At four years old, Ms Molly is already a well-traveled young lady. Shortly after she was born it became apparent that her lower body was paralyzed. She was given to a Rescue in Pennsylvania where she spent the first year of her life. Surgery was done on her spine to try to correct the damage that malformed vertebrae had done to her spinal cord, but it was already too late, that part of her nervous system was beyond repair. During her recovery, a severe infection developed in her tail and, because of poor circulation and immune issues, her tail had to be removed.
A short time later, it became apparent that Molly had needs beyond what the Rescue was able to handle, so the search began for a new home. Molly stayed with a few families along the way, and then landed in a home in South Carolina with a woman who specializes in senior, special needs and hospice dogs. Molly spent her second year there.
Although she is partially paralyzed and has other associated issues, in every other way, Molly was a typical two-yr-old Golden. For those of us who remember when our Goldens were young, it is easy to picture the whirlwind of energy that she brought to the house. Once again, Molly was looking for a new home that could not only handle her special needs, but was also welcoming of a fun-loving teenager.
She has been with us for a year now and has brought so much happiness with her. Thankfully, although she had to move through several homes, she was loved in each one and it shows. Molly is vivacious and outgoing; she loves to go on adventures, loves to play with other dogs and people, and especially loves to snuggle. Here is a video of her getting TWO tennis balls into her mouth and trying to share them with us 🙂 Molly14-023_TennisBalls Along the way, she learned to get around by walking on her front legs, very similar to a person walking on their hands – and she’s fast! Molly14-023Mobility
Her medical issues are ongoing. Because the nerves in her lower back are damaged, Molly’s bladder does not function properly. In terms of daily living, this means that she has to wear a diaper, and she must be helped to eliminate fully. Unfortunately, this also means that severe bladder infections are common. The real danger is that, one day, the infection will travel to her kidneys, and this is what will limit her lifespan.
The other major issue is that the poor circulation in her hind legs, and the neural atrophy that has occurred because of the dead nerves, mean that we are also continually battling open pressure sores on her legs and feet.
Fighting the bladder infections has proven to be much more complicated than we had hoped. When one infection is handled, another stronger one pops up that is harder to treat, and so on. Luckily, Molly has a team of specialists that have put their heads together to come up with amazing treatment plans.
After an 8-week course of twice-a day, strong injectable antibiotics (made tolerable by the distraction of peanut butter bones), Molly was temporarily infection-free. We added a specialized oral antiseptic medicine and a pH acidifier in the hopes that we can keep anything new from growing, and we test her urine every day. She’s also on a half-raw diet specially designed to support her kidneys and bladder, as well as several supplements and Chinese herbs to strengthen her immune system and her urinary tract.
Team Molly has several wonderful specialists that have made a tremendous difference to her health and happiness. Dr Krisi Erwin, Wholistic Paws, comes every other week to give Molly acupuncture, cold laser, and B12 therapy. Dr Carol Lundquist, Singing Stones Animal Wellness Center, sees Molly semi-weekly for chiropractic treatment. The changes have been miraculous, including some movement in her toes that hadn’t been there before. Dr Lunquist also uses ozone therapy to help her leg sores heal and it is working! Molly is also a patient of Derik Campana of Animal Ortho Care, who designed custom-made orthotics (in pink camo!) to help support her hind legs. Schon Gross of Phoenix Designs Solutions has made custom leg supports of soft, adjustable neoprene that fit over her bandages. And both Eddie’s Wheels and Walkin’ Wheels have donated wheel chairs. She also sees her personal groomer, Nikki, at Old Mill Vet, for a monthly spa treatment to keep her squeaky clean and fluffy.
With so many people doing so much, Molly has reached a new level of well-being. The start of her 4th year has seen her infection-free for the first time in months, the persistent leg sores are finally healing, and there is new sensation in her hind limbs. The changes are remarkable and fill us with hope that she may live a more normal life.
This past year, Molly has represented GRREAT in a video for the Race For a Cause, been on PBS with Animal Ortho Care, and been a sponsored dog for the GRREAT 3K Walk. She also has her own Facebook page where she often shows off her fashion Duct Tape. She is doing her best to spread the word on how wonderful disabled dogs can be, and how immense the spirit of a challenged dog can grow. This coming year she is planning on attending the Spring Dewey Beach Golden Jubilee!
Molly has no idea that she is any different than her foster brother and sister. She plays with abandon and loves with all her heart. Some days she doesn’t feel as well as she could and we deal with that as it comes. Through it all her happy energy and her joy fill us with laughter and hope.
Molly is in a permanent foster home and will be cared for by GRREAT for the rest of her life. Click the button below to Sponsor Molly, she would be most appreciative of your support