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Give a Dog a Home – San Antonio, animal rescue


Colonel’s Story So Far….

July 6th, 2011 · 11 Comments · Rear Leg Amputation

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I first saw Colonel on a link from Tracy goes to the local Animal Care Services (ACS), KILL shelter daily and takes video’s of the poor dogs that are due to be killed, only because there is no space for them.

Colonel’s KILL date was to be 2nd May 2011, but watching the following video I couldn’t let it happen.

Colonel with his KILL date hanging over him at Animal Care Services, San Antonio

Give a Dog a Home – San Antonio (GaDaH) put a hold on Colonel and on 7th May went to collect him and another GSD, “Captain” that had bad demodex mange, and with the help of a friend, and their SUV I brought them home to start their recovery and part one of their new life.

An appointment was booked at the vets and Colonel was checked out, it was agreed that until he had put some weight on, there was no point doing x-rays, he needed to be in much better health.

His medical assesment showed that he had probably had distemper when he was younger, as his teeth are yellow with a lack of enamal, which is a sure sign of distemper. His age was guessed at around 5 yrs from ACS, however, it was now thought that he was more likely to be around 3 years of age.

Colonel was also diagnosed as having Heartworm, and his leg was guessed to be an old break/fracture that had healed on it’s own and would most likely not be able to be fixed, this option wasn’t ruled out, as of course only x-rays will show the true extent of his injury, but we was being realistic in the assessment.

Colonel got around amazingly on his 3 legs, there was nothing stopping him. He was now living amongst, my 3 GSDs and Captain whom he was saved with. All dogs got on great, and I firmly believe that bringing rescue dogs into a well established pack, helps them a LOT.

Colonel soon settled in and lavished in the fuss and attention he got. I feed my dogs on a raw diet, and so the rescue dogs get a treat a few times a week, more so when I first got them, as  their immune system needed all the help it could get, and in my opinion, a dogs natural diet can only assist in this, and I have my 3 rescue dogs as proof.

Colonel did so well, he would jump in and out of my car, he would run up and down the outside spiral staircase, he would run across the field as fast as the other dogs, and it was a joy to see. All this time GaDaH supporters, and friends were all hoping that his leg could be fixed and it wouldn’t need to be amputated.

Colonel started learning how to play, he discovered squeaky toys, and squeaky balls, and they are by far his favourite toys, he was gaining weight, getting plenty of exercise, living in a healthy pack orientated environment which soon grew to 4 of my own (yes I adopted another rescue) and saved another GSD that was due to be killed at ACS. We had a few puppies come and go, and Colonel was fine with them all.

The only problem that Colonel has, is that when I go over to him, he has a little squirt of pee. It doens’t matter what I do, he just rolls over and squirts, this is obviously a sign of abuse and again adds to the special nature of this boy, after all that he has been through, he is still this loving, caring, playful, affectionate dog.

So fast forward to 23rd June, Colonel was now a healthy weight, his skin condition had cleared up, he was happy and it was time to find out what was wrong with his leg. I took him with me to an appointment for one of the other  GSDs just so that the vets could have a look and assess him, I didn’t have the money in the rescue at this point for xrays, but I was looking for a second opinion at the vets that I had found, and were very happy with. Dr. Eduardo Guevara treated Captain, and then had a look at Colonel. He too was hoping that this was something that he could fix, without having to amputate the leg and took Colonel into the back. He had xray’d his leg FREE of charge so that we could see what the future held for Colonel.

I was totally amazed. Dr. G, and Dr. Evans have worked with me and helped me out with fees, and treatments, but this just proved their compassion for helping dogs, and helping rescues who save the dogs. I will leave their information at the end of the post, for anyone in San Antonio looking for some very caring, legitimate, experienced, genuine DVMs. I can not speak highly enough of them.

So, Dr. G invited me into the xray room and showed me the x-ray. It turned my stomach to see it. His knee had been shattered and the two bones and all the bits of shattered bone had all fused together, clearly showing that there was no other option than amputation.

Dr. G went through the costs, again working with me and making everything as inexpensive as possible, the cost of the amputation was going to be a LOT LESS than $1000. Again I was shocked, other rescues had paid between $2000 – $3000.

I decided to book him in for the following week and work on a donation drive. Dr. G agreed to work with me on the payments.

So Colonel came home, with pain killers, anti-flam, and some doscycyline to start to weaken the heartworm, as when he has recovered from surgery, he will need to be treated for heartworm.

Colonel 2 days before his amputation

On Wednesday 29th June, I drove Colonel to CALLAGHAN ROAD ANIMAL HOSPITAL and dropped him off at 7am.I had given him a good bath the night before, so he would feel nice and clean, and hopefully make him feel a little better. I would be collecting him the next day, late afternoon. I received phone calls before Colonel was going into surgery and afterwards, letting me know that everything had gone well, he was having a little bit more leakage than normal, but he was staying over night and was being monitored.

