Thursday, May 31, 2007

And what do the cats think?

Jaida here.

My cats have been not around in my stories. But that is probably because they spend a lot of time hiding or running away from me. I think there is a LOT of fun-ness in chasing them around the house, and I especially like to jump on Solomon and trap him under my boo-boo leg (he always yells at me when I do that, the big baby).
Boo is too important to be bothered with a boo-boo footed gal like me (even if I AM fabulous).

Riley thinks my nose is a punching bag (she's an even bigger grumpster than Tasha). But she has TWO boo-boo legs with wonky knees and only half a tail, so I guess she's allowed to be a grumpster.

And for some reason (even with all of my cleverness I cannot figure out why) Solomon is always jumping up to high places where my boo-boo leg and I can't reach. No fair.

I think Solly might be happy when my boo-boo leg is a bye-bye leg. Yep, I know about the bye-bye part. Moms have told me what a SUR-GER-EE is and have been telling me a bit about what's going to happen when I go see nice Dr. Sparling soon. It sounds a little weird, but they tell me that I am going to be JUST FINE and that they won't let it hurt too much.

They also tell me that maybe they will do something about my bye-bye boo-boo. My moms love me (well, duh, who wouldn't love a gorgeous gal like me?) and I know they will do what's best.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What does Gracie think?

Jaida here.

I think the fabulous miss Gracie is bored with all the talk of boo-boo legs and SUR-GER-EES going on in our house.

Unlike moms, SHE'S not worried about any of that stuff at all. As you can see...

she's pretty relaxed about the whole thing.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"Tails" from K-9 Orthotics.

Crystal here.

We now have some more information regarding Jaida's prosthesis...we'll have to share more later once Kim and I have a chance to hash things out with her vet, but in the meantime...

We now know that she'd be able to run amok in the woods and mud puddles without having to worry about getting her new leg bunged up...that's a really important point for us, being an outdoorsy-type gang.

Jeff at K-9 Orthotics just sent me a video of the cutest little fluffball puppy (sorry Jaida), who is trying out his new leg. This poor baby had both his hind legs and his tail cut off by some ^%$#!* %&*-holes with a sick notion of "fun" (that's a post for an other day).

Anyways, here's the little survivor, feeling better, but not yet walking on his own:
He found his way to kind people who helped him recover from his trauma, and who then took him to Jeff, who has made him TWO new legs!

The video shows him with only one prosthesis , and it's his "maiden voyage", so he's a bit slippy, but it's amazing to see him find his balance and standing tall! Jeff tells me that now (two weeks later) he "runs like hell" on that leg, and is working on using his other prosthesis more often (his other stump is more sensitive). When we get some updated videos, we'll share them too...I think they're important to see.

I don't know about you all, but this clip brings tears to my eyes and hope to my heart, not just for Jaida, but for other "moms and dads" of amputees considering a prosthesis as well. Have a look:

Video #1

Video #2

Fundraiser a success!

Crystal here.

Thanks to our friends at the Pretoria Pet Hospital (PPH), plus family members and coworkers who generously donated items for sale, our "booth" at last weekend's Glebe Garage Sale was a great success! We raised approximately $255.00 through sales and donations.

Also, our friends at Pet Plan Insurance contributed a doggie gift basket for a raffle (also hosted by PPH), which raised an additional $90.00, for a grand total of...


All proceeds of the sale and raffle will go directly to the JAIDA Fund!

Our big ol' thanks to everyone who helped, donated, bought raffle tickets or items at our sale. Each and every contribution, no matter how small,
brings us closer to our goal of helping other disabled animals.

NEW: you can now donate to the JAIDA Fund via Pay Pal! Just click on the "donate now" button on the right side of this page. Thank you for your generosity!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Support the JAIDA Fund this weekend!

Crystal here.

Our friends at the Pretoria Pet Hospital in Ottawa have generously offered to let us set up a "booth" in front of the clinic this Saturday, May 26, so that we can participate in the annual Great Glebe Garage Sale!

Staff at PPH, friends, family and coworkers have generously donated items for the sale, and all proceeds will be put towards the JAIDA Fund (Jaida's AId for Disabled Animals Fund) - see more info about this fund on the right side of this page.

Raffle tickets for a doggie gift basket , donation jars, and "What's the Matter With Henry?" books will also be available.

So, if you're in the Ottawa area, love a good treasure hunt, and want to take advantage of the great weather we're going to have tomorrow, come out and show your support!

