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Thread: Prayers for Holly

  1. #1
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    Default Prayers for Holly

    Two weeks ago, we had a terrible accident. I was getting ready to take my youngest daughter to preschool and thought I had left Holly in the house. Holly must have slipped out the door to the garage behind my daughter -- I backed into her with the car in our driveway. Words can not describe how horrible I felt, and still feel. I've always prided myself on being so conscientous with my kids and our beloved pets. I knew accidents happen, but thought they could never happen to me as I was so very careful. To say I'm learning a lesson in humility is an understatement.

    After rushing Holly to our vet here to be stabilized, I decided to take her to the University of Florida for surgery. Holly had a left sacroiliac luxation, fracture of the right ilium through the acetabulum (hip socket area) and a fracture in the caudal vertebrae. She was seen by a neurologist and orthopedist at the University and had surgery two weeks ago Saturday (the morning following the accident). In addition to having a plate attached to her hip area, Holly had her tail amputated due to the vertebral fracture in that region.

    I brought Holly home last Tuesday. She is on strict crate rest for at least 8-12 weeks. The wonderful news is that she is able to go potty on her own and eats and drinks well. Her right hind leg has significant nerve damage, so we are using a sling to assist her when she takes a few steps to potty. My strongest desire for Holly is that she eventually regains full function of her leg as the injury heals.

    Holly is doing very well now. Her incisions have stopped leaking and she is recovering from an infection of the hip incision. The University doctors and staff have been wonderful -- I still consult with a member of Holly's team daily. I've set up a couple different areas in the house for her to rest, but still feel as if she's part of our every day lives here. I have a stroller that I plan to use more once Holly has completed this first month of recovery. We have a post-op visit in a couple of weeks when they'll redo radiographs to determine the amount of healing Holly's had the first month. I'm hoping for a very positive check-up so that we can start some physical therapy.

    I've learned that however careful I thought I was, it just wasn't enough. I can't stop thinking that if I had just taken a couple of seconds to check that Holly was inside that morning, or if I had been more careful to make certain I was the last person to close the door. Thinking about all of this can kind of drive you nuts, I'm trying to deal with the overwhelming feelings of guilt I have. Holly was a reading therapy dog before the accident, and my hope is that in several months we'll be able to return to that work. I think Holly's "message" now is so strong -- it's truly not what one looks like on the outside, but rather what's on the inside that always stays the same and what matters most. Being "different" can be beautiful and teach us so much. Holly might not have a tail, and she might have a permanent disability if the hind leg does not recover. But she is the same wonderful dog with the same beautiful spirit.

    I would really appreciate your prayers for Holly's continued healing. I feel like I need to apologize to this community for injuring one of our beloved cavaliers. I'm sure this sounds crazy, but I know you all understand how horrible I feel.

  2. #2
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    I feel so humble after reading this. Your attitude is absolutely amazing. A lesser person would be consumed with guilt, but you are using that guilt constructively to warn others of what can and does happen, picking up the pieces and getting on with dealing with the future. How I wish there were more like you around.

    I have a Holly too - Holly Poppet, because she is such a little poppet. She was born with Curly Coat/Dry Eye Syndrome, which has seriously compromised her eyes, skin and auto immune system. At one time the local vet wanted to remove her eye because she did not respond to surgery and treatment for corneal ulcers. I tried to be constructive too by insisting on referral to an opthalmologist, expensive, but 18 months later she still has the eye, which is working pretty well.

    There are often alarm bells set off because she catches her abnormal claws in carpets, then pulls them out and causes damage. I am off to the vet with her now, as another was lost on her deformed front paw over the weekend and she will not walk on it.

    Like you, I know that each event must be taken in turn and dealt with sensibly, with an eye to the future. Tears are not on the menu, but a positive attitude has to be at the very top.

    I am so sorry that this has happened to your Holly, but so glad that you have the right approach to dealing with her injuries. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  3. #3
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    Thinking of you both - hope Holly recouperates well
    Willow, Bertie & Finn [Blenheim & Tri Cavs],Eden [German Shepherd], Casper [BF Amazon], 2 ex-Bat Hens, 4 Cockatiels & a Barraband in a pear tree

  4. #4
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    We all have our special Hollys!
    I'm so sorry to hear that this has happened to you.I can't imagine what you must have gone through.You've given her the best medical care possible and it seems like her vets are optimistic that time will continue the good work that they've started.We wish you and Holly all the best and pray that she'll make a full recovery.
    The worst is over and hopefully things can only get better from now on.
    Sins

  5. #5
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    Tara, no matter how careful you are dreadful things can happen. The concern for Holly’s recovery you have shown demonstrates that you are a wonderful person owned by Holly, a very resilient Caviler. Yes of course we still have you and your family (including Holly) in our prayers
    Chuck, Cooper and Nina
    Shelter dogs aren't broken. They've simply experienced more life than other dogs. If they were human, we would call them wise. They would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write. Do not pity a shelter dog. Adopt one.

