I am Walter and this is my World.

I am Walter and this is my World.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is Walter sleeping after our landmark trip to the vet yesterday. I have yet to snap him in therapy down here...we do alot and I never seem to have my camera ready. I need a third arm or a personal assistant. Maybe just a roving reporter to follow us.

So I've been writing about relaxing and palm trees since we got here, but what I've not said so much about is the AWESOME vet we found down here. Dr. G is amazing. She specializes in not only veterinary medicine (studied in Switzerland/Hong kong)but she also does accupuncture therapy and therapeutic massage. (There is a miracle here...it's coming after this initial set up...)

Dr G. met Walter when we first got here (bedraggled and road worn) and mapped out the nerve growth in his foot. She was able to pinpoint just where the nerve endings were, what was missing and had to grow and what was possibly already growing. (You may remember from the prognosis after the accident that while we all hope the nerves in his damaged foot will regrow so he can walk again one day without the shoe, nobody could say for sure. It's sort of up to the nerves.)

Thank God for Dr. Julia and the staff at TC rehab, because they were the only ones who did not give up on him. His primary vet in Mpls pretty much gave up on him, as did most "traditional" vets. But because of Dr. Julias work, and the shoes they designed for him, Walter just may walk again! Everyone, including Dr G. says the shoe is 100% essential as the nerves, when they grow, will follow to meet the demand the foot is asking of them, so the foot must be held correctly if the nerves are to grow correctly. tough when Wally can't feel his foot and drags it around like a dead fish!

One big problem is keeping his poor dead-fish foot in tact while being munched in a shoe all day. He gets sore spots, smooshed toes, basically everything that would happen to you if you had to wear a pair of high heels that pinched all day, every day. His toes were getting swollen, cysts were forming between them and I didn't even know for sure if any of this nerve-growth was happening. Getting out of the snow and ice allowed his open wounds to heal (cut them on the ice, skin got soaked in the slush, tore easily etc...) Now being in the warm weather has allowed us to resume walking. Key, key key to his healing!

Dr G. prescribed soaking wally's tootsies in Epsom salts every night, which helped big time with swelling. Then she taught me how to give his legs, toes and feet deep massage (which I'm to do every morning to "wake his feet up" and each evening to stretch them out/soothe them) and she began accupuncture and infrared laser surgery on him. (We had accupuncture at TC rehab too.)

I've been so busy enjoying myself, I was not prepared for what happened yesterday. I took walter in for accupuncture, and set him down. I took off his shoe so Dr. G could have a look at him. She was across the room (big lovely room with lots of Chinese art/furniture) so naturally Wally went over to her. But here's the thing.


Fifteen paces or more, normally, like any dog - holding his foot perfectly. I stared as though seeing a mirage. A hallucination. "Did you see that?" I whispered to Dr. G. She nodded and whispered "Yes I did." Walter sat down by now, because his foot was tired from just that little bit of walking and when he stood again, he knuckled like he always does, but it is still an incredible breakthru.

Dr. G. continued with the session but my mind was reeling. I have not seen him walk in EIGHT MONTHS. Her theory is this little bits of unassisted walking will grow over time. She told me he's going to wear the shoe for a long, long time still. a year or more...but the nerves ARE growing my dear, dear friends! THAT MEANS WALTER HAS A CHANCE - A VERY SERIOUSLY REAL CHANCE - OF WALKING AGAIN!!!!!!

I think all this rest, relaxation, increased accupuncture and massage built on the solid foundation of Dr Julia's work with water therapy and designing his shoe - it's finally pushed us into the NEXT LEVEL of healing. All this of course in wrapped up in the amazing love you all send us, and how we need it and use it! You all know I wouldn't be here without you. What can we ever do to repay the world and pug lover community, which has so completely risen to meet us?

I know! I will have a margarita tonight in your honor! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

pillow boy

walter seems quite comfortables here.

We're also sleeping together again! No more scamperland. We're together 24/7, just like the old days and each morning we get belly-on-belly time, which is heaven. He's also going on regular walks and I've got rugs down all over the place, so when he's sans-show he doesn't hurt his bare knuckles. he is still knuckling, like always, but I've been doing more and more research on nerve grafting and regeneration...i don't think we're out of options yet. There's a surgeon in England he's done incredible work transplanting olfactory cells (nose) into injured spinal cords and getting incredible results.

"No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking."


