Rocky Kanaka (Animal Advocate):

He was locked in a crate for so long, his body grew the shape of that crate. So sometimes even just laying down is painful for him.

abused dog

On those days I just do my best to comfort him. We got Winston to the vet as soon as possible. They got him on pain meds right away. We did the full workup, X-rays, ultrasound, blood work, everything, and the results came back really bad. I had a tough decision to make that night as a family. We all made the decision to give Winston the chance at a pain-free life. We loaded him up for surgery, told him how much we loved him, and then just waited.

Picking him up was so emotional. I just wanted to give him the biggest hug and let him know it’s gonna be okay.

The first few weeks were so challenging because the pins that were put in his bones needed to set right for all of this to work. So he had to stay in his crate. And that breaks my heart because he must have been thinking, “Here we go again. I’m just locked in a crate again”. And as the weeks went on, he should have progressed and we should have been able to take him for walks and let him out of his crate more and more. But it actually got worse. He started knuckle dragging!

dog was locked in a crate

His feet, he couldn’t lift them off the ground. We figured out what was causing this problem. It was actually the hardware that was in his leg holding his bones together. These pins had bacteria, so now we had to remove these because the things that we’re supposed to be helping him was actually harming him. And we just had to cross our fingers and hope that his bones would stay fused together.

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Waiting for the antibiotics to work, all of the healing. And then the second surgery. It’s been a seven month journey with Winston. Removing that hardware solved the problem. The bacteria was cleared up. The vet gave us the final check off, and he just got to be a dog pain free. He got to play with his foster siblings and as a family, we were just so happy seeing Winston experience what it was like to be a dog free from pain, from a cage for the first time ever.

Rocky and Winston at the beach

As heartbreaking as it was for me. It was in this moment that I knew Winston was ready for his forever family. I’m not usually returning dogs to the shelter, but I thought this is a good place to meet because this is where he was saved. Okay, let’s go buddy.

Congratulations on your new family! And I don’t know if you saw the fine print and the paperwork, but this requires, uh, “any time visit by me!”

Thank you! If you were one of the people cheering him along on this journey, it saved his life. If you could donate, it goes straight to animal Friends of the valley so we can keep helping more animals.

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