How old are they?
Lilly will be 1 on 3/23/13 / Bentley is 4
How did they get their names?
Bentley was named previously. We gave Lilly her name because she is so sweet and delicate.
How did they come into your life?
Bentley – Bentley’s owners dropped him off at the vet to be put down because he was having difficulty walking. At the time, he was three years old and was otherwise in good health, so the vet refused to euthanize him. The couple surrendered him to the vet clinic, and in turn, the vet clinic called rescue for help. I drove to NJ to pick him up.
Lilly – I saw a Craig’s List ad asking for help for a paralyzed bulldog puppy. Having just been through this with my first paralyzed dog, Monty, and again with Bentley, I answered the ad offering my help.
What is Lilly’s story?
(I read a little about her being a puppy mill survivor)
Lilly was born in a puppy mill. When the farmer noticed her issues, she was placed in a rabbit hutch and left outside without proper care. Due to her congenital defects and her injury (she was dropped at age 7 weeks – breaking her left rear leg), and the fact that she never received medical treatment at all, her body grew very twisted and she never developed any muscle. She couldn’t move on her own in the cage, and no one helped her to move. She received no medical care. Her leg healed on its own – in a deformed position. We rescued her at 6 months of age. By the time we got her in Oct. 2012, she was unable to support any weight on her front or rear end. She could barely hold her head up. And because of her immobility, pneumonia and her breathing were and continue to be an ongoing battle.
Does Lilly do any physical therapy?
Lilly goes to Paradise Canine Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine in MD. They do water therapy with her weekly – she walks on an underwater treadmill and also gets cold laser treatments. I do other therapy exercise with her at home. For her breathing, Lilly receives daily nebulizer treatments, as well as doxycycline as needed. She LOVES therapy.
Will Lilly be getting a wheelchair to help her walk?
Lilly has a wheelchair that she is just now getting strong enough to use. She also has a homemade cart that gives her full support when standing, as well as various other slings and physical therapy equipment. That has really helped her gain her strength, stand to eat, etc.
How is she doing now?
Lilly has made big strides, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to give her a firm prognosis. She is much stronger in her front end now, and has started to gain some control of her rear legs. Because of the nerve damage, her rear legs move very spastically, and we are trying to teach her how to control them. Her left rear hock is the biggest issue, on top of how severely her body curves. She is only able to lay on one side and is still unable to sit up like a normal dog. But, we’re working on that! Creativity, patience, and perseverance make a HUGE difference. And Lilly has the most amazing spirit. She is one determined little girl, and she is the happiest puppy. She doesn’t let any physical limitations get in her way!
What is Bentley’s story?
(saw he was dropped of and is now able to walk)
Bentley’s former owners dropped him off at a vet’s office to be euthanized because he was having trouble walking. The vet refused to put him down because he was only 3 at the time and otherwise very healthy. The owner surrendered him to the vet clinic and, in turn, the vet clinic called rescue for assistance for Bentley. I drove to NJ to pick him up. When I took him into rescue in June 2012, he was able to stand but was very unsteady on his feet and unable to walk. When he tried to walk, he would drag his back legs completely. I fitted in him a wheelchair so he stopped dragging his legs. Then I took him to my local vet as well as a neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania for advice. The neurologist recommended an MRI followed by spinal surgery. Having been through spinal surgery with another bulldog less than a year before, I was very hesitant to go the route of surgery. So I took Bentley home and put him on crate rest for 2 weeks, other than when I did at-home therapy with him. In two weeks, I saw improvement, so I knew there was hope. So instead of going back to U. Penn, I took him to the canine physical therapy clinic that I used in the past. They were impressed with his progress, and so agreed to develop a physical therapy plan for him.
What type of therapy did Bentley undergo?
Bentley goes to water therapy weekly and also gets cold laser treatments. He has a list of at-home exercises that we do as well.
How is he doing now?
He’s walking! Unassisted! His walk is far from perfect or pretty, but he can walk on his own without the use of a wheelchair. He can climb steps (slowly), run, and play like a normal dog. I believe that he will always be slightly incontinent and will always walk clumsily, but from where he was less than a year ago – he’s amazing! He too is an inspiring dog with unparalleled determination.
What would you like to say to those who are afraid to adopt a dog that needs extra care?
The care that you’ll give a special-needs dog pales in comparison to the life lessons that that dog will teach you. The love, trust, resilience, and determination that shines from within them; their inability to feel sorry for themselves despite the obstacles they face; and their ability to live in the moment will transform you.
How did your organization Monty’s Mates start?
In 2010, I began fostering a 7-year old bulldog. He was wonderful, but I was determined not to fall in love with him because I was afraid of adopting a senior dog. I didn’t want to go through the heart break of losing them sooner than a younger dog. Well, within 2 weeks, I was head-over-heels and made Monty a forever member of our family. A little over a year later, he began having trouble walking and after many vet visits, was diagnosed with ruptured discs in his back. After a lot of soul-searching, we decided to move forward with spinal surgery in hopes of helping him walk again. He had the surgery & successfully healed, but then things started going downhill. There were so many wonderful friends who became attached to Monty and his story, and so we affectionately referred to them as “Monty’s Mates”. Ultimately, the paralysis spread and Monty passed away in January 2012. He made a huge impact in my life and in the lives of so many other people, and I wanted to do something to honor his legacy. So, I began Monty’s Mates Bulldog Rescue with the purpose of helping other bulldogs like my beloved Monty.
How can people make donations to help?
The rescue’s PayPal is email@example.com. We also have some t-shirts, stuffed animals, and collars available.
Are there any links that you would like to share?
Author’s Note: I would like to thank Lilly & Bentley’s mom for sharing their story as well as pictures. Pictures were used with permission. You can visit them on facebook at Monty’s Mates Bulldog Rescue and please visit Monty who started it all
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To honor all of the wonderful extra love needed pets that were featured on my blog..the facebook party is at the Furry Paws Disco on 3/24 at 4pm edt here is the link for details.. https://www.facebook.com/notes/peace-love-whiskers/raffle-details-and-party/494812007243433
There’s also a raffle that is going on from now until the 23rd and the winner announced at the party.. there are some great prizes and all the donations for the raffle will benefit the World’s Greatest CatHouse in Englewood, Florida where they are taking care of 200 special needs cats.
I would love to get close to the $1500.00 needed for daily expenses at the World’s Greatest Cat House and make this raffle and party both a success.