Zak's Special Story
Zak is still plugging along (or bouncing along) - doing well. I was hopeful on getting his surgeries in late 2012 - early 2013 but decided to get one more opinion from a new Board Certified Ortho surgeon - the new kid in town! And this new surgeon (after review and new Xrays) recommends no surgery until it is really necessary and then the decision will be made on whether to do hip replacements or FHO surgery. For Zak - it just made sense and I agree it is the best path to take for him. He still functions pretty well and when he has his bad days - he just gets some anti-inflammatories and he is usually good to go in the next day or two! The more time we can give him before the surgeries the longer the surgeries will last as he ages. As Zak just turned 4 in March of 2014 - we are hopeful for more time and I watch him closely but he is not showing any significant signs of pain - perhaps he has built up a resistance and/or is able to self-monitor as he gets older - he is a very happy boy. He is still a ball freak - and his runs have become fewer and shorter but no less exuberant! And he is always ready to bring anyone every toy he has to be thrown.
The one thing that has changed is that I (his former foster from day one) have adopted Zak - rascal that he is - dealing with a high energy border collie that needs hip replacements was making it a bit difficult for him to find the right home and one that can get into all kinds of mischief in a nano second just wasn't going to happen! So Zak is mine - I suppose he always thought he was. When he went on sleepovers - he would be great for 24 hours and then the howling would begin... he would just howl for hours until I came and got him and he would get into the car like he had just spent the night at a friend's house and was ready to come home. Such a silly boy.
That day will come soon enough for Zak's surgeries but in the meantime - we keep up his regiment . . . . lots of supplements, lots of good food - (not as much as he prefers! - I try to keep him a bit leaner, the right amount of exercise and lots of fosters coming in and out to keep him interested - plus his herd of furry siblings at home.
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We are grateful for all the support he has received. When the day comes - I will make sure he gets the full benefit of Zak's Fund - it is his and will be a huge help in getting what he needs started. I will make sure he gets the surgery that is right for him. I say Zak is mine now - but he's not - he is and always will be all of our dog... but please, please ... someone invite him for a vacation – soon! HA!!! Our sincere thanks - always...
~Mom - Kristi
Update – March, 2012
You probably noticed that Zak is off the adoptable dogs page. That’s because we are getting ready to get his hip replacements done. As his foster, I think it best to keep him off the sites for now but will put an update on Zak’s story page when he gets his first hip done. Still waiting to hear that all instruments are purchased and the team is ready to go. We will do one at a time but there is a minimum recovery period of 6 - 8 weeks and we should know how Zak is going to recover after the first one. We are looking at April for number one. If you are one of his wonderful donors and want a glimpse into how he is doing, please feel free to contact Kristi at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to give you an update. Again, our thanks to all of his wonderful donors who have made this possible. This has been a long process but the end is in sight.
Rest assured that he will receive great care, and I just know he is going to be one of those that will be hard to keep quiet so I am brushing up on all my skills and abilities to keep this funny boy calm and happy (he is not taking well to the yoga or meditation – thinks it is just another game). I know my dogs are just waiting to stick their tongues out at him and play the “Got you last!” game! Pay back is heck!
Thank you all again. I know Zak is ready for this. He has been slowing down and I know the time is right. Fingers crossed for a great surgery and a quick recovery for this boy! I know he is ready to get it over with as well.
~Foster Mom – Kristi
Update – November 14, 2011
I have been remiss at Zak’s updates and I apologize. Time passes so quickly. If Zak could write he would do them himself (it’s all about Zak!), but he is still having issues with the alphabet and it’s hard for him to hit the right keys on the laptop with those furry paws. Zak is doing well physically and mentally. He’s all there and then some! He continues to cause mischief at my house along with my personal dogs. I have been amazed at how good Zak does do physically, but I think a lot of it has to do with the many supplements he is on for joint support. He is still active (did I ever mention his energy?) even with his slightly ungainly movements (his back legs tend to cross under him), but he can still hop like a pogo stick when he wants to (just uses his front legs to propel more). He is as strong as I think he can be and I can say he is a happy dog – silly, pouty, spoiled but one happy boy. He sometimes just can’t sit still and always has to be the center of attention, and if he is not, he knows how to mooch very well.
