My son, My dog, and a tough family decision

As you can see Grizzy was Luke’s pal since he was a puppy


In April of 2016, our young family dog was diagnosed with Wobblers Disease.  This is like spinal stenosis for humans where the vertebras impinge on the spinal cord, and the animal suddenly gets lame.  Originally we thought it was Lyme disease.  No such luck.  After about two weeks of helping him ambulate, we brought him to our local vet, and he gave him the diagnosis of Wobblers and said he needed spinal surgery immediately to stop more lesions from further injuring his spinal cord.  This dog, “Grizzy” is a 160-pound English mastiff so helping him ambulate was no easy chore.  Within three days he had surgery of three levels of his cervical spine.  The neurosurgeon at the specialty vet told us he would probably walk out of there, if not very soon since the spinal cord was no longer being pushed in by the bones.  This began our journey of home care that we NEVER EVER expected, nor were we given an idea of what is involved with it by the vet.  The directions were to “get him up.” How?  It was 160 pounds of dead weight, and he was in tremendous pain.  This was no different than caring for a human quadriplegic from turning to avoid pressure sores, toileting with hospital mats, to holding his head up to feed him with applesauce.  You would not believe our attempts to set up an inpatient care center in the middle of our living room.  My son, Luke was Grizzy’s best friend.  He was devastated by Grizzy’s illness and inability to move.  For this reason and our deep love for our furry family, we took a leap of faith for surgery.  I started a @Grizzyjourney Facebook page and documented from surgery to rehabilitation attempts at home and at a specialized vet in Albany and the support and cheers for Grizzy were amazing.