Welcome to my page! And also my first real post! Since its my first post, I decided to dedicate it to my first born- Aspen :)
It also happens to be Aspen’s birthday on November 9th. This is HUGE for us as a family… and let me explain why!
Aspen has been a bit of a “medical lemon”. When we first got him (Jason was playing for the Kings) he had already had hernia surgery. It healed well, and it was never a problem for him again. A few months later, he had a growth on his nose that had to be removed. Then he had one on his face, it was a benign tumor, thankfully.
Then came the major problems. When Aspen was just over a year, we started noticing problems with his back end. Most people would point to the usual problem in big dogs- his hips. But there seemed to be a bigger issue. At this time we were now living in Vancouver where Jason was playing for the Canucks. We took him to so many vets and neurologists. Finally we got a diagnosis - Aspen had Wobblers Syndrome.
His spinal cord was being crushed by the bones in his spine, and he wasn’t receiving all the signals from his brain to the rest of his body. His back legs would collapse and he didn’t know how to pick them back up again. It was absolutely devastating to watch him struggle and have no control over his body. We met with an amazing surgeon in Calgary in the summer and he explained our surgery options. It was major, but Aspen was still a puppy and we had to try something. He was worth it. At a year and a half, we went forward with it. They fused the bones in his spine, there are several screws in his neck, and he has bone from a bone bank grafted underneath his neck for support.
He was in a cast for weeks while it all set. Then he got moved into a brace. He was on some pretty heavy meds, but we also mixed in acupuncture. All seemed well.
Jason signed that summer with Phoenix, so we made the move down there. Driving Aspen of course. After his surgery we knew we could never fly him again, as we couldn’t trust airlines with our boy. After awhile we noticed that Aspen seemed depressed and couldn’t lift his head very high. And then he got so sick one night, and was pooping out pure blood. We rushed him to the vet and were told that he probably wouldn’t make it through the night due to the ulcer in his stomach. We were devastated. But Aspen is a fighter- He took the treatment well, pulled through and was going to be ok. We immediately cut him off his meds and gave him all natural remedies. He could move his head again and wasn’t depressed.
Aspen has gone so many years without any issues. Its amazing he has even made it to the age of 9 and we are SO grateful for him every day. Sadly, with his old age, his back end problems have come back. He can’t get his legs to push him off the floor, so we lift him, but once he’s up, he can move just fine. We have hardwood that he has a hard time with, so we have covered our floors in mats for him.
He is literally the best dog that anyone could ask for. Always so kind, aims to please. He’s extremely loyal and just loves to be surrounded by his family. We don’t take any day with him for granted. He is the foundation of our family.
So since its his champagne birthday we are celebrating big this year! Happy birthday to my first born!