Paisley wants to wish you a happy and blessed Thanksgiving! We have a lot to be thankful for this year.
If you don’t already know, Paisley suffered a traumatic accident at the groomer this past July. I have been avoiding writing it. It makes me sick every time I think back on that day, but I think it is important for people to know her story and to be mindful of the dangers of some groomers. It was one of the most awful things I’ve ever experienced, but It does have a happy ending!
I was there when it happened. I was picking up Paisley from the groomer’s. The employee went to the back to get her. A few minutes later I heard a dog screaming. I know the sounds Paisley makes and I didn’t think it was her by the screeching sound of this dogs cry, but it was her. Minutes later the girl came back and told me that Paisley was dropped and now she wasn’t moving. My heart sank!
I rushed back there and the look in Paisley’s eyes was absolute pain and terror. I will never forget it. She was hunched over and her back legs were limp and unable to move. I thought her legs were broken. She wasn’t able to walk at all.
I was a complete mess. I cannot explain to you how awful this was. I was shaking furiously, weeping, praying and cussing. I told the girl, “I’m so sorry. I don’t normally cuss and pray at the same time, but I am freaking out.”
The employee was also rattled. I asked her what we should do and she had no idea. I told her she needs to do something. Call the owner… anything! It was very frustrating that I was not getting any help. She finally did call the owner and the owner told us to go to her vet, and she would meet us there. My vet advised us to take her straight the MedVet, but we did as the groomer told us since she was insistant on going to her vet. We assumed it was because her insurance would only cover her specific vet.
I called my husband to come help me. He rushed over from work and we took her to the groomer’s vet.
The vet and nurse at Apple Valley Animal Hospital were so great. They sat on the floor with us, talked, held and petted Paisley. The nurse was so sweet to me and Pais. In between me praying aloud and weeping, she told me that she understood how precious dogs are and that they are our children. I said, “Yes, we don’t have any children yet, so she is our baby.”
The nurse was so comforting. She gave me a big long hug as we left and held me while I sobbed. I’m so appreciative of her. I think her name was Ann.
Before we left, the vet did a series of tests on Paisley. Taking scissors and poking her very hard to see if she still had any nerve response. She had some feeling, but it didn’t look good. They told us she would most likely need spinal surgery due to a ruptured disc or fractured spine.
From there, they suggested we take her to Dayton’s MeVet. In hindsight I wish we would have taken her here first like my vet recommended.
Before we left Apple Valley the groomer told us she would cover all Paisley’s medical expenses, so Brant made her put that in writing before we left. It is a good thing he did this, because we’re positive we wouldn’t have seen a dime from her after this. Turns out the groomer did not have insurance and this written document was all we had to get the groomer to take full responsibility for her medical bills.
During the drive over to MedVet, I was in hysterics, hardly able to breathe.
When we arrived, they took her in the back for what seemed like days. They did x-rays and other tests. So many thoughts went through our heads in that waiting room. I worried she would be in a wheelchair… Never be able to walk again… We would need to construct a ramp on our deck steps for her… Would she have to be put down?
Finally we heard back. They couldn’t tell for sure if she had a spinal fracture, so they told us she needed to be taken to the Columbus office. They had to preform an MRI to make sure she didn’t have a break. They gave us 3 options for the issue and only one having a positive outcome.
We were at MedVet until about 11pm and then had to leave her overnight, so she could be transported to Columbus at 6am. We got to visit her before we left and it was heart wrenching. She was shaking and in so much pain. Her eyes were wide and there were broken blood vessels in the blue parts of her eyes. She finally relaxed somewhat and leaned on Brant. I laid my hands on her and prayed, hard.
I found out later that while we were waiting in the waiting room, Brant went to the restroom, got on his knees and prayed.
Neither of us slept much that night. We both stayed on the couch and woke up often. Each time I woke up I was upset to learn that it wasn’t in fact a nightmare, but it was all really happening. We got a call around 6am saying Paisley had reached Columbus. Brant went back to sleep and I went upstairs to our spare bedroom. I wept begging God to let her be okay.
I text family and friends telling them what happened and NOT to call me. I couldn’t speak without crying. My friends and family gave me such support with their texts that morning with their encouraging words and their faith that she would be healed. I am so thankful for them.
I think It was around 12 noon when we finally heard back from the doctor. He told us that she hadn’t fractured her back, but had suffered a severe rupture of the disc that bruised her spine very badly. This was the best scenario. He said she would not need surgery and that she WOULD WALK AGAIN! When I head this I started crying and thanking the Lord!