You'll find us here, at 16 Pretoria Avenue, which is between Bank St. and the Queen Elizabeth Parkway along the canal, near highway 417.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"A" Day!

Crystal here.

It's official. Jaida's amputation is booked for Thursday, June 14th.

We remain undecided about the prosthesis, but obviously will have to make that decision prior to the surgery.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Leg or Not, that is the question.

Crystal here.

Lately, Jaida's mums are talking a lot about things like surgeries and prosthetics.

We're ready for Jaida's surgery (as ready as we'll ever be) and are anxious to get our family over this hurdle and help Jaida carry on with her newfound "official" three-legged-ness.

We sent a bunch of pictures and videos to K-9 Orthotics, who has been consulting with our vet, Dr. Sparling, throughout this process. Jeff (the fellow at K9P) needed to get a feel for Jaida's range of motion: how much she was able to move her joints. Here are the video clips we sent:

Her shoulder

(careful-she starts to bark at a car horn right at the turn the volume down!)

Her elbow

You can see how flexible her shoulder is, and how little the elbow is able to bend. Jeff has recommended amputation at the elbow if we decide to proceed with the prosthesis. Dr. Sparling has recommended the same. So, it sounds like a prosthesis is definitely an option for Jaida. The thing is, we still haven't decided whether or not a prosthetic device is the BEST option for Jaida.

We still have a lot of questions about how Jaida's life will/could be improved if she gets a prosthesis. Things like: will it reduce the wear on her good leg? Can she muck around in mud puddles and creeks and snow while wearing it? What is it made of? Can she chew it up? Will it be easy to take on and off? Will she be able to be more active for longer periods of time with it on? Aesthetics have never been a factor for us. She's gorgeous now with her scrunchy little dangly club foot, and she'll be gorgeous with three legs or three-and-a-half legs. We just want her to be healthy and happy.

We have an on-line friend, Sandra, who has a pup named Angel. Angel had a stump for a front leg when Sandra adopted her. Recently, we found out that Sandra had Angel fitted for a prosthetic, through OrthoPets, and that it will be arriving any day now. Our family is anxiously awaiting pictures and stories of Angel and her new might help us make our decision about Jaida.

We're going to book the surgery for mid-June, if all goes according to plan, and Jaida will have either a full (entire arm, including shoulder) or partial (from the elbow down) amputation, depending on what we decide to do with the prosthesis. It's definitely not easy to make decisions like this, but I know that Kim and I will make the right one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Long weekends ARE fun!

Jaida here.

Now I understand why moms say long weekends are fun! I was a busy gal, yep I was. Here's what I did:

chased Gracie in the woods; lay down in mud puddles; ate grass, leaves, dirt and bugs; swam in a creek; chewed bones; played with Gramma and Grampa; got a new BAY-BEE SOCKS from Gramma - very stylish and snazzy (that's me with my new has a dinosaur on it...I am sleepy from all my long-weekend-ing); licked ice cream; rolled on a dead bird; played baseball and frisbee; got a french fry from a nice lady; played on a beach and splashed in the river; got chased out of the gardens by moms; played with Daisy; went for car rides; got a cookie from a nice lady; got to sleep in my BIG GIRL BED upstairs with moms; had many good sleeps and many good leg-twitchy dreams.

Much better than my last long weekend! I hope yours was fun too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Jaida here.

I really surprised moms this weekend. I am getting too big for my crate-bed, so moms let me sleep in my playroom with just my BAY-BEE gate across the door. After my sleep, I was feeling awake and beansy and strong and didn't want to be downstairs all by myself, so I ESCAPED!!!

With the mighty strongness of my THREE GOOD LEGS, I climbed right over that BAY-BEE gate and went upstairs to wake up sleepy, lazy ol' moms. They were very surprised to see me...I don't know why, because they should know by now that I am a very clever gal and can do anything if I really want to. I still want them to help me up onto the bed though, which is what they did after I woke them up.

Here is the conquered BAY-BEE Gate Mountain from which I ESCAPED:

Friday, May 11, 2007

My boo-boo leg is NOT a stick, Daisy!!

Jaida here.

I just came back from a WALK with mums. We went in the woods where all the mud puddles are and I think I succeeded in squooshing through all of them to acheive my desired level of dirty-ness.

Then we went to the house where Daisy and Tasha live. They are very big and pretty and yellow, but they both have four GOOD LEGS. Tasha is kind of like my sister in that they are both grumpsters and don't always like to play.

