Scooter, the American Bulldog with a heart of gold!
If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you know Scooter! If you haven’t…
Scooter was found outside the Emerald Queen Casino on one of the hottest Seattle days on record. He had apparently been dumped their because he could not use his back legs. Consequently, as he sat on the sizzling summer pavement, not being able to move, his bottom, belly and back legs, as well as his paws blistered and burned on the hot black top.
Patti Angeliz of Valhalla Rescue in Winlock WA was called and without a moments hesitation, she answered the call. Patti runs a rescue for medical needs dogs and bullies of all types and Scooter was both.
From the moment help arrived on scene, Scooter showed the true temperament of the American bully breed. He was gracious, thankful and happy to be noticed. His injuries were horrific, with burns made worse by urine and feces scalding. Fortunately or unfortunately, however you choose to look at it, the paralysis masked a good deal of the pain, but not all of it.
Fast forward a few healing weeks later and Scooter has mastered the doggy wheelchair and is healing nicely under Patti’s vigilant care and many trips to her veterinarian. Scooter could be the poster child for all dogs, not just bullies as he smiles from ear to ear everyday, enduring his vet visits, his bandage changes, his immobility, his physical therapy and new surroundings with nothing but the purest of joy. He has caught many eyes and hearts along the way, including ours, and now has something of a fan club, watching his progress but as his skin lesions, burns and abrasions begin to heal, his rear movement does not get better. It is obvious he needs more than just soap, water and band aids.
Once the sores and blisters healed on his bum, testicles were discovered (well one anyway) so another visit to the vet, another bill, another recovery. This however, would be no normal neuter. Scooter is a cryptichord, meaning only one testicle descended and the other was deep inside the abdominal cavity. Not only that, but his descended testicle was dangerously torsioned and threatening to rupture. He needed immediate surgery. What was going to be a fence building fundraiser turned into a Scooter Neuter fundraiser and a week later, like the true champ he is, Scooter came through his very long and invasive, three hour neuter surgery with flying colors and a “You can’t keep a good guy down” attitude, leaving Patti with the bittersweet job of trying to convince this dynamo that he has to remain quiet.
What came next was rather unexpected. Scooter began to move his legs. Scooter moves his legs
Not much, just a little. In his wheel chair they moved back and forth in rhythm with the front and low and behold, his tail could also wag and boy what a wagging tail this dog has. It would seem all the scar tissue and swelling from the torsioned testicle may have had a small part to play in the paralysis. Only one way to find out the what’s and why’s of it. He needed an MRI
So, back to fundraising square one goes Patti and Wags To Riches, decided they just couldn’t stand by and do nothing. You see, while Valhalla’s regular vet allows a revolving account, the MRI is a referred service and those vets want their money up front. Patti had some left over from the. fence building turned Scooter Neuter fundraiser but not nearly enough. So they stepped in and donated, getting us close enough to make the appointment.
His MRI revealed good and bad news. Scooter has a tumor on his spine. It has a big fancy name and it has probably been there growing, since birth creating worsening of the paralysis. It is probably this continued progress of mobility loss that caused his former owners to dump him. Surgery looks optimistic but while these types of tumors are most often benign, they can in some cases be malignant.
We at Valhalla are moving forward with the surgery. Without it, what tiny bit of movement and strength in his back legs, he has gained since his neuter, will dwindle away. The tumor will progress, the paralysis will spread and death is certain. With a dog that has this much forgiveness and love in his heart for life and all things in it, trying to remove the tumor was the only course of action we would consider.
Update for 9/26/14: We have scheduled the surgery for October 7th. However, in the meantime, we will obtain a second opinion as well, to make sure this is the only way to go. Any surgery is scary, but one so close tot he spine is to us, more scary. We will always do what is right for them, and their long term. Please keep sharing this. We are very close to our needed goal. Thank you.We have extended the cost a bit. After his surgery he will need rehab and radiation (possibly). So we are hoping to have enough funds for his after care as well. Thank you so much for being a part of Scooter’s journey.
09/30/2014 via Anne Fromm
We have extended the cost a bit. After his surgery he will need rehab and radiation (possibly). So we are hoping to have enough funds for his after care as well. Thank you so much for being a part of Scooter’s journey.
10/7/2014 – Via Patti Angeliz: I drop him off at 10. I will be staying at the hospital until the surgery is completed so I will definitely be keeping everyone posted on blow by blow.
10/7/2014 3:40pm – Via Patti Angeliz
It’s out!!!!! Dr. Hicks just came out said the surgery went very well. It came out easier than he thought it would and according to him, Scooter tumor is HUGE! They are closing him up now and I will be able to go visit him in about half an hour. He’s going to be completely out of it, but at least I will be able to see him one more time before I leave him in the capable hands of the wonderful text that will be caring for him for the next few days.
10/7/2014 @ 5:05 PM via Patti Angeliz
They will have him heavily sedated for the next 24 hours. He has his braveheart lion to watch over him.
For the next few days, Laurie, will be helping me with pics of him when she comes on duty at night. And of course if the vets call me for anything I will keep everyone updated.
We are hopeful that he will get to go home in about 2 to 3 days and definitely should be back home with us by the weekend if there are no complications.
Thank you everyone for your love and support. Scooter and I felt it all day long and I am so grateful to have friends like you all that support our dogs. I really wish I could hug every single one of you. And when scooter is healthy we will definitely have to plan a big get together to celebrate this new chapter he gets to start, thanks to all his wonderful friends. Now we can only pray that it will be a benign tumor and we will never see it come back again.