Sunday, January 8, 2012

Poor little Hawk!

I haven't posted in a month & a half & I really hate that I have to make this update after being away for so long.

If we are friends are Facebook you have seen bits & pieces of this. I haven't really posted about exactly what happened. I have been asked a ton of questions about it & I figure this is probably the easiest place to answer them all at one time. For those of you who are not my friend on Facebook or don't know much about my dogs I will start with a little back story.

We adopted Hawk in the summer of 2005. He was my birthday present. I wanted a dog so badly. Actually, I wanted a cat but since Kyle was allergic he said he'd get me a little dog for my birthday. We drove 3 hours, one way, to adopt Hawk. I searched for months to find the right one. I am not one to buy a puppy or from a breeder. I always say "Dogs who are adopted love their owners more because they took them in when no one wanted them." I think the case has been pretty true with Hawk.

It didn't start out that way however. Hawk was terrified of us. For 3 days he really didn't come near us. I'll admit it, I cried. I thought for sure this dog hated us & would never come around me. We soon realized that Hawk must have had a rough past but slowly warmed up to us. I became his person. He loved me & I loved him. He was & still is a pretty scared dog. We know that in some point before we adopted him he was treated pretty badly. We were determined to do the exact opposite of that.

In 2006 we adopted Fox. I don't want this post to be all about him (which it could easily turn into) so I will just give a super quick story on him. We adopted him from the Min Pin rescue. I found his story on Craigslist & decided that he need to be our dog. He had a whole in his heart & wasn't going to live very long. He was living pretty much in a kennel because he needed someone home with him all day. We didn't care what it took & soon he came our dog.

The two quickly became best friends & did everything together. Hawk was finally learning how to be a dog. We always joked that Hawk didn't realize he was a dog because he didn't interact well with dogs in the past & had no idea how to play.

Unfortunately Fox died in March of 2007. Hawk was devastated. The picture above is the last family picture we took. He looks so young & healthy but his heart was sick & couldn't make it any long.

Fast forward to the May of 2010. We were living with my inlaws while we gutted & basically rebuilt our house from the studs up. Not fun. They have a dog, his name is Bondo.

He is a goofy Lab who we all love. I also love this picture of him. So so cute!

Anyways, back to May of 2011. We were at the inlaws house & for some reason Bondo got really mad at Hawk (very very uncommon) and he bit him. All we hear is this high pitched scream come from Hawk. We ran into the dinning room to see Hawk with his leg just...hanging there. Kyle snatched him up & drove to the vet as fast as he could while I stayed home with the kids. A few hours later Hawk came home with a cast on his leg.

The vet said without a very expensive surgery he will probably never walk normal again. He'd never jump up like he does when he gets excited. They said eventually he'd get really bad arthritis in his leg & could quite possibly need it amputated. The surgery was too expensive. We said we do the cast for the 4-6 weeks like they said & we'd go from there. Only after a few weeks was Hawk trying to jump with his cast on. After the 6 weeks was up he was 100% back to normal. Running, jumping & playing like nothing happened.

A few months later it was very close to the time when we could move into our house. We had talked about getting a bigger dog when we did. We had been looking for a few months & finally found one that we thought would work. We drove to the local humane society to check him out.

Kooper. He was sweet, house trained & already knew tricks! He also lived with other dogs too! We put him on hold & the next day he came home with us!

Kooper & Hawk didn't get along very well at first. Hawk didn't really like many dogs so I didn't expect them to be BFF's right off the bat. Kooper was also still a puppy (they guessed around a year old) so all he wanted to do was play & Hawk didn't want anything to do with that.

Over the past 18 months they slowly became friends. We used to bring Hawk places & leave Kooper home. It came to the point where Kooper would get so stressed without Hawk there he'd chew things. If we left Hawk there he was so much better. Kooper came with issues just like Hawk. He has terrible separation anxiety & even though he is very well trained, I don't think his old owners were very nice to him either. Pretty sad.
The last few months the dogs have become pretty close. Hawk started to act more like a dog. He started to play with Kooper, eat raw hides, got along better with other dogs & was even nice to people he didn't know! My little dog was becoming a REAL DOG! It was awesome to see the change.

On Friday the 6th I left in the early afternoon to shoot my first wedding of 2012. I kissed my husband & kids goodbye & left for the day. It was really nice out (almost 50 degrees which is unheard of in Minnesota in January) so I told Kyle he should take the kids to the Zoo. He left a little after me & away they went.