But Daisy is FUN!! She is very bigger than me and bounces on me, but does it with niceness. I bite her nose. She bites my ear. I steal her bone. She stands on me and stares at her bone. I jump on her head and fall down. She sits on me. I try to bonk her with my boo-boo leg. She CHEWS my boo-boo leg, the nerve!!


But you can chew it a little if we can play again, ok?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Little updates.

Crystal here.

Just wanted to leave two quick notes:

1. We've been in touch with a few more orthopedic specialists, and the consensus seems to be that Jaida's deformity is definitely not RH (see last week's post). It was most likely due to either an injury or impeded development in-utero (possibly due to the environment/diet of Jaida's mother), and probably doesn't have a genetic component. So, Jaida's just Jaida, with her own unique version of bendy-twisty-bonky-boo-boo-leg.

2. We're still waiting for to hear whether or not a prosthesis is going to be a possibility for Jaida. The type of surgery she will have is totally dependent on this information...we're really anxious to hear what K9 Orthotics says. It's hard to wait!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Ode to Gracie.

Crystal here.

Kim asked me to pen a special "ode to Gracie". She's's definitely well-deserved.

Gracie, Grace, Gracie-goose, Gooser, Pooper, Pooper-doo...what would we do without you???

Gracie has been an amazing, amazing, amazing dog throughout Jaida's whole ordeal and introduction to our family. She has accepted this bratty brat-child boo-boo leg mudpuppy into her pack, and has put up with all of Jaida's puppy foolishness...the chasing, the stealing of bones and toys, the constant nipping at her mouth for attention. Gracie hardly gets a moment's peace when Jaida is around. Gracie has endured a whole lot of "sorry, you can't come" car rides (one of her favourite things) as Jaida gets trucked off to yet another appointment with the vet. She has had to share the bed, the play times, the snuggles, the sunbeam sleepy spots, and her mummies.
Gracie never holds a grudge.

Jaida just LOVES Gracie. Loves, loves, loves her. Want to touch her, be close to her, look at her, follow her...any of these sets Jaida into a full-body-all-out-tail-wag of pure joy. Gracie, we're sure, has pushed Jaida to really stretch her physical capabilities and build her endurance...Jaida is highly motivated to go everywhere Gracie goes and do everything Gracie does.
Gracie takes this all in stride.

These days, Jaida is starting to show some signs of maturity and settling. There is a little less of the puppy foolishness, and Gracie is starting to appreciate her more and a friend and playmate. This morning, after some morning mummie snuggles (and getting bonked repeatedly on the head with Jaida's boo-boo foot throughout), Gracie leaned over and gave Jaida kisses right on the lips. Jaida thought she died and went to heaven.

Gracie is sweet, smart, beautiful, funny, happy, friendly, silly, patient, forgiving and kind. We love her to bits. She makes our hearts full and happy. Thanks Goose!

Monday, May 7, 2007

How does she do that?

Jaida here.

Moms tell me that some people are wondering how a fabulously-bendy-footed and gorgeous gal like me can do stuff like go down stairs, chew STICKS or chase my sister Gracie around, when I only have ONE GOOD LEG. Mom Crystal used to wonder if I walked "normally" for a pup with only ONE GOOD LEG (normal, sheesh, the nerve, I am TOO SPECIAL for normal-ness) and says other people might have questions about their own pups that I could, in my cleverness, answer here.

For starters, technically I have THREE GOOD LEGS, which are all fabulous in their own right, and they help me do what I need to do just fine. So here is how I do stuff with my own variety of special-ness.

How do I chew bones or STICKS? Well, sometimes I cheat and use my boo-boo foot to prop up my STICK, but mostly I just wedge my STICK under my ONE GOOD foot and hold it upright with my crafty teeth. Sometimes I poke the end of my STICK into the grass or carpet (heh, I sometimes sneak my STICKS inside...shhhh, don't tell moms...) to hold it in place, then my crafty teeth can go to work.

How do I rest my chin on my paw when I'm lying down? My boo-boo leg doesn't bend very well. Actually, it doesn't bend at all, so I can only put my head on my ONE GOOD LEG. I kinda crook my elbow under my chest so it's right in the middle and supporting me, stick my foot out, and then I can rest my chin on my foot. Moms sometimes snicker at me and say it makes my cheek all smooshy, how rude, but I'm comfy like that.

