How much is that doggie in the window? arf arf! ~ Patti Page
And the answer is FREE! Well, kinda, sorta…
Tucker arrived at our house this week, one year ago. He was all of 3 months old, an adorable and precocious little fellow who had been hand raised and was just about the happiest little dog I’ve ever known.
As all Tucker fans know, he also arrived with a cleft palate, of which the breeder professed to not be aware. Once discovered, Guy said, “just bring him back, and I’ll give you another puppy.” Well, we had had Tucker for all of three days and loved his sunny nature and the fact that he’d already learned three tricks (sit, shake, speak).
We knew that if we returned him, he would be euthanized. I mean, why would a dog breeder keep a defective dog? I doubt that he would have spent the money to correct the defect, only to keep him around. Once we had made up our mind, then Guy returned our check. So Tucker didn’t cost us anything! Ha ha!
We really do like Guy, from whom we have gotten all our Shelties; he really seemed to be soft hearted about Tucker, whose mother was unable to nurse them, so he was raised up sitting in Guy’s lap, a smart and sweet little fellow.
He was also an adaptable survivor who managed to figure out how to overcome his defect to grow and thrive in spite of it. Tucker drinks like a bird, delicately lapping up the water, and then holding his nose upwards, he swallows it… such a resourceful pup!
Did Guy know about the defect and hope we would be soft hearted about him, too? Maybe. If so, well then, his strategy worked. Tucker has had several corrective surgeries, with a final one yet to come.
At this point, it’s not a life threatening issue, but if his palate had not been corrected to this point, it would have been. He would have always been sickly and likely not long lived. Rather now, it’s a quality of life issue. When he drinks water, sometimes it gets up his nose, due to some lingering small holes in his palate.
Our excellent veterinarian, Paul Young, has really done a great job of repairing Tucker’s palate, but the last time he took a look, he admitted that he just didn’t have any more ideas about how to finish the job (due to lack of tissue to close those minute, lingering spots).
So he recommended that we consult a specialist, and the one name that we agreed upon was Dr. Heidi Hottinger over at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists, the same veterinarian who helped us with Bailey, six years ago.
She and her staff all fell in love with our sweet Tucker, and she has made a plan, and is confident that the procedure will finally close up all the remaining gaps and heal quickly, without the need for a feeding tube. We are so encouraged!
Dr. Young mentioned that he would like to scrub up and observe the procedure, and she said that he was absolutely welcome to do so.
As this is not a life threatening situation, we won’t be doing this until sometime next month. But now there is now a final light at the end of the tunnel. We are all so very grateful that we live in Houston, where there are not only amazing medical resources for people, but also for animals!
Stay tuned for updates…