Letter from The Publisher
I have been touched by two very special three-legged dogs, one of whom is still in my life, and so this month’s Natural Pet feature on imperfectly perfect pets (see page 30) led me straight to these thoughts for my letter.
Many years ago, one of my beautiful Rottweilers, my heart dog Jesse, developed bone cancer in her leg at the young age of 6. I was devastated and had very little time to decide what to do. The best option (really the only option, other than putting her to sleep) was to amputate the leg. The thought of this was horrific, so I talked to a number of dog trainers and breeders who said that dogs get along quite well on three legs. The deciding factor was when my veterinarian explained that Jesse would get worse quickly and be in a lot more pain, and that if we waited until then, it would be too late to save her. So, the decision was made to remove the leg. When my husband and I picked her up after the operation, with the help of a little sling, she made a beeline for the grass and had a big pee! There was no turning back after that—along with some treatment and, more importantly, her tremendous spirit, she had another two years of quality life enjoying herself on our horse ranch. I am so thankful for that extra time with her.
Our male Rottweiler, Shiloh, was quite depressed after his sister passed away, and my husband and I weren’t really sure what to do. I was looking at rescue dogs on the internet and came across Katie. Of course, our intent was not to replace Jesse, but perhaps provide a bit of doggy friendship for Shiloh and maybe a bit of diversion for us too. And so our three-legged Katie came to live with us. The rescue group thought she had been hit by a car, and the rescue veterinarian amputated her leg because it had been badly broken. In addition, six teeth were extracted, including a canine, and countless porcupine quills were removed.
As you can see by my publisher photo, Katie is my hiking companion, and is a testament to the strength and will that animals have when given a challenge. They have the spirit to move on, and are not bothered by the stigmas, prejudices or the simple ignorance that can plague human beings. Many people ask me what happened to Katie, so I tell them the story, and their response is often, “We could learn something from animals, couldn’t we?” Well, yes, couldn’t we?
I hope you enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings. As always, please feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or questions. I’d love to hear about your special pet too! This is your magazine—enjoy!