Our Magnificent Minnie

by Susan Linden on Friday, May 18, 2012

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in Happy Endings

Minnie Blue

Minnie in her casts November 2006

Minnie came into Rescue on September 14, 2006, when she was only five months old.

Born in a puppy mill, she had been sold at a Petland store in June and returned in September. The puppy was not walking properly and was having trouble breathing. The family’s veterinarian had suggested euthanizing her and the family wanted their money back. Petland sent the pup on to another local veterinary practice, where the staff fell in love with her. They called us.

Minnie was, in fact, walking on her carpal joints.

We took Minnie to VCA Aurora Animal Hospital, where she was examined by Dr. Steven Abel, a board-certified surgeon. He told us that her condition was most likely the result of her not having had a surface that provided good footing as she was growing. Being kept only in a wire cage, for example, may cause this disorder.

Minnie loves the water

Minnie in the pool October 2006

Radiographs revealed no abnormalities. The condition sometimes resolves itself, and Dr. Abel suggested waiting. In order to provide gentle exercise for her joints, we took  Minnie to Natural Healing Whole Dog Wellness for hydrotherapy several times each week throughout the month of October.

Minnie loved everyone and enjoyed and looked forward to these sessions. In her foster home, she explored the yard with the other dogs and played with toys. Nevertheless, Minnie’s joints did not improve significantly. Her carpal joints often collapsed after only a few steps.

In November, we returned to VCA and Dr. Abel placed casts on both her forelimbs. Even though the prognosis was guarded, we wanted to give Minnie every chance possible for a normal life. A real trooper, Minnie adjusted well to the casts, which she wore for a total of six weeks.

Minnie Goes Home

Minnie with new family, December 2006

Before those six weeks were over, Minnie was adopted by our volunteers Joann and Ken Kempisty, and their Dalmatian, Sarge (adopted 2005). Minnie was a happy girl. She was cherished and cared for and had what every dog needs most: a family to love!

After the casts were removed, Minnie had physical therapy sessions with Patti Triola of Dogs in Motion and several sessions with a chiropractor. Unfortunately, no permanent change resulted. Minnie continued to walk on her carpal joints.

Minnie learned to cope well with her disability.

Minnie in her wagon

Minnie in her wagon

Minnie attends our annual Rescue Reunion every year and greets everyone with happy barks and lots of kisses. She’s a knockout in her classy sweaters! Everyone wants to know her story and how she is doing.

Although she is in good health and has had excellent veterinary care, Minnie has had trouble maintaining weight over the years. She is a sweet and loving girl, and continues to enjoy life.

This past year, at our Reunion held in October 2011, Minnie got a special treat: a massage from Canine Massage therapist, Jackie Limosani. Jackie writes about her in Paw Prints: The Newsletter of the Rand Park Dog Training Club:

“Minnie is such a gentle, loving creature. I found myself tearing up as I gently glided my fingers over her emaciated body. She’s been through so much in her young life and accepts her fate. Minnie’s pet parents are awesome! They adopted her and treat her like the princess she is. This beautiful little girl has taught me and all who come into contact with her so much about life.”

Jackie and Minnie, October 2011

Jackie and Minnie, October 2011

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Traversino May 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Hi Jackie,
Wonderful work you are doing, keep it up. I had three dogs. I had them for 16 years. They are all gone now. I am too old now to have a dog now, mostly because I live in an apartment. I miss them. I saved a kitten with one ear gone, and his scalp split open years ago who is still with me. I call him Rocky Van Gogh: Rocky because he was a fighter, Van Gogh because he only has one ear. Wrote a story for about him. Check it out when you have time. Speakers on: I wrote the music, also. I am sending you a doggie sweater for a small dog. Love, Cousin Mark


Cynthia Rosiek June 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I come here again and again to read about Minnie and watch her video. Each time I visit I cry. For sorrow, over the life that Minnie began with and for joy, over the people who took care of her. Please God, grant Minnie many many many years of love and happiness. God bless all who cared for this precious girl.


Susan June 11, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thank you, Cynthia. Minnie has an amazing spirit. I was so confident at the beginning that we could fix her problems. Everything we tried failed. But Minnie told us not to worry about it. Life is wonderful, no matter what.


Cheryl September 18, 2012 at 7:45 am

What an inspirational story. I just want to hug her… What a special girl! To everyone who has loved her, cared for her and given her her chance at life… Thank you.


Jenn October 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Bless her heart….I;m wondering if she could gain on a raw diet? She’s so little…love watching her come up the stairs such spirit.


doug diehl October 23, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Looks like we have another Minnie on our hands.. same age as when minni started: http://youtu.be/7pbxZTyKGIw

same emaciated body/ loss of muscle.. lots of pheripheral nerve damage as well.
Did Dr. Abel ever consider surgery on the carpel’s?

” If not progressive, is there a surgery that can be done ?”
1our neurologist has sent a video of Brighton to his chosen Orthopedic Surgical Vet to see if he would recommend having Brighton’s wrists fused.


Susan Linden October 23, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Dr. Abel did tell us that fusion was an option. We decided not to go that route. Try to imagine a dog walking without those carpal joints. Not pretty. Both the adopters and myself thought it would be potentially traumatic for Minnie and could make life even more difficult for her. And, of course, there would be no going back if it did not work. Minnie herself seemed happy and was adapting and that was what counted most. She is now eight years old and still doing well.


doug diehl October 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

thanks for the reply. in another similar case.. the dog DID get fusion and it only helped a little and not enough.. can’t find the link right now.


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