“I had NO idea Hank Williams was being placed in a home with someone in a wheel chair. And Hank Williams is THE BEST dog for this environment. They said they love him even more because he’s a little broken.” – Mile High Labrador Retriever Mission.
My favorite people at Rescued Pets Movement called me and asked if I would photograph a yellow Lab at BARC for them. My office is so close, I zipped over there during lunch. The obvious problem is that once I get there, the need is so great, I always extend my stay past the time I really should. And my boss is Jack Ass – so there’s that.
#A1502189 was in a small kennel on pain meds because his leg was damaged. I have a new theme at BARC. I name the dogs after Country Western singers. Oh, you should have seen Alan Jackson – he was the best (and now has a human of his own. Thank you 2 Blondes All Breed Rescue). Hank Williams was a gorgeous yellow pure-bred Lab. Total sweetheart. Couldn’t have been more loving. I took him outside and he could only walk on three legs. One just dangled. He did his business and then just wanted to hang with me. He was in a lot of pain but his tail simply could not stop wagging. We were saving this boy!
I took pictures and a video, and wrote his bio. RPM tagged him and picked him up. The good news: he was rescued (my favorite breed of dog) and he had a sponsor to hopefully get his leg fixed. The bad news: mid-shaft transverse fracture of the left radius and ulna with associated regional swelling. This is what the X-Rays showed. The prognosis: orthopedic surgery.
Of course, as I so often do, I immediately called my favorite (and one of the best) vet in Houston, Dr. Melia Washington. She’s smart, talented, hard-working, volunteers a lot of her time and effort, and hot (sorry, I had to throw that in). She said, “It looks like it’s already healing on it’s own. I would just leave it rather than making him go through any more trauma. He may be able to use his leg just fine when it heals.”
Once at the vet Rescued Pets Movement uses, they decided the same thing. No operation for this guy. His leg was put in a cast, he received pain meds, and went into a foster home.
From the foster: 08/02 – Hank is doing great and is getting a little playful, I can tell he wants to run and jump but the cast is keeping him grounded :-). 08/23 – I had a friend of mine take Hank over to Richmond Animal Hospital today – they checked him out and would like to see him back on Friday… they want the doctor who performed the surgery to see him. They did say his recovery is progressing well with no signs of swelling and I can tell you that he’s definitely using the leg a lot more over the past couple of days than he has since I got him. It’s still an amusing gait to watch but it’s coming together. 09/05 – Hank did great at his checkup – Doctor was very pleased with his progress and immediately removed the stitches and encouraged him to run and play so no limitations on movement. Hank is ready to go! I’m sad to see him go but he’s such a sweet pup. I know he’ll get adopted in no time!!!
He was transported to Colorado, fully healed – emotionally and physically. Now he has a human of his own. You can see that above. Isn’t it amazing how a broken dog in a shelter can go from low man on the Totem pole to the most cherished being in someone’s life? Dogs just do that. We need them as much as they need us – sometimes, even more. When I saw the photo and the caption, I got a big lump in my throat. I tried to fight back the tears.
After all, we’re all a little broken, aren’t we? The nice thing about being a little broken is that if you realize it, you’re not broken at all. Nobody’s perfect (except maybe my wife). We’re all a little broken. And that’s okay. And Hank Williams has a human of his own.
You’ll meet many just like me upon life’s busy street. With shoulders stooped and heads bowed low and eyes that stare in defeat. For souls that live within the past where sorrow plays all parts. For a living death is all that’s left for men with broken hearts – Hank Williams. (But not for Hank Williams, the dog, or his human. They’re going to be just fine.)