Not at all related to crofting or house renovation, Leeloo is a huge part of my life… our lives.
We adopted Leeloo about 10 years ago, found her on Petfinder (a dangerous and wonderful place) and although the foster home could only provide one very blurry picture we went to see her. It didn’t matter to us what she looked like, we knew she was at least part pug and that she had one eye. What mattered more was that she would get along with Connor (our other Pug at the time) and that she would like us. When we got to the foster home Leeloo was running around in the kitchen area and quite a few other foster dogs were crated and barking. Leeloo was beyond shy, she spent a lot of time hiding around her foster Mum’s legs who she had clearly bonded strongly with. We tried tempting her with treats but she couldn’t (or wouldn’t) break free, we weren’t sure what to do when her foster Mum suggested we take her outside. Away from all the other dogs Leeloo became a bit more friendly, still wasn’t interested taking treats from us and still very shy. To be honest I had made my mind up the moment I saw her but I held back, trying to make it a joint decision. It didn’t take long for us to decide Leeloo was coming home with us. Paperwork was signed and Leeloo was bundled into the car with us. She was not particularly interested in Connor or us and as we drove away she was sorrowfully staring out of the back window of the car at the home she was leaving behind, breaking my heart for taking her away from the woman she had bonded with. That’s an image that will stay with me always.
Leeloo has always been amazing, she gets on well with other dogs and cats and most humans (just a bit suspicious of tall men with deep voices) although she has always remained just a bit shy. Hardly any health issues until recently when she had a run of eye issues resulting in two surgeries. My mind was completely blown by the procedures that canine ophthalmologists are able to accomplish. The most intense of which was a corneal graft done to repair a tear in Leeloo’s cornea. My stomach still lurches and a hollow pain fills my gut whenever I come across the pictures that we took to track recovery from that.
Now Leeloo is 12ish and health issues are starting to increase. Her liver isn’t working as well as it used to and she has a cataract growing, seriously reducing her vision. The issue with the biggest impact though is arthritis. We took Leeloo in recently to assess the extent and basically it’s all over the place, with her right elbow and lower back being the worst. The treatments available (from least expensive, around £100 to most expensive, around £4000) are medication, laser therapy, hydrotherapy or stem cell injections. As much as I wish we did, we don’t have funds available for stem cell injections which, it breaks my heart to say, would also be the best treatment available. We can swing the laser and hydrotherapy though, that in conjunction with medications should offer her some relief.
Our first appointment is on Wednesday. It’s going to be interesting… Leeloo’s shyness, along with her general dislike for being poked and prodded at the vets (who can blame her!) and her disdain for getting her feet wet is going to mean some serious negotiating to get her to participate in the hydrotherapy session. Wish us luck!