On July 4th, we had to take Hobbes – our four-year-old dachshund – to BluePearl. He had been having some back discomfort, but that night his pain got worse and he couldn’t use his hind legs. We were informed by Dr. Gregorich that he still had feeling in his back legs, but he was going to need surgery. Hobbes stayed overnight so the neurologist could examine him first thing in the morning.
The next day we meet Dr. Mike Kimura, the neurologist, and his assistant Jennifer Burton. Hobbes’ condition was more severe than what we thought, it had evolved to a point where our little guy might not survive the surgery and if he did he might still die within days due to the probability of myelomalaysia; a condition where the spinal cord pretty much dissolves and he would stop breathing. I felt like someone dropped a bucket of cold water all over me. I gave the ok for the surgery and was taken into the back in order to see him. I saw my little guy covered with IV lines and a tube down his throat to help him breath. I felt like the wind got knocked out of me. I leaned down and kissed him, and told him that if he wanted to fight, I was there to fight with him all the way, whatever he needed, but if he decided to give up, I would respect his decision and wouldn’t be mad at him.
It was at this point that Jennifer told me that he was a brave little guy and that she was going to be looking out for him during the surgery. Dr. Kimura went to work and did everything that could be done. The rest depended on how Hobbes responded. We all went home and waited. The next morning we were surprised that he was eating, drinking water and sleeping. But he was not out of the woods just yet. During this time we visited him in the ICU. Dr. Kimura and Jennifer were calling in to see how he was doing as well. All eyes were on Hobbes now.
The following Monday he was responding better than expected and would soon be able to go home. It was then that my head finally started coming out of the fog and I noticed how this situation was not only affecting my family, but the BluePearl staff as well. They were just as involved with his recovery as we were. Hobbes was not just my special little guy, he was theirs as well. They felt our sorrow, gave us guidance and support, but most of all they gave Hobbes all their best.
I am happy to report that Hobbes is doing much better now. He just started walking again. Whenever we go back to BluePearl for his follow-ups he is greeted with such warmth and happiness. They celebrate with us every step that he takes, every improvement.
We are eternally grateful to Dr. Gregorich for taking such good care of him that night and the ones that followed. To Dr. Kimura for giving him his best chance to walk again and for helping him beat the odds and to Jennifer Burton for giving him unconditional love while he was away from home. She will forever be known as his girlfriend and guardian angel. Thanks to another wonderful member in his recovery team, Dr. Talbot, Hobbes’ steps are firmer and stronger everyday. He still has a long way to go, but he’s got the best team in his corner rooting for him. My family and I couldn’t have wished for a better group of caring individuals than those we found at BluePearl. We are forever grateful for the help you gave our little guy.
Antonio Bunker Huertas