Cici on August 16, 2013

This is Cici. She has quite a story to tell.

In late March 2013 she was found in the street in the San Fernando Valley (a suburban area north of Los Angeles) after being hit by a car.  She was taken to the East Valley Animal Shelter where she was initially diagnosed with fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. She needed surgery, but the shelter could not afford the expense.  The shelter did what it could to stabilize her breathing difficulties and sent word out that this one-year-old needed some serious financial aid.  A week after Cici was injured, a dog rescue organization in San Diego named Labradors and Friends offered to pay for her surgery if she could be transported to the Animal Medical Center in El Cajon.

At AMC Cici was found to have two broken right legs and a torn CCL in addition to her more pressing lung and rib issues.  After multiple surgeries and two and a half months, Cici was ready to leave the hospital, but she had nowhere to go. In late June we contacted Labradors and Friends about adopting a handicapped dog advertised in our local newspaper.  The handicapped dog was already taken, but we were asked if we might take Cici. We agreed to foster Cici so that she could regain her strength and stamina and get out of the hospital.

When Cici came to us in late June 2013, she had very little muscle in the upper thigh of her right hindleg. Her front right leg was swollen at the elbow.  She had a noticeable limp and head-bobbed when she walked, but she was so ecstatic to have a yard to run around in that she charged around for a full three hours before collapsing in her bed.  Over the next few days we discovered that Cici needed more than a place to run around.  She appeared to be totally unsocialized — afraid of all dogs we encountered on walks in the neighborhood plus all bike riders, motorcycle riders, and runners. She was not afraid of cars.  And she was perfectly house-trained.  We were dumbfounded that someone could have house-trained her but completely neglected any other form of behavior.  Thus began her physical and emotional training regimen.

We lined up a certified trainer and a therapist who specializes in a modified Feldenkrais method for dogs and horses. After seven weeks and the equivalent effort of having a part-time job, we are happy to say that Cici no longer bobs her head when she walks and is calm when she sees runners or bike/motorcycle riders while walking in the neighborhood. No one can detect she was so badly injured just a few months earlier.  She’s still barking and snarling at stranger dogs and large trucks.  She now has a great foundation to be a strong, happy, less fearful creature. Many thanks to Colleen Demling of Pawtopia and Mary Debono of The Sense Method for their expertise and devotion to needy animals.  And a huge thank you to Labradors and Friends for rescuing Cici from a painful and uncertain future.

Cici, Zoey and Gil on August 15, 2013

Cici, Zoey and Gil on August 15, 2013