This is the story or Ray, a neglected, unloved yard dog who was never afforded the opportunity for attention. Ray somehow found his way out of the lonely yard he called home, and was roaming the streets as a stray. As Ray was managing to stay alive, eating garbage off the side of the road, he was suddenly struck by a car and then another car almost instantaneously. A witness noticed the first car sped up as if they were hit Ray intentionally with extra force. The second car could not react in time therefore leaving Ray in critical condition, perhaps near death, on the side of the road.
Thankfully, Ray was spotted by an off-duty animal control officer, Tracy Garcia, who knew she had to jump into action after others just drove by. Tracy saw a shivering boy laying in the rain, injured and in need of help. She called County Line Pet Hospital and informed the team there to prepare for an urgent need dog. Tracy rushed Ray to County Line and it was there they discovered Ray was now paralyzed and his prognosis was not looking good. It was also at County Line Pet Hospital where Ray wont the heart one of the employees named Emily. Emily fell instantly for Ray. She knew he was sad, broken, and defeated. She learned that he liked cookies and eventually learned his love for head rubs, too. Emily spent her time off at the hospital just so she could be with her new bud. Ray’s needs were expansive including the need to have his bladder expressed, but Emily didn’t mind helping him in every way. Ray and Emily started to develop a special bond during his time at the animal hospital and she knew the odds were stacked against him. Ray is a big, black, intact older dog who is paralyzed. But, his squishy cheeks and tail wags (yes, he can wag his tail even being paralyzed) urged her to take it upon herself to find him rescue. Through her pleas to rescues and the help of those on social media spreading the word, Ray’s story caught the ears of the board at It’s A Pittie Rescue.
It’s A Pittie Rescue saw a post circulating about Ray pleading for help and then later noting that he is paralyzed and desperately needs rescue. The rescue called County Line Pet Hospital for more information and internally started to work on finding a place for him. The rescue received his records, and the following day brought Ray a wheelchair to help him move around easier. Ray’s x-rays were sent to It’s A Pittie’s veterinarian to see what they could do to provide him with a happy and healthy future. Unfortunately, the vet was not too hopeful for Ray. Later that day, the rescue saw a video of Ray smiling as he moved around in the wheelchair they had provided and this sealed the deal- they knew they had to do whatever it took to save this sweet boy. Co-founder of It’s a Pittie Rescue, Debbie Secrest Wilkes, was able to finally meet Ray in person. Debbie notes, “The thing that struck me most was, here was this dog, who was hit by two cars, sitting on a stray hold, paralyzed, yet – his love of treats, toys, and the soulfulness in his eyes just touched me so deeply.”
The next day, the rescue made arrangements for Ray to go to their vet, Animal Wellness of Monee. The clinic immediately started running tests and treating him. Ray’s blood work and urinalysis all came back good, but the biggest problem was that his bladder was stretched to the limit and he had to be catheterized to empty his bladder. The following day, Ray was neutered and when they tried to express his bladder manually, it still would not empty so again they inserted the catheter and emptied his bladder again. Worry began to take over again as his bladder clearly was an urgent issue. Dr. Wessels of Animal Wellness recommended It’s A Pittie get Ray to a neurologist as soon as possible. It was during these few days between appointments when Debbie would visit Ray and hear that he was able to have his bladder manually expressed and that he moved a foot! This glimmer of hope was exactly what Ray and the rescue needed.
The day of Ray’s appointment with Dr. Full at Premier, the rescue took notice that Ray would pee on his own whenever he was lifted in his sling to move. Was Ray getting feeling back? The rescue could only hope. After a thorough exam at Premier, Dr. Full recommended and MRI. The rescue got Ray packed up and headed to Medvet to get the MRI done in the ER so that they could have it done that day. The neurologist at Medvet went over the results with It’s A Pittie, and unfortunately, they were inconclusive. The neurologist then recommended Ray to radiologist to get an expert opinion on whether or not surgery will help.
The radiologist results showed that most of Ray’s damage is inside the spinal cord and that area is inoperable. There is one spot where it may slightly be on the outside, but for now, as long as he continues to improve, any surgery can be on hold. Ray has been prescribed to start simple physical therapy, like range of motion, flex exercises, and massage. He is also having cold laser therapy and once he has had some more time to heal, he will start formal physical therapy, acupuncture, water treadmill, etc. Ray’s got a long road ahead of him, but a great team next to him. Currently, Ray has been living in his foster home where he has done amazing! He started to use one of his legs a tiny bit and has been able to urinate on his own. The foster only is expressing his bladder at bedtime to help make sure it’s empty before he sleeps for the night. Everyday he makes small gains, which is very encouraging. Ray will work without his wheelchair for at least 6 weeks as he tries to get back as much mobility as possible.
Please come fall in love with Ray yourself by following Ray’s journey on It’s A Pittie’s Facebook page and please consider donating to It’s A Pittie rescue and note that your donation is for Ray’s care. The doctor visits, specialists, x-rays, MRI, and all the treatments will be very costly and any bit helps!