Monday, October 11, 2010


Today is my dog Buzz's 10th birthday. He had been through so much pain and loneliness until we resued him from a shelter 6 years ago and even more pain after that. Now he is the most affectionate and faithful dog anyone could ask for. I consider him my canine soulmate.

Here is his story:

Prior to getting Buzz we had a Sheltie named Baker. Another great, very gentle dog who passed away due to cancer. GREAT dog!!!! (look at that face!!)

Anyhow, there was a void in our lives and we decided to search for a rescue dog this time, as we had always had purebreds before. We found Buzz at a shelter on the outskirts of town and immediately fell in love with the guy. The only problem was, he was sick... VERY sick!  Coronavirus, Parvovirus, Bordetella (kennel cough) and Borreliosis (lyme disease).  He also was covered with over 40 ticks. We called our Vet and he told us to take to the backdoor of the office as to not infect any other animals. After examining Buzz he told us that the best thing to do was to bring Buzz back to the shelter where they would euthanize him that night. Being the stubborn folks that we are, we opted to have him treated for the diseases and have the ticks removed. For the next four weeks we had Buzz sleeping outdoors as we had taken in two other healthy dogs, Baxter and Bonnie, shortly after we took in Buzz. More about them in another blog.

Surprisingly, especially to the Vet, Buzz recovered and all was well!

One morning about 6 months after his recovery, we heard a loud 'YELP' as he apparently jumped out of our bed. He couldn't get up and did NOT want to be touched or moved. We managed to wrap him up and take him to our new Vet. He did X-Rays and informed us that there was something 'wrong' with Buzz's spine. Duh!!! He sent us to a pet intensive care clinic where they performed an MRI. (The dollar signs were beginning to accumulate in my head!). The results showed three vertabrae had ruptured and the surgeon gave us two options. Have his spine fused or have it replaced! Yikes!! We chose the replacement surgery. I was now seeing LOTS of dollar signs!

The operation was a complete success! They replaced eight vertabrae with prophylactic (plastic) ones.  Here are a few post-surgery photos.

My wife still thinks it's cruel that I nicknamed him 'Zipperback', but I told her that for $6,000 I could call him anything I wanted to! lol

It took Buzz around six months of home therapy before he could walk halfway normally and it took alot of work and patience on everyone's part. Looking back, I think holding his butt up while he pooped was the worst. Walking him with a bath towel wrapped around his belly to support him was also not much fun but we perservered.

Then one day my wife's cousin offered to let Buzz use his pool as therapy and that enabled Buzz to make a huge step towards his recovery. By the way, Buzz is part Waterhound so he has webbed feet. That really helped in the pool.

Buzz now is a 'normal' dog and you could hardly tell that he went through all of the surgeries and pain.

So, Happy Birthday Buzz, you old zipperback you!!

I added a new 'Song of the Week'. Don't forget to click on the video thingy at the top left.


CAROLDEE said...

Happy birthday to Buzz. Hope he lives a long life. You two are sure dedicated to your canine family. They truly are the definition of loyalty and don't ask for anything but your love. Best to your family including. Burt! : )

Beth said...

Happy Birthday to the miracle dog Buzz and kudos to you and your wife for saving his life. Buzz is such a handsome guy!

Kathryn Magendie said...

First I read about your beloved sweet one dying of cancer - mine too - almost 2 years ago my Kayla had splenic cancer and we didn't know.... oh I grieved - still miss her. Had her from a 6wk puppy until she was about 12. We opted for the surgery to try to save her, but it was too late. :-(

We adopted Maggie (or Psycho Dog *laugh*) from the shelter a year after Kayla died. She had some health problems, too, but is doing great.

Oour Jake was a stray we took in - nursed him back to health, too.

You are wonderful for doing all this to help Buzz - he is one lucky dog! Big Hug to you and your wife . . . there aren't many who would do all you did to save this sweet creature.

Ramblingon said...

Happy Birthday Buzz. Your mom and dad have been among the angels on earth. I know you love them back just as much and that you are grateful to have their love too and to share their home.

Many more, big guy. xoxox

Rocket Man said...

Happy birthday, Buzz, from a fellow Zipperback! After two spinal surgeries myself I can really relate. My best buddy, Sam, almost didn't make it when we first got him and now I can't imagine my life without him.

Peaceful said...

Happy birthday to my friend's soul friend :)

GreatGranny said...

Happy Birthday, Buzz.You are a blessed dog to be with your Dad and Mom, who love you much.