Thursday 30th June, you can imagine my aprehension, I finished school, rushed home to let the other 6 GSDs out, to get rid of some of their energy before I went to pick up Colonel. I was taking one of my own dogs with me, Zeus, as he was showing signs of pain in his back leg. An xray showed him to have hip displacia and arthritis in his rear leg, he is only 2 years old and I’m so upset, and I am having to decide which option of treatment is best for him and that I can afford.

So Colonel, is brought out of the  back room, and he see’s Zeus first and his tail starts to wag, then he comes over to me. He looked so well.

What struck me the most was that this poor dog, after everything he has already been through in his life, was taken to a strange place, left there with strangers, although very nice and caring, still strangers, he was put to sleep, and then when he is woken up, his leg has gone. Dogs, and animals just automatically adapt, they are such amazing creatures and there is so much we can learn from them. I knew he wouldn’t have a problem getting around as he hadn’t used his leg in what we think to be at least over a year, but the fact that it had gone, and we couldn’t explain why, or what has happened to me, it just makes me look at these amazing animals with even more respect than I did before.

Colonel came home and he is doing great, he ate some of my super dog treats, and he wagged his tail every time I looked at him. He did mange to get to his stitches, so we had to take him back to have 5 re-stitched and a larger collar bought.

I hate him having the collar on, he has to wear the 30cm one and it is HUGE, he gets around but bangs into everything and I can only imagine how upsetting and frustrating it must be. I bought him one of the inflatable rings, large, that didn’t work, took that back, bought an x-large, that didn’t work either. It’s because he is just going to his leg he can get to it, and so we had to revert back to the huge cone collar. He stayed in the dog room most of the time, resting and relaxing, but when I take them all out on the field, I take the collar off, and you should see him go.

He just runs as if he is free. It’s so beautiful to see. He hasn’t changed much in appearance, other than not having a leg dangling there, but his face looks brigher, his eyes have a sparkle, and he runs as if he is loving the wind blowing through his hair.

Yesterday, (5th July) I took Colonel back to have his drainage tube removed. Dr. G, was very pleased with how he was doing, and he is booked to go back on 12th July to have his stitches taken out.

I took this video clip of Colonel out on the back on Wednesday 6th July – just look how happy he is, you would never know that it was only 7 days prior since he had his leg amputated.

Colonel ONE week after his amputation .. amazing

Once Colonel has fully recovered from his surgery, we shall be starting his heartworm treatment.

I am looking to find Colonel a forever home soon, he has settled in so much and has grown in his confidence and happiness, he is ready to be with someone who can give him the time he needs, he needs to be able to give all his love to someone, and I don’t have time to share it with him, with having my own dogs, and the rescue dogs.

I am still hoping to get donations to pay for Colonel’s surgery and heartworm treatment, I got a great response and just need another $500 and that should cover if not everything, almost of it.

If someone would like to adopt Colonel, GaDaH would fund the treatment of his heartworm, if requested. We just want what is best for Colonel and someone for him to love and be loved.

I was hoping to find someone like a wounded warrior, who had lost a limb, so that they could relate to one another, and understand each other. I also believe that Colonel would be an inspiration to anyone who has lost a limb, and would therefore be like a therapy dog also.

When I was about to leave the vets yesterday, a very nice lady came in and made a fuss of Colonel and told me about the animals she has with 3 legs, we got talking and she gave me the “Tripawds” website address and told me what a great resource it is, and she was right.

GaDaH has a page on facebook – still working on the website, but Colonel has an album with photo’s in. I update all the GaDaH supporters every few days on how all the rescue dogs are doing, and hope that somone will know someone who would love to adopt one of these dogs.

I would like to ask that if you know of anyone who might be interested in Colonel, or would like to comment on his album, so that others can see, and learn about how easily dogs adapt, please feel free. I welcome all comments, and support and if by writing on the page you can share, and educate people, then please feel free.

If anyone would like to Donate to Colonel’s surgery and Heartworm costs – the following are ways to donate:

Paypal –

CHASE BANK:  Give a Dog a Home – San Antonio

Cash/Cheque/Check – Give a Dog a Home – San Antonio, PO Box 431, Helotes, Texas, 78023

Any help and support is appreciated, and advise, feedback, or comment will be well recieved.

I love learning about dogs, and have learnt so much already from watching dogs behave in a pack environment, and every day I will learn something different and that is one of the joys I get about saving these dogs lives, I learn from them. They give unconditional love, devotion and affection, they ask for nothing other than to be fed, watered, health care provided and to be a part of your family, and allowed to love you back more than you could ever possibly give them!


President / Founder

Give a Dog a Home – San Antonio

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