Abandoned, Sweet Puppy hopes to learn to walk

Charlotte is the happiest and sweetest pup.

Everyone she meets is her immediate best friend, ready for licks and hugs. His long tail constantly whips back and forth with excitement. If you pick her up, she sighs in contentment and immediately settles down for cuddles.

Superb Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Charlotte does not really know how to walk. She has two severely displaced kneecaps (called patellar luxation) which force his legs to curl up against his body. She moves by walking on her knees.

Charlotte is my new foster puppy, rescued by Speak Rescue and Sanctuary. His first story is unfortunate. She was sold by a breeder to a pet store. The store fired her when they saw her wobbly legs, likely aggravated by being confined in a small cage. The breeder took her to the vet to be euthanized and someone from the vet’s office called Speak to see if he could help her.

And that’s where his story changed.

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After consultations with veterinarians and orthopedic surgeons, Charlotte had surgery on both legs this week. Her surgeon said her problems were among the worst she had ever seen. She had to do a lot of soft tissue work to release the muscles Charlotte wasn’t using in her legs. She did sutures to keep her kneecaps in the correct position. With everything in place, the hope is that she will eventually be able to walk.

There are four degrees of patellar luxation and that of Charlotte is the most serious. The condition can be hereditary or it can be caused by trauma. Charlotte was perhaps a combination of the two.

Charlotte charmed everyone along the way. She has a lot of fans following her progress on the rescue’s social media. I receive messages every day from friends and strangers who follow her on Instagram and want to know how she is doing.

His operation was not cheap, and it was only the first. She will need at least one more in a few months when she is older and her bones are more mature. The rescue has had several fundraisers to help pay for mounting costs. There is even a Fundraising for t-shirts featuring my dog, Brodie, who has taken in nearly 60 puppies and will be protecting his last charge.

Road to recovery

Talk Rescue and Sanctuary

Charlotte’s surgeon is “cautiously optimistic” about her prognosis. She says Charlotte will never be “normal”, but we think she’s already perfect, and the goal is for her to be able to move without pain. There is no doubt that she suffered for most of her short 4 month life. Occasionally, he will yelp when picked up or laid down on his bed.

If the surgeries don’t work, at some point there could be a discussion about getting him a cart or maybe an amputation. But we are not there yet. Everyone on the Charlotte team is also cautiously optimistic.

Now she will have painkillers and lots of physiotherapy and cold compresses while she recovers. And who can ignore all the people shooting for her and wishing her well?

Some people might wonder why so many resources are spent on just one animal.

They obviously never met Charlotte. A look in its big soft eyes or a movement of its bushy tail is enough to understand.

Follow Mary Jo’s Foster Puppies on Instagram @brodiebestboy.