  6. #6
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    Oh goodness what a horrible thing to happen - I can only imagine my feelings in that situation...I would just be consumed with guilt.

    Thank you for sharing this story and reminding us all to be so very careful - these things happen so quickly - our Cavaliers always want to be with us so do tend to slip through the smallest gaps to get to us. [Teddy, my lovely Ruby boy, used to go over 4 ft fences to get to me, despite being really badly affected with Syringomyelia - our garden looks like Colditz now.]


    We wish Holly a good recovery - she will be extra special and although may not look *perfect* she will still be the same dog inside, and is perfect to those of us who truly care about our companions. I'm sure in time she will manage to wag her bottom so will still be able to communicate her happiness.

    How wonderful that Holly is a therapy dog and I sincerely hope she is able to return to that work - and can show many others that perfection and beauty are on the inside.


    Once Holly starts to feel a bit better she may start getting frustrated at being crate rested, it's great that you have different locations for her, but there are things you can do like give her stuffed Kongs, and the Nina Ottosson toys which you can play with her to stimulate her a bit.

    http://www.interactivedoggames.com/ Obviously you may need to reduce her amount of food so that she does not gain any weight, so you can give her all the daily ration in toys etc.


    Take care and know that we are all thinking of you and Holly and wishing her well.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  7. #7
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    Thinking of you and sending best wishes
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  8. #8
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    Dear Tara,

    We have all had the times when a small lapse could have brought tragedy and disaster. We do our best, but sometimes events catch us out.

    Years ago I made an assumption about my mother's rescue boxer dog and she ended up dead on a motorway.

    Holly is still with you, she will still be beautiful, she will still have her lovely cavalier expression and her sweet temperament.

    You are a wonderful Cavalier Mum.

    Give her a big kiss from me.

    My very best wishes,
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  9. #9
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    Oh how terrible and I can understand how agonising this has been. You can drive yourself crazy by re-imagining each step -- it is a kind of post-traumatic stress action that happens after an accident or bad experience. You are so right to focus on the situation now and going forward and I am sure Holly will be back bringing comfort with you to many who are ill. Thank you for courageously sharing your own experience which I know will be helpful to many, and also I hope helps you by talking about it and brings many prayers and best wishes to Holly as she heals.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    Thank you all so very much for your kind words and well wishes. This has, and continues to be, one of those life lessons that I wish I didn't have to learn. But ... there are many things to be thankful for. First, Holly is alive! There was also serious concern initially that she would be paralyzed from the waist down, which would include being incontinent. We went into surgery not knowing how things would turn out, but thankfully Holly is able to innervate her bladder and bowel and has use of the back end of her body. The damage to the sciatic nerve in her right hind leg may very well recover with time and physical therapy.

    Karlin -- I think I have gone through some post traumatic stress issues. It is still somewhat difficult to drive, particularly in reverse. I've never been more aware of the actual power of the automobile and the opportunity for destruction that exists when driving. I see people driving carelessly on the roads now and wish I could pull them aside and share that their actions could very well have catastrophic consequences.

    I'm actually a bit excited with the message that Holly and I can bring in the future. When I told the teacher of her reading therapy class of the accident, we discussed coming in after Holly's recovered and using Holly as an example of many important life lessons. I'm also going to reach out to schools for disabled children to see whether they would enjoy a visit from us. With all of the bullying issues we've seen in the US lately, I think it would be really beneficial for children in "mainstream" school to hear our message as well.

    I know my own two children are learning some really important things from this accident. They know now how important safety precautions are, and that everyone can make mistakes. But sometimes those mistakes have ugly consequences that we must deal with. It's how we deal with the mistakes and move forward that counts. They're learning from watching me care for Holly around the clock, and they are living the lesson of devotion to family members -- no matter what their differences or disabilities may be.

    I'm so grateful for this community and will most certainly keep you updated on our progress. Oh, a bit of interesting news that came from the event. Holly's neurologist at the University said her MRI scan was one of the "clearest" he's seen from a cavalier. I was able to share the results with Holly's breeder and the stud breeder who were happy to have the research for their breeding programs.

    Thank you for the link, Nicki! Holly will need some things to keep her occupied during this long recovery. I've been thinking about how to care for her mental health as well as physical needs. I'll have a look at the link and see what might peak Holly's interest!
    Last edited by tara; 11th October 2010 at 05:40 PM.

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