Friday, October 10, 2014

When “Failure” Makes You Happy

Do you remember Duke, the dog we picked up from the shelter to foster almost a year ago?  We “foster failed” during the summer.
When Duke came to us, he was heartworm positive, and had a damaged paw.  He made it through the heartworm treatment (which took almost six months before we got the negative test) and into our hearts while he was going through that.
He just fit in perfectly from the beginning.  We love him, Emma loves him, and he does well with the cats.  We had to keep him! 
Duke’s front right paw was damaged when he came to us.  It was initially thought that he’d had a broken leg that didn’t heal properly, but when they did more testing they determined that it was nerve damage (no one has any idea how it happened, and unfortunately he can’t tell us) and that the leg couldn’t be saved. 
His leg was amputated about a month after his negative heartworm test. He went in for the surgery on a Wednesday morning and came home on a Thursday afternoon.  The first few days were rough.  He was uncomfortable, he didn’t like the bandage, we had a lot of trouble keeping the bandage on, he kept messing with the IV site, and we had a terrible time dealing with that once he licked it to the point of having a sore.  But we got through it!  My friend Crystal came and stayed that weekend to help with him.  Nick is an EMT, so is really good at changing bandages, and I became fairly decent at it myself by the time it was over.
During the process of his leg amputation and recovery Duke managed to become a little bit of a local celebrity (or at least had a “15 minutes of fame” thing going on) when the shelter started a chip-in to try and raise some of the money for all of his treatment.  He was very popular at the vet’s office, I tracked his progress on Facebook, people we barely knew were asking us about Duke’s recovery, and I ended up bringing him to work to meet some people.  That grew, and he ended up visiting a few different departments.  Duke loves people and attention, so he basked in his fame. 
Things have calmed down, and we’re happily a six fur kid family.  We have noticed that Duke seems to get some extra attention whenever we take the dogs out.  There’s just something about a three-legged animal that seems to make people want to pet them and meet them.  Duke is fine with that because he loves people.  And food.  And people have food! 
So we totally “failed” as foster parents with Duke, but we couldn’t be happier to have failed.  He just fits in and completes our furry family. 


  1. I've seen a few dogs with amputated paws. It is amazing how they can adapt and get around. I'm glad Duke completes your furry family; he does look comfortable sitting there, right at home!


  2. Aws how could you not "fail" with him. What a handsome boy and so brave!

  3. You have not failed at all! You're amazing with your dedication and love for animals :)

  4. Looks like you have a good dog there!

  5. Hooray for Duke! And for all of you, too! :)

    Nothing wrong with foster "failures." Our Gracie and Zoe were originally fosters, too. :)

  6. That is just so nice :) It turned out perfectly, didn't it? And what a sweet face he has! I had a friend that adopted a dog that was missing one it's legs and always said it would be the perfect dog to take to a physical rehab place, because he just showed that you can go on and be as happy as ever, no matter what happens.


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