Upon his return home, Ferg had no use of his back legs and no control of his bowels. This was a lot to take on, but we aimed for little victories every day and were inspired by his upbeat attitude and loving acceptance of our help. We learned to use harnesses, became adept at putting on and taking off dog diapers, and received constant support from our friends and family. Days of recovery quickly turned into weeks of recovery, and we fought hard to not become disappointed by Ferg’s persistent inability to walk or even stand. We focused on little successes, whether that meant cheering his first tail wag, exercising his legs for him to fend off atrophy, or giving him bubble baths to help keep him clean until his bowel control returned. Our meetings with the surgeon were filled with discussions of how Ferg was not recovering nearly as fast as expected, but the prognosis remained positive, albeit delayed. He wasn’t going to be walking as soon as we had hoped, but we were told his right leg would make a full recovery and his left leg would at least become functional again.
Since then, Ferg has become a favorite among the physical therapists and seems to love the time he spends there exercising, getting acupuncture, using the underwater treadmill, and happily taking on a host of other activities. Unfortunately, though, it appears not to have been enough. We have been working for nearly two months toward the goal of helping Ferg get back on his feet, but we recently received some devastating news from the surgeon. After evaluating Ferguson’s progress again, he told us that there is now only about a 10% chance that our pup will ever walk again.
Ferguson using his cart, with owner Noah
Needless to say, we were initially heartbroken. So many people had cheered Ferg on his road to recovery. Family and friends had given so much to help us and our little boy during this ordeal. And now we were told he would likely never even stand up again on his own. We were devastated, we were angry, and we were profoundly saddened. But then we looked at Ferg. All he had ever wanted was a warm bed, toys to play with, and love. All of those things we can still provide him, and so that is what we intend to do. His legs may no longer work, but his infectious smile and devoted eyes remain unchanged. His refusal to be defeated or depressed by the hand he has been dealt is inspiring, and so we consider ourselves blessed to have the opportunity to accompany him on the next chapter of his amazing journey. I have no doubt he’ll teach us a few more lessons about love, devotion, and what’s truly important along the way.
~ Written by Ferguson’s owner, Noah Lauricella
Tags: dog human bond, personal story