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Zak has had many opportunities to play rough with new fosters (which he likes) this summer along with Bleu at my house, so he has had a few doses of Rimadyl, but just for a day or so to take the edge off any pain. I think as he ages the condition worsens, and our recent vet appointment confirms this. I keep him pretty slim so weight is not an issue. I do believe his absolutely favorite fosters are puppies. He just loves them, and when he has a couple around, I do see a calmer boy. Always devoted and extremely gentle.
But, the big news for Zak is that the big day is coming . . . he had another consult on November 12th. When manipulating his joints, it is clear that Zak does have soreness, and the diagnosis still remains. The best fix is hip replacement – both hips – which brings us to the HUGE news . . . .
Dr. Rose has certified in a new hip replacement procedure and he has agreed to do Zak’s hips! Dr. Rose has generously offered to do Zak’s hips at a price we can afford and that we have funding for! How great is that! So . . . ZAK GETS NEW HIPS!!
We are very grateful, especially to our Zak's Fund donors who started us on this path, providing us with the funds to do what needs to be done for Zak. So with the wonderful donated funds, combined with the special pricing that we will receive for the procedures, hip replacements can be done for Zak! We are thrilled! Again, our heartfelt thanks to all Zak supporters. You made this possible for this boy! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
For now, our sights are on early March for his first hip replacement. There are still new instruments to purchase for Dr. Rose and team, and Doctors Rose (Dr. Rose and his wife, both veterinarians) are expecting their first child in early January! Congratulations! So after some quality time with his new family member and some practice, Dr. Rose will be planning on doing Zak’s first hip replacement in March of 2012.
In the meantime, Zak is safe with me and having a grand time, BUT we would love to find his forever home. He has not lost hope that they are out there and we know when they find him, it will be a very special home indeed! We have not lost hope either. Every dog deserves a home.
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In the meantime, I will keep him fit and as happy as I can, preparing him for his surgeries. He really is a special little boy and now his future certainly looks bright and pain free.
Zak really belongs to all who have supported him and he is so lucky to have so many generous people show that there is always hope. Thank you for the wonderful gift you all have given Zak.
~Foster mom – Kristi
Update July 22, 2011
Zak is doing well and thriving, and he has grown strong with all his daily exercise and his regiment of Missing Link, glucosamine, fish oil and Vitamin C. He is as active as ever and only gets Rimadyl (pain / anti-inflammatory) when he overdoes it (chasing Bleu recklessly through the fields until he drops. She will on occasion allow him to catch her – on a generous day). I don’t think he knows he has limitations.
He has had two “sleepovers” with potential families, but they have not been his forever home. Great families and homes, but not his. He will require a lot of time and energy in his new home and will need time to adjust, but I know he will bring great comfort, joy and laughter to his new family and they will be the lucky ones. He is a special dog looking for a special family and we know his family is out there, and he deserves his own family.
Zak gives a whole new meaning to the words mischievous and fun loving! He is rather like having a young child in the house. His questions are endless and his mind never stops. Play, play, play, cuddle, eat, play, play, play, cuddle, sleep, play, play, play, cuddle . . . . After all, he is a Border Collie and comes with all the energy and smarts of one! Even with his hip dysplasia he is a very active boy and prone to put his nose everywhere, and though he is not destructive, he can be non-stop. Wears me out and I am grateful there is another high energy Border Collie in my home to keep him out of trouble! He is and will forever be one of the sweetest dogs around, and his gentle soul shines through. He does his job, which is making me laugh and smile, every day. He wears a smile all the time and nothing seems to get him down. Even when he has overdone it, that smile is there.
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For now Zak is content in my home and with my pack, and my throwing arm is getting quite strong! He is getting his exercise and loves to chase the birds and will hunt down that Frisbee and ball all day long. I am holding off his first FHO operation until I start to see heavier signs of fatigue and pain per the vet’s recommendation. Zak is the only EnchantMutt dog that has his own bank account (thank you again generous donors!) and, though he bugs me for new toys and lots of them, his operation funds are safely stashed and waiting for him.
~Foster mom – Kristi
Update – June 2, 2011
It has been a few weeks since we received the most wonderful outpouring of support for Zak and his pending hip surgeries. Because of the wonderful people who took the time and gave generously, Zak will receive his surgeries. A heartfelt thank you does not seem sufficient, but it is what we offer to each and every donor. You have made the difference for this boy.
