Early - September 2005

Early - September 2005

Postby chelynnah » Mon Dec 15, 2008 3:38 am

Early - Whippet of the Month September 2005
Owned & Loved by Carolyn and Greg (Wistwind)
Nominated by Laurie (Riveroo3)

Greg and I are THRILLED that Early has been chosen as one of Whippet World's prestigious Whippets of the month. What an HONOR! Early's story is a bit long, but a very emotional one for me. It is good therapy for me to finally write it all down. So, if it is too long for you, I apologize and you can skip to the end!

Early was born on April 15, 2004. It is hard to believe that he is not even a year and a half old - it seems like he has been with us forever. His sire is Marial Wistwind ColorMeQuick F Ch ARX (just needs 1 major to finish) and his dam is Wistwind's Spice Twice FCh TRP. He was a pretty newborn - long and VERY white although I can not say he was my favorite right away. He was a sleeper. He kept getting prettier and prettier and SOON he was my pick boy puppy. He was a happy go lucky, ornery, typical whippet puppy. He was busy, friendly, outgoing, VERY snugly, and quite athletic .
Early and his brother Swaps were fast buddies and always together. Greg and I could not decide which one we should keep - Early because he was so handsome, or Swaps because he seemed so athletic. Finally the decision was made to keep Early.

Within a few days, as the dogs were out enjoying a beautiful October day in the sun, it seems his fate was decided. Our neighbor stopped in our driveway to tell us that one of the puppies was lying down in the yard and wouldn't come over to the fence to see him. It just didn't seem 'right' to him. I RAN through the yard and saw him. Early was lying down - calmly lying there wagging his tail at me as I approached.

On that Oct 30th, Greg and I had not heard a peep, a bark, a squeal or a cry..........nothing. Nothing. But there was my little Early Bird lying there wagging at me with a swollen leg. He didn't even try to get up - just wagged at me. He was calm and glad to see me.

As I gently picked him up I realized it was a broken right femur. Bad news. VERY VERY bad news. I got him into the house, did a little more examining, and drove him to work (I'm a licensed veterinary technician) about 2.5 miles away. X-rays confirmed the break. The leg needed to be plated. My boss is absolutely wonderful but doesn't do plating so I made a few calls for a surgeon. Within a few days, the break had been repaired with a plate and all went PERFECT. There was no growth plate involvement, no pieces in there to worry about and he was a healthy normal 6.5 mo old whippet. He would heal fast.

Five weeks later he was doing GREAT, hardly even limping. Things were looking up. He was feeling happy but didn't like the restrictions we had put on him. Early came over to me one afternoon as I put groceries away and bumped into my leg. He looked up at me and I saw his leg break. I SAW IT BREAK!!!!!! His leg broke AGAIN right at the base of the plate. More x-rays, another trip to the surgeon, another surgery with a LONGER plate, more screws, etc, etc. It all became a blur. Bone density tests, immune tests, all sorts of tests to see if there was something wrong with him that his leg broke twice.

Within days of the second surgery his leg became swollen, very sore and infected. The leg broke again. This time my boss gently said to me that the leg was past repair. He could not fix it. No one could fix it. I had always said that I could never take the leg off a sighthound........ but here we were. My wonderful, caring , fabulous boss did some fancy talking and did the the surgery . Early was weak and pale but all his tests had come back normal. He was........ well...... almost normal now.

It was a very hard decision for me. For Greg, there was NO decision. Take the leg. Greg is also an amputee, so there was NO decision problem for our little Early.

Early is a bright light of inspiration at our house. He is brave, happy, handsome, athletic and knows no other life. He runs, he plays, he is still ornery at times, but there is not a sweeter more gentle soul than Early.

I did some obedience training at home, and Greg took him to 4 classes. He got his CGC and his TDI with flying colors. During his TDI test, a woman on crutches kicked a bucket in front of him and then fell on the floor. She flailed her arms and yelled "HELP" softly. The lady giving the test said to see what Early would do. First he ran over to the woman, kissed her on the cheek, then went over to the bucket and wagged at it. That's my boy!!!!!!

Greg hopes to do hospital visits with Early this Fall and would especially like to visit people who have lost a limb. Both could inspire people to live their lives more fully. Throughout all of this, we have come to believe there is a special plan for Early. We are so thankful to have been the people chosen to share Early's life.
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