Randomly throughout the day I check my phone when I have down time. I got a call (with no Voicemail) and I goggled the number since I didn't know it. It was a pet hospital. Not the one we go to but one not to far away from where we live. I thought it must have been a miss dial & thought nothing of it. A few hours later Kyle text me & asked me to call him as soon as I could. I said I couldn't call but asked whats up. We played the back & fourth game a bit. I freaked & thought something bad happened & begged him to tell me. He said nothing is wrong but to call him when I left the wedding.

A few hours later as we were packing our camera gear up & Troy went to get the car I called Kyle. The phone call was pretty much a blur. A combination of the loud music & bad news I don't really remember. All I remember Kyle saying "Hawk is in surgery." I didn't believe it. He said Kooper bit him & that he was at his parents house. He said he isn't sure how Hawk is but he'll know more when the vet calls.

I dropped Troy off & called Kyle. The drive home was terrible. I was wearing contacts & couldn't stop crying. I had no idea if my dog was going to die. I couldn't really understand the situation.

When I got home Kyle explained to me what happened. He came home from the Zoo & let the dogs out. He noticed Hawk was walking slow but that was about it. He came inside & noticed that Hawk had pooped in the kitchen & then the kids noticed blood. Kyle saw that Karie's door was open in her room, which we never leave open, and there was blood on her bedskirt. Kyle sent the kids into Kegan's room to play & he ran outside. He saw Hawk was bleeding from his head & had deep bite marks.

He called our normal vet but it was already closed & he got the number for the vet they recommend for after hours. Kyle took the kids to my aunts & Hawk to the vet. He was unsure about what was going to happen next. They came out & said he needed surgery. A very expensive surgery. Something that we just couldn't afford. He asked if there was something else that they could do to save him that wasn't going to cost that much. There was & they did it. Hawk had emergency surgery. Kooper bit him in the back of the head. Small dogs have a soft spot back there & Kooper hit it. They said he has some fractures in head & more than likely in the sinus too but they will heal over time.

Just before midnight we left to pick him up. We were there no longer than 15 minutes but I felt like we were in the waiting room for hours. The instant I saw him I broken down in tears, even more than I already was. He wasn't walking yet, his face was all wrapped up & he just wasn't himself. He was given an antibiotic and pain meds which totally mess him up for a few hours after he takes it.

I didn't sleep that night. Every sound he made woke me up. Every movement woke me up. Bad night to not get any sleep since I had a wedding that next morning. Kyle took the day off to stay with the dog. They said they weren't sure if he had brain damage & we'd know in the next 24-48 hours. They gave us a list of things to watch for.

The entire day I worried about him. I told Kyle to lie to me if something bad happened. I didn't want to find out during the wedding. Thankfully nothing bad did happen & I came home to my dog, who was even more swollen that\n when I left that morning.

There was still another issue at hand, Kooper. We have no idea WHY he bit Hawk. This has never happened before. Did they fight over a toy? A chew? Food? They have free run of the house while we are gone & as long as we spray bitter apple on a few things we never have an issues. It's been this way for months. Something happened. We'll never know why.

Kyle brought Kooper over to his parents house while Hawk was at the hospital. He thought for sure I'd kill Koop for hurting Hawk. Yes, I was so angry at him but not enough to kill him. Overall, Kooper is a great dog. He is amazing with kids, loves everyone he meets and most importantly HE IS A MEMBER OF OUR FAMILY! He is a Coopet.

I didn't want to lose him. I love him. I wasn't sure what to do. I soon realized that this was most likely an isolated incident. I believe in my heart of hearts that Kooper didn't mean to hurt Hawk. Something made them mad & they fought. Kyle said that Kooper looked & acted like he knew something was wrong & he knew he was in trouble. I don't doubt that for a second. He is a very smart dog.

So, as of right now Kooper is spending a few weeks at Nannie & Grandpa's (the inlaws) house. Hawk needs to be away from all dogs while he heals. As of right now we do plan on bringing Kooper back home. It will be a process of getting Hawk to trust Kooper again. Kooper will be getting an all metal kennel that he can break out of since the plastic ones don't hold him. When we are not home Kooper will have to be kenneled.

I took these pictures this morning.

We take him tomorrow to the vet to be checked out. They will take the bandage off & see if he needs a new one put back on. He is in good spirits. He barked for the first time today & he also ate two small meals. He also tried to jump out of excitement when I got home from my photoshoot. It didn't work very well but he tried. A for effort. I'd say we are in the clear for any brain damage & despite his head gear he is still the same little dog. He still crawls completely under the covers when he sleeps, he still snores & still doesn't leave me side...even when I need to pee.

I love him. Thank you so much for all the prayers, phone calls, texts & emails. I really appreciate it.