How do I go up and down stairs? Pretty easily. No, really. Down is very simple for a gal of my cleverness, and I can go FAST... I do it differently from miss Gracie, who zooms down headfirst in a straight line. I just hold my boo-boo leg up and out to the side (no need for it to be bonking on every step), and I go down with my body on a diagonal with my ONE GOOD LEG leading the way. Two hops for each step: GOOD LEG, back legs.
Going up stairs is slower, but still pretty easy, and I don't have to go diagonally. I pop up my ONE GOOD LEG fast, and step up with my back legs. There are lots of stairs in my house, too, and I do them all. TA-DA!

How do I walk and run? My nice vet Dr. Sparling says I bunny-hop, and he's right. It's a good way to move if you're a gorgeous gal with legs like mine. It's basically two steps: my ONE GOOD LEG goes first, then my two back legs hop up to join it.
Walking is harder than running. When I zoom around the yard or run in crazy puppy circles, I can really move. I can turn fast in any direction, and jump. I look a lot more bunny-ish and hoppy when I have to move slow. I try to tell mom Crystal this when she takes me for "walks", of all foolish things. She puts a THING around my neck that I don't like, because it's hard for me to run with that THING on. So my crafty teeth and I bite her ankles as we "walk". This makes mom call me a "jerk", which I'm pretty sure is another way of telling me I'm frickin' cute and clever.

How do I dig holes? With my mighty strongness and fastness of my ONE GOOD LEG, I can dig holes in snow, dirt, mud, and make "nests" in my bed with my blankies. Moms say its kinda like doing a "clapping push-up": I just gotta go fast and strong. I dig extra-good holes in the mud-pits in the yard, which is useful for getting dirty.

How do I jump into the car or up onto the bed? I don't. At least not yet. I haven't made up my mind why I don't, if it's because I don't feel like it, or I just like to be lifted, or I can't because I'm still just a baby. Moms tell me that lots of fabulous three-leggers do these things just fine, so I'll think about it a bit and let you know what I decide.

So, that's it for now. If you have any questions about how a clever, crafty gal like me does other kinds of stuff, send an email to moms here.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Big words: stuff about club hands

Crystal here.

I've been snooping around the internet, trying to find information about Jaida's deformity. We know that it is congenital, meaning that it was present at birth. There is very little literature publicly available that discusses deformities of the extremities (i.e. arms/hand and legs/feet) when it comes to animals. From what I've found, though, the medical terminology is the same for dogs and people. I've also contacted a few orthopedic veterinary specialists for some guesses about what kind of condition resulted in her little "club foot" (which technically is a "club hand", since it's on her foreleg). Here's what I've gathered to this point:

Jaida has a type of manus valgus. This is the generalized term used to describe a club hand that bends in towards the body. If the hand bends away from the body, it's called a manus vanus. This type of club hand is usually associated with a shortening or absence of the radius bone in the forearm, conditions respectively called radial hypoplasia and radial agenesis.

Radial clubhand (also called radial hemimelia) is the term used to describe this combination of of manus valgus, plus radial hypoplasia/agenesis. Radial clubhand is actually one of the more common hand/arm deformities in human children. In this child's x-ray, you can see how the radius is missing from the lower arm, leaving only the ulna (there should be two bones there), and the inwardly-turned wrist.

However, Jaida's recent x-rays show that her radius bone is not missing, and even though it's short, it's attached in the right places and is the same length as its "sister" bone, the ulna, so that rules out radial clubhand or radial hypoplasia. All of this to say:

She has an abnormal antebrachium. (Ha, you thought the big words were all done, didn't you?) The antibrachium is simply the forearm, the part of the arm between the elbow and the wrist, so that means: she has a screwy forearm. Cause? Still unknown. But the wrist itself is screwy too, no? Which leads us to...

Carpal contracture. The carpus is the wrist. A contracture is a tightening of muscle, tendons, ligaments, or skin that prevents normal movement. So, basically, the wrist is tightened up into an immovable "club" position.

The combination of these two things make it look like she has radial hypoplasia (RH), with the associated club hand. RH was a possible diagnosis for Jaida until we got her x-rays. Here's a pic of a sweet little boxer baby with the RH condition. He was in a shelter in New York, last time I heard about him. They called him "Gumby". I hope he found a good home.
RH occurs in kitties too. They're often called "twisty" cats, and some really questionable people have gone as far as starting breeding programs to perpetuate the trait. I think it's safe to say that most people would not condone this practice (I, for one, do not). Interestingly, specialists say that RH is a heritable condition in cats, but that there is no evidence of heritability of RH in dogs - it's a fluke in canines, in other words.

Jaida and I will keep you posted if we are able to get any more information about her particular condition. Right now, it looks like a fairly unique type of malformity. We always knew she was one-of-a-kind!