Two Wednesdays ago, I left Sturgeon Bay to visit my grandparent’s. Initially, I was gonna knit and crochet with grams, maybe watch some basketball with gramps, and have dinner with my aunt Kathy and her two sweet kids. That morning though, me and Zach noticed that our dog Umphrey was limping. It was a mild limp, but definitely apparent. We thought the cause might have been excessive exercise the two days before. On one trip we went on a doggy hike with my parent’s dog Buddy, and another we had walked through Potawatomi State Park, stopping to take pictures and walk and play games. By the time we reached Green Bay though, his two back legs were giving out, and he was pretty much paralyzed from the waist down.
It was horrific in a lot of ways. Alarmed, me and Zach tried to keep him comfortable and talked quickly over what we should do. Zach ended up calling Dr. Prata that had saved our cat Van Zandt’s life, just a couple months before. He instructed us to hurry on to Madison, and see an animal neurologist at the University’s Veterinary Hospital. Following his orders, we did just that.
The long drive to the city, melts in my memory. I sat with my furry pal in the backseat of our car, and cried as he looked up at me, weak and panting. In his eyes, I couldn’t help but see magic, and that’s really what provided me with the strength to carry on. I had to be strong for HIM, someone I love.
Arriving at the hospital finally, we checked in and had our pal looked over. It was discovered that he had ruptured a disc in his spinal cord — he had an inborn degenerative disc disease, that had been sitting there like a ticking time bomb. As upset as we were, we knew we had to help in whatever way we could. So we said yes to surgery. It was a chance at him walking again.
That first night, me and Zee slept in the ER and the cold seats of our car. One of the receptionists at the hospital (her name was Lori), bonded with us sure and quick, and was openly compassionate and kind. We told her about our plans to move to Wyoming, and she revealed that she had once worked and lived in the Tetons. She provided us with smiles and great company.
Tuesday morning, was the start of a new adventure though. As a family, we all made the final trek to our new home. Wyoming is a beautiful place, and I look forward to each day now. Our cabin looks over the Wind River, and we have lots of horse neighbors. Deer and other critters roam freely — and there’s mountains all around. The local people are incredibly friendly too. I’m sure I’ll have lots of stories to share soon……
At the present, Umphrey is improving daily and his tail is wagging fierce and normal. He’s in good spirits and has proved to be a good teacher. :]