Thursday, November 3

Tomah of the WI 4 update

Here's a wonderful update on Tomah (now Raji) of the WI 4.  We are celebrating the anniversary of the day we brought them into FBRN last year, and you can see more photos on the home page of the website when it is updated this week.

This is what the French Bulldog Network said of my dog’s history when I made out my adoption application for him last December. Quickly, by the end of December, FBRN told me he was mine. In January and freezing cold weather, I met his foster mom in Northern Wisconsin and a 34-pound cream pie gentleman with the most expressive eyes I have ever seen was put in my arms. So polite he was, not making a peep and content to lie on a pile of blankets the 4 hours it took to get home. On a potty stop, I noticed he peed standing straight up and then I remembered he could not bend those crippled back legs of his.

The next day, I took him the pet store for the proper food and other necessities. We walked in together very slowly and headed for the dog food aisles. Less than half way into the store, he sat down and looked at me, showing me his weariness and that he wished to go no further. The rest of our shopping had to be done with him in a grocery cart, but he didn’t seem to mind. Again, a gentleman of the highest quality.

As the cold winter days and weeks rolled by, we got to know each other. He found out what it was like to sleep with his legs outstretched and how the world looked without a wire cage separating him from the world. He came to understand that when I left, I would come back to feed and water him, and so he stopped gulping most of his water down whenever he saw me get my coat. He learned the goodness of popcorn and tissue massage, and what it was like to be sung to, and he learned that he was Home.

To get him more active without taking him out in the cold, I began walking him down the long hallway in my apartment building. So together we took out the garbage every day. Soon he was looking forward to these little lunchtime trips, and as he got stronger, I asked him to step up the pace. This he gladly did, despite his clumsiness and discomfort. The days went by, and we gradually began running up and down the hallway together. Though it tired him, he insisted on continuing up and down as fast as his legs would allow. I was so proud of him, and told everyone I knew.
It wasn’t long before Spring came, and suddenly one day he ran up the hallway at such a fast pace I could not keep up. Again, I was bursting with pride and from his expression, so was he. Not long after, he jumped up a single step. No small feat for a dog with weak hips and stiff back legs. Soon after, he was jumping down that step too.
Time and love, I learned, heals all things. Now, he and I go to the pet store and he is either ahead of me on his leash, or veering off, trying to head down an aisle that is of more interest to him than to me. No grocery cart needed. He jumps up three steps like a dog without any physical limitations. He loves his acupuncture treatments, which have allowed him to function with lower doses of Rimadyl and Tramadol. Now when he goes outside, he runs, though slowly, to the long wild grass that grows at the edge of his yard. And best of all, he runs to me or to almost anyone he sees to get a touch and a kind word, to catch up on all the love he missed.

My Raji now knows what it’s like to be a dog. After being completely silent for 4 months, he warns me with sharp barks that a bicyclist or hiker is approaching on the road. Any canines trespassing in his yard, beware! You will be thoroughly checked out or loudly yodeled at if physical contact cannot be made. And though he still can’t lift his leg on a tree or a fire hydrant, he can actually squat a bit to let others know what belongs to him. How far my boy has come!

On a hot, breezy summer day at lunch time, I watch Raji walk into a shaded spot of grass. He stops and slowly sits and thinks for a bit, then suddenly flops over on his side. He rolls up on his back and falls back on his side. He rolls again and balances on his spine for a moment. A third time, he makes it all the way over! He rolls over and over again, snorting and stretching his little legs out as far as they will go. I think of him when his four legs were weak and splayed, and how tired he got after only a few steps. And as I watch him roll, I wonder if he will ever take this simple pleasure for granted.

Looking at his expression of satisfaction and contentment when he gets up, I believe he does not take anything for granted. He is a gentleman, grateful for anything I have to offer. He never lets me forget that I am important and appreciated.

He is a Rescue Dog, after all. I’m not sure whether rescue dogs forget their past, but I know they don’t dwell on it. They have the gift of enjoying the moment, instead of dwelling on bad experiences. Raji is a shining example of what love and rescue organizations like FBRN will do for a dog. They found him, they rehabilitated him, and they picked me to make his story a happy ending. I am thankful, I am honored, and most important, I am loved.

I wish you could have experienced all of this with us."

We don't know about you, but after reading this note, we feel we have experienced some of Raji's milestones.  He's a lucky Frenchie, in the opinion of

The Frog Princess


Two French Bulldogs said...

you sure are a lucky kid Raji....we are so happee for you
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful story. Raji finally found his place in life. He is very lucky, and so are you.
This was worth the relentless efforts to overcome all these obstacles
We are so happy for you. Keep enjoying every moment of your life together.
The Detweilers

Anonymous said...

This rescue story brought tears to my eyes, both for he loving life Raji has found and for the horrible conditions he and other dogs have endured in puppy mills. I’m big on rescue and I have a Boston Terrier that I rescued 2 years ago, who is now 6 years old and 6 rescue cats that no one wanted. Congratulations Raji on hitting the jackpot.

Anonymous said...

I was just surfin' the web and somehow ended up here. Sure, I like French bulldogs. They're irresistable! It sounds like Raji had a rough life before you took him in--how great to hear he has increased mobility in his legs, and that you are both happy and enjoying each other's company :-)