Dury Voe Flies True
March 16, 2021
Arrow. My pandemic puppy. I was blessed with the unique opportunity to have his whole littler stay with me for about 5 days while I decided on which puppy would be mine. There were two out of of the four boys that peaked my interest the most, and in the end decided on the smaller of the two. Not because of size, but rather because of the great combination of bravery, friendliness and his fondness for tugging and toys...a not too common trait in shelties.
At just 4.5 months old Arrow had small fall at the bottom of a single stair step after a houseguest left the baby gate open and he had access to the raised bedroom hallway. He jumped down the step and didn't stick his landing. Within 60 seconds of the fall he was displaying worrisome neurological symptoms so we rushed off to the vet.
Keeping a long and ridiculous story short, after intermittent times of imbalance we proceeded with an MRI. During his fall Arrow pulled all the tendons securing C1 to C2 and the bones were able to touch his spinal cord; non-congenital Atlanto-axial Instability.
Arrow was put on four months of very, very restrictive crate rest. Often vets will use an immobilizing neck brace but his neurologist thought it would do more harm than good given he was an active and outgoing puppy who wasn't a fan of being handled. Having to change a neck brace every few days could have lead to him damaging himself more than he already was.
He spent essentially 23 hours a day in his crate. I tried very hard to keep him stimulated but that is very hard thing to do when your puppy isn't allowed to move his neck. Luckily the crate rest appears to have worked and Arrow is once again a full-time member of this sheltie household.
He is such an amazing puppy. Resilient. Fun. Outgoing. Naughty. Smart. I cannot wait to see what the future has in hold for him.
Update 2022: Given Arrow was just released from his crate we took things VERY, very, slowly. While he passed his neurological reasessments, there was always still concern. For many weeks I did not let him interact with the other dog in our house. A collision could have been very bad. I didn't get in to ant formal training either because as he is so little, he uis often looking UP!! This is the exact movement of the neck we wanted to avoid. So he just got to be pet dog for quite a few more months. We did eventually get around to starting some agility training but a fear of things that are plastic has presented challenges. That is a fun one if you ever want to hear the full story.
When it comes down to it, Arrow is an amazing addition to our family - I could not ask for a more perfect puppy. What comes of a sports career, I don't know. But, I also don't care. He is awesome and amazing and fills my heart with joy.