Thank you all for the kind comments about all I’m doing for Bucky…I do appreciate them. I also need to say that it hasn’t just been my work that has helped Bucky get this far. It truly has taken a village, and it will continue to take a village to get him to the best Bucky he can be.
It has been the rescue, Castaway Critters, that has never balked at the price tag for vet evaluations, surgeons, physical therapy, an expensive brace, and piles of meds. I am very fortunate that the rescue trusted my judgement about Bucky from the day he arrived, when it was clear this “puppy with a slight limp” needed a vet assessment ASAP, and gave me the go-ahead to pursue that whatever the costs. (And it hasn’t been cheap!)
Bucky has a village of medical personnel, from vets and surgeons and veterinary physical therapists and the whole PT team that sees him weekly, and treats him so wonderfully. And the folks who make braces that gave Bucky the tool he needed to be more active and stay safe in the process.
He’s had the benefit of expert advice from a certified behaviorist who has helped me sort through the myriad challenges that an adolescent dog who has experienced trauma and a whole lot of transitions, who has no training, and is crated and in a cone for months, not to mention pain for part of that time, has to face. And a behaviorist who heard me more than once when I was overwhelmed and told me to breath, slow things down, do what I could do for the moment. Who donated much of her time because Bucky was a rescue.
And friends who have come to walk Bucky so his bubble of people that he’s comfortable with gets bigger than just me. He was not so sure about going off with “strangers” at the beginning, but got much more comfortable with that, and doesn’t think twice about it now. He even has a neighborhood that has fallen in love with him and stops to greet him while we’re out on walks, and keep tabs on how he’s doing.
And most of all, there has been my husband, who has put up with a dog that barks loud enough to be heard three doors away, and do it for an hour. A dog who had no idea what impulse control was when he arrived. A dog who has no doggy manners yet, and ticked off Gracie big time, and Bodhi a little (and only a little because Bodhi is so laid back, and Gracie is not!). A mouthy dog who has been out of his mind crazy at times, frustrated with the crappy hand he has been dealt. Marley has driven us lots of miles to surgeons 40 minutes away, and brace folks an hour a way, and walked Bucky for me, and carried him up the stairs to sleep in the crate in our room every night and back down in the morning. Bucky has not been an easy house guest, though he is getting better. We ended up cancelling our vacation travel at the end of October partly because of all the Covid out there, but also because there really isn’t anyone to care for Bucky right now. (We’re still taking the week off, but doing some day trips, and not going to Massachusetts for now.) And through all of this Marley is still speaking to me, even though this cute puppy who was supposed to be a quick foster is still here 3 1/2 months later, and isn’t departing any time soon.
Bucky’s village is going to grow a little more next week, with a dog trainer who I hope can help us integrate Bucky into our “pack” here, so he can be out of his crate more often, and not annoy Gracie and Bodhi, and who I hope will be able to do some remedial work with him so his style of meeting other dogs is better than his current style, which is to poke and prod them with his big snout and bark at them, which isn’t usually appreciated by the recipients. I think he wants to meet other dogs and hopefully he can be in a home with them once his leg is better, but he has to be a better pal first.
I’m not saying I haven’t done a lot for Bucky. I have, and will continue to help him. He has definitely stretched my skills as a trainer and caretaker, and he’s added “ortho” to my lay medical knowledge bag; with any luck I won’t need to use that new knowledge again. He has been one of the most challenging fosters I ever hope to do, but he’s super smart, and he’s made amazing progress, and we’ll make it to the finish line sooner or later. But we haven’t done it alone, Bucky and me We’ve done it with the help of the whole village, and for that we are most grateful.