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy VD Day everybody's! We are settling into our new place...our car problems threw a monkey wrench in getting to the place we thought we were going in time...and whoah, was momma worried about figuring out housing, but then we found a new place with an awesome balcony! We still need to set up a play date with Eric and Louie! (hi Eric! Hi Louie!!) But really our new digs rock. Walter is wearing the purple heart sticker on his head, which the coffee place lady gave him. Everyone here is super sweet to walter and nobody can believe we drove from minnesota through all this snow to get here...but here we are! one of the only freaking cities in the united states without snow! Walter's been thru so much, dang-nabbit - he deserves it. I can't get enough of watching him walk in his shoe, unencumbered by ice as he smells flowers and pees on other flowers simultaneously. We are almost up to pre-accident length walks now. Plus we sneak on the beach and put our toesies in the ocean!
Walter loooves our new balcony. Note leafy palms and American flag waving poetically in the background...
Walter likes to squash his face up to the balcony holes and barkity-bark at passersbys...
more soon!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

we're HERE!

After many trials and tribulations, we have ARRIVED relatively unscathed by our travels. Thank you everyone who prayed for us...man, we needed it! I will post pictures when and if I can - right now it looks like internet connection will be almost nonexistent, so stay tuned and I will update everyone when I can. Suffice to say, we have reached PARADISE!! Palm trees, green grass, tropical landscapes and lapping water. We went through hell and voila! C'est heaven. Dreams really do come true!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Break downs, tow trucks and a lost shoe.

Oy. We aren't at our destination yet - we're still hotel-bound. The Gods are hurling every obstacle they can think of at us! First of all, this massive mega storm, which has meteorologists baffled because of it's endurance and erratic movements can be explained by the fact that IT IS FOLLOWING US. First an "ice pellet" storm in Kentucky then sleet and snow in Tennessee and finally, when we made it over to the Georgia border rain, rain, rain.

Then we broke down.

Yup. it happened right at the Florida border. we were so close! Just driving along when I heard a "pop" and all the warning lights in my car came on. I slowed way down, got on the shoulder and eeked off to the first exit/gas station I could find.

Luckily I have AAA (Take anything, but not my AAA membership!) and a tow truck came and got us pretty quick. I had to take everything I needed out of the car, so there's me shoving walter's stroller, bags, supplies etc... into the cab of the tow truck. Walter thought the whole thing was fantastic. barked his head off the whole time and earned the name "tuff lil buddy" from our tow guy.

This was all saturday around 5 pm, and I learned that all the mechanics in this tiny town were closed, and would be closed all day sunday. So we went to a hotel down the street from the shop and that's where we've been cooling our heels for the past two days. Of course, since I used all available cab space for wallys stuff, I only had the clothes on my back, which I have rinsed out in the sink two times.

it gets better.

to my dismay, part of walters shoe was missing. Just gone. The top part, the "ankle cuff," to which the shoe part attaches. Without this part, the shoe won't work. He can't walk. So I freaked. I searched everywhere, but it was just gone. Maybe it flew out the window. The rehab clinic ordered a new one, but it'll take a week to be made...so what do I do? I came all this way just so walter can walk on grass!!!!!!

First I wanted to cry and then I got mad. I said to myself, "Shut up Heather and JUST FIX IT!" So I got Walter settled and took a cab to Walmart. (That is a sentence I never thought I would write in my life btw...) I hunted down supplies. Big Velcro ties from the hunting department, chamois cloth from automotive, thin fishing line from the sporting section. Back at the hotel I built myself a MacGyver cuff! it works way better than the orgiinal, which slipped alot. I think because my velcro was thicker. Also, I lined it with chamois, so it doesn't rub his foot raw.

it doesn't look like much, but it took me an hour to make!

Actually, after I made the prototype, I had extra material so I made two more - for back up. I SHOULD have already had a duplicate - as it's so essential, but you know how that goes - sometimes you don't realize whats essential until it's gone.

Turns out the transmission pump blew and they had to order a part...so I'm now sure how much longer we'll be here in this tiny Georgia town, but you know what? We're having a really good time. There are PALM TREES here and a big GARDEN! I got to see my boy BOUND across the GRASS lawn on the grounds here, and sniff FLOWERS and poop right in the center of a carefully chosen GREEN PLANT. (his signature.) No ice to cut his feet, no snow, no wet soaking his shoe and causing infections between his toes. He's happy, so I'm happy. Plus we had grilled cheese sandwiches by the pool - so it's a certain sort of heaven.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
- Melodie Beattie