For now he is being his normal mischievous self – getting into everything and looking for trouble at my house (foster mom). He is such a personable boy and his mind just goes a mile a minute, and unfortunately (or fortunately?), his eyes are too expressive and he can’t hide it when he has been into something, which is the most consistent thing about him! He recently got to be a babysitter for three - 6 week old puppies (Finn, Fly and Fergie). He just adores those puppies! He will be sad when they are all in their new homes. He also is having a blast with Bella, a 15 month old BC cross, and is teaching her all the ropes at the house.
With Zak’s hip dysplasia there is no cure. The perfect scenario is total hip replacement. But the cost is roughly $5,500 a hip and beyond our reach not only financially but also because we feel that if the money were available, in rescue, we could not justify the funds for one dog – as special as he is. That money would go a long way towards the rescue and care of many other needy dogs. We did, however, get enough funds to cover FHO surgery for both hips and we will happily use it for Zak. Our goal is to eliminate the pain and allow Zak to be fully functional. These funds have been designated as Zak’s Fund and will be used only for his surgeries. Thank you again wonderful donors.
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Because of his size, weight, level of dysplasia and age, the decision was initially made to provide the FHO surgery. We have absolute faith in the two consults from two great vets. Both were very similar and we had a big discussion about timing the surgeries. His growth plates are almost closed, so when they are completely closed he should be able to have the surgeries. Both vets recommended waiting at least for that if not longer. FHO is often thought of as a salvage operation.
Zak's X-ray (Please click to view full size image)
I do not think Zak is often in pain but he can get uncomfortable (when he over does it, which is often). He is being given Rimadyl when needed, but we do not want to continue that scenario for too long. So, for the time being, he gets to be a normal active dog with a side of anti-inflammatory when he pushes the envelope, so to speak.
The timing of his surgery will also depend on his adoption and the veterinarian's recommendation. It would be best if Zak is adopted and his new family (it will have to be a special one!) is there to support him through his recovery. If he is not adopted by August, he will be scheduled for surgeries at the end of August. I will then be there to help him through the recovery.
I will keep all who have an interest in Zak’s on-going story informed as best I can! We thank you again for all your support!
PS – A very special thank you to JC and Pokey for their tremendous contribution to Zak. Pokey was a lucky, lucky girl.
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"... what we have enjoyed, we can never lose ... all that we love deeply becomes a part of us."
Thank You For Supporting Zak!
The Board of Directors of EnchantMutts would like to extend our most heartfelt thank you to all of the caring, thoughtful people who donated to Zak's Surgery Fund. We are fortunate enough to have reached our goal of $1500! This is due to the amazing generosity of our fellow animal lovers. We were overwhelmed by both the immediate and compassionate response of our community. Because of your support, Zak will now be able to get his surgery. Please check back for updates on his progress. Zak is also currently available for adoption. To learn more about this gentle soul, please go to Zak's Adoption Page.
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Again, a great big thank you to all of our wonderful donors and also to the Albuquerque Journal for featuring Zak's story in the Fetch section of the newspaper. Because of YOU, Zak will have the chance to live an active, pain-free life full of fun, frolic, and fast times!
Zak is a beautiful, young Border Collie who has a wonderful gentle side and finds humor in everything. He was rescued by EnchantMutts from a neglect situation with his mom and siblings in late 2010.
Zak has hip dysplasia (HD) in both hips – often not diagnosed until a dog is older and usually found in larger dogs, not 40 lb border collies. Zak’s HD can be treated surgically to minimize his pain and arthritis in later years, and surgery will allow Zak to live an active fulfilling life - pain free.
Zak doesn’t know he is different and gives 110% in everything he does. He is very playful with his doggy buddies and his beloved toys. He is a joy to have around and there isn’t much that gets him down. But, sometimes he is the first pup out in playtime; he gets up slowly and unsteadily and he finds it difficult to jump into the car. While he doesn’t show his pain, we know it is there. Zak is an active boy and with surgery he will be able to do those long hikes and walks. He is and will forever be a gentle soul. His people are his reason for being and he will follow his people anywhere - anytime. We want to make sure he can.
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