurt her baby.
The blog is called Rolling and Romping in the Rockies because that is what R and Shyla do. They roll and romp through the snow, up hills, over rocks, down trails, and through rivers. This is more remarkable for R since her was born with a birth defect - elbow dysplasia.
Six years ago, when he was one year old, R had surgery that cleaned out the bad cartilage and bone chips. That gave him an excellent five years. But then the limping returned. R had another surgery. The surgeon had to clean out all the cartilage from the weight bearing surfaces in his leg. But it did give R two more years of romping and rolling without pain.
R’s Mom was able to understand what he was going through. Her spine degeneration started in her teen years. She now suffers from the pain of bone on none vertebrae. Little by little R’s elbow worsened. He would, as all dogs do, try to hide his pain and limp from his Mom, but soon it became too much. His parents discussed the possibility of surgery.
The operation is known as a CUE surgery. Metal pieces are placed inside the knee to act as the cartilage to stop the bone on bone grinding. There are very few doctors who perform this surgery and R does live 8200 feet above sea level in a remote area.
Their vet wants to do the surgery with the vet who originated the surgery and believes their schedules would permit them to perform the surgery on April 1 which doesn’t seem too far away but when you are a playful dog on the side of a snowy mountain it might as well be years.
In the meantime R continues to get a moderate amount of exercise. He is on the highest amount of pain medication he can take. R was born to run and his parents want to make sure that he is running for a long time.
So if you have a spare prayers say one for R that he has a quick and successful surgery and gets back to rolling and romping soon.