My Little Fighter
You know that feeling you get when you bring home a new puppy, and you hold it for the first time. I will never forgot the day I brought home my little frenchie...Hudson. I got my puppy February 16, 2018, just one month after I turned twenty, it was out of the blue and unexpected but I couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift than him. I knew right away what I wanted to name him. Something about his name, Hudson had a ring to it. It made me smile. I remember the first night like it was yesterday. We drove home with my boyfriend. He was holding hudson in his lap. We face timed my whole family to show off our new member.
When we arrived back to my small apartment (which we moved out of shortly after) I set him down, and as soon as I put him down he found the mirror. He started to run into it and barked at himself. It was just about the cutest thing I had ever seen.
The first few weeks were a big adjustment being a full time student, having two jobs, teaching at a preschool, and taking care of my kitten & new puppy. People constantly told me how impressed and crazy I was trying to balance it all but it came naturally. Yeah, I was tired some days, especially when Hudson decided to play all night...but potty training a frenchie is a task let me tell you. Funny thing is, he was never left alone, he would go with me to class and work. I babysit and the kids fell head over heals in love with him. Oh! and they seriously are the best family in the world and loved Hudson coming to work. He is the easiest puppy, playing when he knew he could and sleeping when he had to. Everything was going great, we went to parks, the beach, went on walks, seriously you name it we were doing it. However things started to change on May 11, 2018 just three months after I had gotten him. He was just about to turn five months old. Suddenly Hudson's legs started to slip out from under him. I remember crying hysterically driving thirty minutes to our normal vet with my roommate (hudson's "second" mom) in the passenger seat not knowing what we were about to find out. They did different tests for him however they said they were not worried and sent us on our way. We got home feeling a little worried but felt like a weight had been lifted off our chest. I began to cook him dinner while he sat behind me as usual. I turned around to give him a snack and he stood up and fell. He pulled his tiny feet back in and looked up at me confused. I remember looking at him and telling him it was all going to be okay. I watched him for a second longer thinking I was crazy. He then started falling many times over and over. I instantly called for my roommate. She called Hudson, he got up began to run but his back legs kept falling out. We jumped in the car and rushed to the closest emergency vet immediately. They said it could be a seizure but they had to run many tests to find out. However, everything came back negative. Finally they did an X-ray of his spine and said it looked a little off but nothing to concerning.
They sent us on our way and told us to keep a close eye on him. I knew he wasn't okay and I knew something was extremely wrong. He would cry in pain and wasn't him self anymore. We started him on pain meds to take the pain away while we figured out what was wrong. The next two months were really hard. I tried to put on a front for him and everyone around me. I didn't know what was wrong and all I wanted to do was help him. We went to six different vets from Santa Barbara to L.A. Every vet made me more confused and more scared. They said it was either something wrong with his brain or his back but they didn't know. I was doing everything in my power to help my once playful puppy feel better. He started to get worse no longer wanting to play and sleeping all day long. About two weeks ago we found out that he has Kyphosis of the spine which I like to say its kinda like scoliosis. His spine curved at the top hitting his spinal cord and slowly making him lose feeling in his back legs. We did acupuncture for a little hoping it would help him while we figured out the next steps. However, he got to the point where he couldn't be carried with out crying or getting uncomfortable and when he would run his back legs would stay behind. We then got referred to a neurologist and spinal specialist in San Diego. We called and got an appointment that week July 12, 2018. The three days leading up to it were scary not knowing what we were going to do and how Hudson was going to be. On the morning of the 12th my family, Hudson and I packed up the car and left bright and early to drive three hours to the vet. As we got closer all of us got quieter and I knew we were all nervous.
We went in and right away the doctor said it is not his brain but it was indeed kyphosis. He said that the only option was to do surgery but that he may come out of surgery worse than he was today. The doctor told us that Hudson would slowly get worse with out surgery and could be paralyzed any day. Surgery could help give him a normal life or it could paryalze him. We knew we needed to give him a chance at a normal puppy life so we agreed to the surgery, he got us in the next day. Dropping him off the next morning was hard not knowing what the outcome would be or if we were making the right choice. We got the call that night at 7 pm on Friday the 13 (bad luck day right) honestly that day brought more good luck then I ever imagined. Hudson made it out of surgery and needed to stay at the vet for about four days. In surgery they cut out part of his upper spine to take the pressure off his spinal cord. They then placed pins to keep everything in place. Finally, they placed cement that will take place of his spine and keep it protected.
It was now a waiting game if he was going to walk again or not. I got to take him home on Tuesday July 17 and we are making progress everyday. I still have to support him to stand and walk. I have to be with him 24/7 and we do baby exercises everyday, like moving his toes and his legs slowly. He can put pressure on his back legs and moves them slightly which is amazing. Even though it is a slow recovery I know he is a fighter. I could't thank everyone enough for all the love and support we have received since I posted his story. Every little prayer, love, and support is helping hudson heal each day a little more. In two weeks we have a follow up appointment to see how he is progressing and if we can start physical therapy. Its been a hard road and I know we have a long road ahead of us but he is a little fighter. Although this has been hard only being twenty, I have learned so much from him in the few months I have had him. I have grown and changed in many ways I never thought I would. I am stronger now and know that being positive will help him heal each day. I never knew how much a little puppy would mean to me or how I would turn into a “crazy dog mom” as people like to say, at just twenty years old. I know he walked into my life for many reasons and I am so lucky to be on this journey with my lilac frenchie Hudson.