Smoky & Sheena are enjoying the snow. Sheena is really blossoming into a real outdoor lover & has come into her own. She is a real "gamer" and wants to do everything that Smoky does. She does 2 hr treks with us in spite of her hips posing some stiffness, she runs on the treadmill like her younger sibling and she's learning some of the agility skills just like the "Big Boy"! Smoky and I are taking a 12 wk agility training class every Sat eve. He is such a "wizard" and quick learner. I have no qualms about his physical ability to perform any of the skills. It's just a matter of him containing his excitement and wanting to "play" with all the other dogs in the class and focus on learning the necessary lead-up skills first. It's been great for both of us!
Again, I salute you for your dedication and look forward to joining you come spring/summer.
Best to You,
Kathleen, Smoky & Sheena
Greetings again from the Becker Family WITH the PICTURES this time. Have a FANTASTIC New Year!! And it's STILL ALL ABOUT THE DOGS!!
Smoky, Sheena and Kathleen
Smoky's Surgery - A Success!
We are very pleased to announce that the surgery to correct Smoky's twisted front leg was a huge success! Check out his new leg! After surgery to straighten it out, he no longer walks or sits crooked, and he no longer tail-chases or chews! All indications are that he will go on to lead a perfectly normal, pain-free life. This miraculous change was possible through generous donations to our Rainbow Fund.
First checkup update July 2009
Smoky is doing FABULOUS!! Last week at his first-week checkup, Dr Dave showed us his x-ray with the plate in his radius and the missing section of bone in the ulna (non-weight-bearing bone) and told us that Smoky is coming along just super. By all accounts he should go on to live a perfectly normal life! What we originally thought was arthritis turned out not to be, so he'll still have a young dog's joints. We're very excited!
Some very generous and caring folks in Sacramento who work for the State called and offered to have a fundraiser to help pay for his surgery, so we created a flyer for them to put up around the State building. They're going to come meet him at the Sacramento Adoption Day.
Surgery Update June 2009
The surgery was done on June 2nd, and so far everything has been healing well. He'll get a final check-up and clearance in September and we'll know if he will go on to lead a perfectly normal life.
Smoky Meets Dr P, May 2009
We took Smoky up to Bradshaw Vet to meet Dr Petrunich, our Wizard vet when it comes to patching up broken German Shepherds. As we sat in the exam room, Dr P swept into the room, took one look at Smoky's leg, and said, "Oh! Wow, that's bad . . . oh my." He grabbed the x-rays we had taken when we first got Smoky, and, while looking at the x-rays, said, "Oh man, that's . . . oh . . . we have to DO SOMETHING about that!" He then disappeared in a flash of light and a puff of blue smoke (well okay, not really but it SEEMED like it), and sent in a tech, who took digital photos of Smoky's leg and then took Smoky out for x-rays, and sent us on our way. Total elapsed time less than 30 minutes from arrival to departure.
After consulting with another orthopedic surgeon, Dr P called us and said they were pretty sure they could fix Smoky's leg. They would need to break the bones and put pins in it, but the other surgeon was confident they could fix it. We will need help to pay the $2500 for the surgery for this wonderful young dog to fulfill his potential and go on to lead a pain-free life. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Sign up to Sponsor or donate to our Rainbow Fund today! Thank you!
Sponsored by: Brent T., Kathleen Becker, Sharron Asher
Original Bio April 2009 (Before we knew surgery would work)
Smoky is a large, very handsome young man, around 18-24 months old in a gorgeous dark sable coat. He was an unclaimed stray from Modesto, so we know nothing of his background. He's a big boy, and tips the scales at just about 95 pounds. He has a happy, outgoing, and friendly nature to everyone he meets.
Smoky's left front leg is twisted, and the x-rays indicated that he probably sustained a growth plate injury at some point while young, causing his front leg bones to grow abnormally long and crooked. He now has arthritis starting to form in his carpal (wrist) joint, which was causing him to move crooked. Smoky was just starting to fixate on his tail when we got him, most likely as a displacement behavior caused by the injury. Through a combination of anti-inflammatories, supplements, behavior modification and physical adjustment, his tail fixation is almost completely gone. His spine is back in alignment, and he leads a perfectly normal life.
This big boy gets along with most other dogs and critters, he has an easy-going attitude about life, and he just loves hanging out at the ranch home he's currently fostered at. He's not inclined to run off, he's housebroken and very well-mannered. He would not do well crated or confined, as he'd start to fixate on his tail again. He loves to play ball, and equally loves to destroy them if he's left with them.
Smoky is looking for a home with a moderate amount of activity all day to keep him occupied without heavy demands on his leg. He enjoys splashing about in the irrigation ditch and would probably enjoy a home with a pool. He's an ideal ranch dog as long as he can be outside with his people when they're outside, and inside with them when they're inside.
Smoky is a special needs boy, he'll need anti-inflammatories and supplements for his arthritis. He's currently on metacam and glucosamine/chondroitin supplements.
Added April 2009
Smoky's Shelter Picture March 2009