POLO (13-123) I was born in Cairo, Egypt in December 2012 and had a pretty good life going. Then one day, my human’s gardener thought it would be fun to hit me on my back with a rake. Suddenly my back legs did not work so my humans did not want to keep me. Unfortunately, Egypt is way behind with regard to animal rights and vet care, and only a very few understand the value of animals – especially those of us with disabilities. Luckily, I was taken in by some wonderful women who knew that I needed to get to the U.S. to get the help I needed, and that’s when they contacted GRREAT and offered to pay to fly me.
The GRREAT Board discussed my situation and, although I was waaay out of their normal service area, they agreed to take me. So, on Saturday, December 14, I boarded an airplane with a “flight parent” volunteer and left Cairo for New York. It was a very long trip. While Egypt is pretty warm, when we finally landed at JFK, there was white stuff falling from the sky. It was cold and wet. I was told it was snow!
By this time I was pretty confused, but my new foster parents met me at the airport and drove me “home.” They gave me a welcome to the USA bath and wrapped me up in blankets to keep me warm. Then I had another bath because they found some bugs on me. My long trip and all the excitement had me totally bushed. I slept on a memory foam dog bed that night and was so comfy. When I woke up, I met all my new foster brothers and sisters. I felt as though I fit right in. Then we went out to play in the yard. It was like I was back with my Egyptian buddies.
Since that first day I have learned to use my Walking Wheels Wheelchair to get around in the back yard. I sure can run fast with them. My foster mom has made me a wardrobe of socks to protect my back legs, snow pants so that I can play in the white stuff, tee shirts with my name on them, and some covers for my diapers. My first Christmas was super. I had my very own ornament for the tree. I also got a collar with Egyptian designs on it so that I would have a little something of my home country. And I got to celebrate it all with my awesome foster parents and siblings.
You are probably wondering about my medical condition. GRREAT’s Chief Fund paid for me to have an MRI. I don’t really understand all this, but here is what I’ve been told. The MRI showed that my spinal cord had atrophied and that the “damage is permanent and complete.” There is nothing that can be done surgically to help me regain the use of my legs, but the orthopedic specialist said that acupuncture and physical therapy might be an option to help with my quality of life.
While this was not the news I was hoping for, I am still a happy pup. I now go to physical therapy at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Delaware where I do PT and hydrotherapy twice a week, as well as get acupuncture. (I also do PT at home, but that is not as much fun.) What a great PT Team! They take such good care of me! I think they like me. Thank you Dr. Natalie, David, and Amanda…you guys rock the therapy world! Thanks also to my specialty doctors, Dr. Cafone and Dr. Groman who have provided tireless care and treatment. I think they like me too. GRREAT’s Simile-Finale Fund helps pay for my treatments.
I have had a few other health issues that have been treated. I had a parasite that I got from eating an African beetle in Egypt – it didn’t even taste very good. It’s called Spirocerca Lupi. The specialist feels we caught this in time before it had the chance to become a serious issue. I also had a skin infection that was treated with antibiotics. Then one day my butt was really swollen! I had to visit the vet to have it drained of fluid, but I’m on the mend now. When all my “bugs” are cleared up, I will be neutered. That doesn’t sound like it’s as much fun as swimming and acupuncture!
In spite of all this drama, I am a very happy and energetic pup, as you would expect of a one-year-old Golden. I have no trouble getting around with or without my “wheels.” I love everyone, especially folks at GRREAT. One of the exciting things I have done is go to the GRREAT Annual Meeting in January. I got to meet the Board and other members who attended.
If you want to follow my progress, please “Like” me on Facebook; I’m Polo@grreat.org. You can also find updates by joining the GRREAT Facebook group. Since I will be undergoing PT for the foreseeable future (I really like to swim!), you can support my treatments by Sponsoring Me using the button below.
I have only been here a few months, but I already feel so welcome and at home in America. Thank you so much for “rescuing” me!
Love and kisses, Polo
Polo is in a permanent foster home and will be cared for by GRREAT for the rest of his life. Click the button below to Sponsor Polo, he would be most appreciative of your support