FRANKLIN TWP. — He can now stand unassisted for a minute — a huge milestone for Baine, a 3-year-old French Bulldog.
When Baine arrived at Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge May 19, he had no use of his back legs, plus his stomach and rump were raw from pulling himself around with his front legs, said Cordie Braun, fundraising director at the no-kill shelter.
A little TLC and rehabilitation have Baine’s belly furry again, eyes clear and ears up.
“He makes a purring sound all the time,” Braun said.
Baine’s story starts with the previous owner’s best of intentions, Braun said. Baine was in need of surgery to repair a disk in his spinal cord. But the post-surgery rehabilitation instructions were not followed and Baine never rebuilt muscle strength in his back legs, losing control of his bladder.
The all-volunteer staff at Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge accepted the pup into the existing canine family.
After having Baine evaluated by a neurologist in Clark Summit, it was determined the “surgery was a success,” Braun said.
“He (Baine) has feeling in his back legs,” she said.
A local veterinarian developed a daily and weekly rehabilitation and medical program.
Baine starts his day with help “expressing” his bladder. Then, he receives cream and powder to help heal sores from sliding around, she said.
“Then, he has breakfast and gets a half hour in a ‘wheelchair,’” Braun said. “He uses the ‘wheelchair’ three times a day for a half-hour each time.”
A daily bath comes next and free time outside on a special rubber mat.
Once a week, Baine receives water therapy and acupuncture.
After a month of the regiment, the pup can stand on all four legs for up to one minute.
“We received several applications from people who want to adopt him, but we will not adopt him out until his therapy is complete and he is walking on all four legs,” Braun said, estimating he may be ready for adoption in September.
“We invested so much into him, we want to see him walk,” she said.
Baine’s story is one based on compassion and charity of Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge’s supporters.
After 24 hours of Braun posting on Facebook a need for a canine wheelchair or cart to support Baine’s hind-end, funds were received.
“The generosity of our Facebook followers is amazing,” Braun said.
When Baine was put in the wheelchair for the first time, he took off, Braun said.
“He was like a race car driver,” she said, laughing.
Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge has a history of successfully taking on special need animals.
In the early days of the shelter’s development, a small sheltie named Marcy used a “wheelchair” for walking, Braun said. Marcy regained the use of her back legs and was adopted.
Earlier this year, Red, a 1-year-old beagle, arrived at the shelter with a severely injured leg. Marge Bart, the shelter’s founder, refused the recommendations of several veterinarians to amputate the dog’s leg. She took a chance with the only vet who felt the leg could be saved.
Red made a full recovery.
“Every day we get cases like this,” Braun said. “This morning (June 21) we had a call about a dog hit by a car. Will we help? Of course. These things could not be possible without donations and our volunteers.”
Baine’s second chance would have been nonexistent if he were given to a kill shelter, Braun said.
“He (Baine) could have a good 12 to 14 years ahead of him,” she said.