We didn’t go to see her that day, because they said it was best if she rested. She was so drugged up that she’d be sleeping a lot anyway. So we let her rest.
When we did get to go see her they had her “walk” in with the help of a sling for her back legs, since they still weren’t moving. She was so happy to see us! She was in such good spirits it was absolutely amazing.
We lay with her and loved on her. I brought her one of her toys and a blanket, so she felt more comfortable, since she would have to stay there for several more days to get 24 hour care and daily therapy. She stayed there for about a week.
I would go up almost every day to help with therapy and to visit.
The people at MedVet were so great. Paisley’s therapist would send me videos of her progress almost daily. She also sent me the first video of Paisley walking. It was so awesome and yes, I cried when I saw it and watched it over and over again.
By the time we got her home she was walking somewhat with the help of her harness.
She has been continuing her therapy since July which has included land therapy, laser therapy, home therapy, acupuncture and water treadmill therapy. I cut way back on work so I could take her to all her appointments. We also had to cancel a surprise trip to Niagara Falls I had planned for Brant’s 30th birthday, but Brant said, “Paisley getting better is all the gift I want.”
Paisley went to Veterinary Alternatives for acupuncture and Our Hearts Canine for her other therapies in Centerville, Ohio. These two companies are both great! I’m so thankful for all they’ve done for us. Her therapist said she is doing magnificently and that if an accident like this has to happen, hers is the ideal recovery.
We have gradually gotten her therapy down. She has one more therapy session left in December! She is running playing and even jumping on the couch.
She still isn’t 100%, but she is close. Most importantly, she isn’t in pain and doesn’t seem to mind when her little back legs slide a little when she is playing.
As of now, the Groomingdale’s owner has paid for her medical expenses, although it has been an TERRIBLE experience. I won’t get into the gory details of the awfulness it was working with her, but let’s just say it was absolutely necessary that Brant made her put in writing that she was responsible for Paisley’s medical bills related to this accident. We had to be very prudent, diligent, consistent and firm to get what was owed to us.
Some people should not have a business dealing with animals if they say that the value your pet is only the amount you paid for them.
Brant & I have been very understanding during this experience and we realize accidents do happen. Accidents happen every day and we all make them, but we also believe you are still responsible for the accidents you cause.
Not having insurance to cover the injuries occurring at your place of business is absolutely unacceptable. Also, if you do take your dog to a groomer, which we will never do again, make sure they do NOT keep them in raised cages.
There just aren’t good enough regulations on groomers we’ve found during this experience. Literally anyone can be one, with very little regulations on how they operate.
Please make sure you are very careful when dealing with any groomer or any other business that cares for your pet. They are our family after all.
I’ve learned many important lessons during this experience…
I’ve learn anger isn’t always bad, but if given free rein over your life it can consume you and leave you in a bad place. Anger can propel you forward, helping you stand up for yourself and can help you to challenge situations when you normally wouldn’t. I learned how to speak up more, and ask for what I want/need even after someone told me “no.” I learned that it’s okay to ask again, because if you’re persistent you might just get what you asked for.
I remained angry after the accident for longer than I should have. Angry with God for letting something so terrible happen to us. Angry at the employee who dropped her. Angry at the owner for putting us through so much stress. Angry with myself for taking her, even after Brant told me he didn’t want to spend the money on the groomer right now.
Anger has it’s place, but you need to move away from it once it’s done its job. You need to move toward forgiveness.
Forgiveness, I’ve learned over the years is not a one time action. You sometimes have to forgive more than once for the same offense. The more you do it the better you become at it. The better you become at it the easier it comes and hopefully the less times you’ll have to remind yourself “oh, we already forgave them for that.”
For me, the hardest person to forgive is myself. Guilt, like anger, is an emotion that you need only to hold onto for a short time and if it isn’t propelling you forward to something positive, then you’ve held on too long.
I also learned that there is power in prayer. Prayer got me through the anger and the guilt to the forgiveness. It also is what made Paisley recover so well and so quickly, I believe.
When I pray, I ask for what I need and thank God for it in advance. Over and over, again and again, I do this. I thank God for the healing before I have it and I believe in doing this the healing comes. Not to say that we always get what we ask him for, but when I’m able to pray this way he answers more than not.
And finally, I learned that I also want to be more like Paisley. She went through so much and yet her spirits were always high and she shows love constantly.
She is the perfect example of who I want to be :)
We are so grateful for all the Lord has given us.