A Message of Thanks from Olive

On October 21, CCHS posted a video about me on Facebook. I have to admit, it was a little embarrassing. You see, the video was about my weight problem.

I'm a Cattle Dog, and when I came to CCHS, I weighed 94 pounds (I should weigh around 45). I could barely walk for 2 minutes. My hips, knees, and ankles hurt with every step and I had to lie down to catch my breath after walking 10 feet. I was a wreck; and I have no neck! On top of that, nobody knew it, but I had 4 rotten teeth. More pain. I didn't complain, but I think the staff at CCHS could tell I was pretty miserable.

Then I went into foster care and the video went out on Facebook, asking for donations to fund my rehabilitation. Within minutes, donations started pouring in, and they kept coming for days. The support for me was overwhelming. And I was featured on the WCIA evening news!

Enough money has now been raised to pay for all of my rehab and special medical needs. Thank you all so much.

Today I weigh about 82 pounds. Nowhere near my target weight, but I'm making progress! I've lost 3 inches when you measure my body's circumference behind my front legs. I now do 30 whole minutes in the underwater treadmill at the UI Small Animal Clinic, twice a week, and earlier this week I did those 30 minutes with no break for the first time!

At home, I walk outside for 40 minutes per day; 2 20-minute walks. (Remember, when I started, I had to rest after 2 minutes.) I sometimes take a break to roll in the grass, but my foster parents time my walks with a stopwatch, so try as I might, there is no shirking on my exercise requirement.

As you can imagine, I'm starting to feel a lot better. In addition to my diet and exercise program, I had dental surgery a few weeks back and I'm no longer in agony. Four teeth were extracted, and they say "the pulp was exposed" on all of them. (I don't know what that means, but I can tell you it hurts like the dickens.) I'm also taking medication for joint pain, and boy, that has been a relief!

Since my pain has eased, I've started to really enjoy life again! When my foster mom gets my harness out, I get excited and walk right into it for her. I love going for rides in the car, and bustle up the ramp into the hatchback as fast as I can. And I'm not particular about cars; I'll try to get in your car too, if I happen by while the car door is open. (Wouldn't your spouse be surprised if you showed up at home with an 80-pound cattle-dog-stow away?)

I also love going for those daily walks with my foster parents and their other dogs. We tour their big yard and I can smell so many interesting things. I'm getting back in touch with my inner dog, and it feels great!

So, I want to tell you all how grateful I am for your help. Thanks to you, CCHS, my foster parents, and all my new friends at the UI Small Animal Clinic, I have a new lease on life!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And don't eat too much.