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Barbara Techel is the author of the multi-award winning Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. When her dachshund, Frankie, suffered a spinal injury, Barbara had her custom-fitted for a wheelchair. Frankie persevered, and Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she had to share Frankie and give others hope and inspiration to be the best they can be. Along with sharing Frankie’s story with children, Barbara and Frankie routinely volunteer as a therapy dog team at a local hospital, senior assisted facility, and hospice community, spreading joy wherever they go.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Special Needs Pet Feature: Cagney

What is your pets name?
Cagney Brandon Ku’Ulako Holste J
How old is your pet?
He lived to be just a few months shy of 13 years old.
Where did you get your pet?
From a family in Hawaii whose two doxies had puppies
What is your pets physical challenge?
He had IVDD…lost the use of his back legs at age 6
What is your pets favorite thing to do?
Cagney LOVED laying on the patio in the sun…just tanning and looking around.
What is your pets favorite thing to eat?
Rawhide bones with the jerky on the outside
What do you love most about your pet?
That he was always so sweet and loving…even when he was in pain.
What has your pet most taught you?
That you really can do anything in the name of love.
Anything else you’d like to share?
When Cagney was 6 years old he lost the use of his back legs suddenly. One minute he was trotting behind me to the mail box outside our house and the next minute he was yelping in pain and I had no idea why. The following days, nights, & weeks were one long blur as Cagney had to stay at the Vet's Hospital for IVs and Xrays and all sorts of things. Sadly he did not regain the use of his legs and surgery was not an option due to the expense and the fact that the doctor only gave him a 50 - 50 chance for walking again. That never bothered Cagney though and didn't slow his pace one bit. In no time he was able to scoot all over the house using just his front legs to get from place to place. He could scoot faster than some dogs could run! I eventually got him his own set of wheels from "Doggone Wheels" and that afforded him the opportunity to go outside on the sidewalks, the patio, and even to the beach. Cagney was such a good boy and was always upbeat and happy....wanting to snuggle and give kisses or play with anyone he came into contact with. 

I cared for him and tended to his special needs, which was quite diffficult initially and heartbreaking at times....but I did it out of sheer love for that little angel. A lot of adjustments had to be made but he was worth every one of them! When I moved from Hawaii to Portland, OR in 2007 Cagney flew with me. It was his first time on a plane but he took it like a brave boy....even when the airline baggage handlers "lost" him at one point. About 2 hours after my flight landed I finally caught up with him going round and round on another baggage claim carousel. He was peering out of his cage as if to say, "This has been fun but I'd like to get off now, please." I was a complete wreck not knowing what had happened to him or where he was but as soon as I tracked him down and opened his kennel door he smothered me with kisses saying, "It's ok....there's nothing to worry about....I'm HERE!" 

For the next 2 years I continued to love & take care of that darling boy until, on the morning of March 31st, 2009, just as suddenly as he lost the use of his back legs, Cagney woke up and was unable to use his front legs. I took him to the Vet pretty much knowing what the outcome was going to be. There was nothing they could really do for him...and no "cure". So I had to make that VERY difficult decision and help him get to the Rainbow Bridge. I held him for so very long and just sobbed telling him I was so sorry for what I had to do....it was extremely hard and still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. But Cagney lived a very good life and brought lots of happiness to me. His "disability" taught me so very much and I thank the Lord that I had him and all the experiences that having him brought into my life.
Thank you so much, Chops, Cagney's dedicated Mom who took such good care of Cagney.  Your store resonated on so many levels for my mom and me... tears... laughter... love.  Thank you.  PS:  The picture of the two of you on the beach is absolutely priceless and needs no words as it speaks volumes.

If you care for a special needs pet and would like your pet featured, please email me through my website contact. Send a photo and I will forward the questionnaire for your pet to be featured in an upcoming post.

1 comment:

sagechronicles said...

What an inspirational story. Loved the pictures of him on the beach!!