OFFICIALLY INTRODUCING COCO!! Coco is a beautiful 6 year old girl who came to LFS last week. Her story is a long one, but she deserves for it to be heard. Coco was originally spotted in the woods in Athens-Clarke County, injured and too scared to come to people. She had two collars on, so it was clear she had once belonged to someone. For around 2 weeks, kind neighbors and community members fed her and tried to help catch her to no avail. It took a village, but Coco was finally caught in a trap provided by animal control. She was taken to the shelter where she would be safe and her injury could be evaluated. It is unclear what happened to her front left leg, but she could not put any weight on it and the limb itself was atrophied, with little to no muscle mass. She was taken to a vet by the shelter where she was given pain medicine to help with her leg, but it was clear she needed additional care. Coco also had a mass on her rear end that made it uncomfortable for her to use the restroom and sit down at times. It turns out that Coco was microchipped, and it helped animal control officers get in contact with her owner. Her owner said he would come to the shelter to get Coco, but sadly he never did nor was the shelter able to contact him again, so there she sat: alone, injured, and afraid. Coco was understandably unsure and frightened, and it took her a little while to warm up to the shelter staff. The odds were quickly stacking up against Coco, so LFS was contacted to see if we could get her to safety. Now Coco is a part of the LFS crew, and we’re working on getting her the second chance she deserves.
Coco’s leg was further evaluated at our vet’s office, and it has been determined that it cannot be repaired. It looks as though there may have been old fractures in her wrist that have now healed incorrectly, but the extent of atrophy in her limb may suggest an extensive nerve injury rather than just an old break. In any case, her front leg needs to be amputated, and since Coco has already been getting around really well as a tripod, we don’t anticipate she’ll have any issues being 3-legged post surgery. In addition, we are going to remove the mass on her rear end, so that she can be more comfortable sitting and defecating. We will have our vet send it for biopsy so that we can make sure it’s not cancerous.
After at least 2 weeks in the woods, Coco was in dire need of a groom. Her coat was filthy, and she had scabs in many areas of her body. Her undercoat was so grimy that it was coming out in clumps as you petted her, and her fur was so greasy that her collar almost slipped off when we were walking out of the shelter. Because half of her side would have to be shaved for her leg surgery anyway, we decided to just go ahead and have her whole body shaved in a lion cut. This will give Coco some relief and allow her to get a proper bath so the groomer can really soothe her skin.
It is going to take time, patience, and a lot of TLC to get Coco back to tip-top shape. She is still nervous and unsure of new people and new situations, so we have to be patient with her. Right now she’s pretty head shy, so it makes me think she may not have been treated the best in her prior life. Once she is comfortable with you, she is the sweetest girl and will crawl into your lap for a cuddle or roll over for you to pet her belly. She seems to love other dogs and was surprisingly playful around another pup at the shelter, so she may be more confident with another dog around.
Coco’s surgery will happen this Thursday, 1/10. The estimate for her vet bill is quickly approaching $2000. We really need your help to be able to pay for her surgery and after-care. If you’d be willing to help us take care of Coco, please visit https://www.
We will update again once Coco has been groomed and her surgery is complete.
COCO UPDATE 2/11/19: Coco has been spending some time with our trainer to work on socialization and manners. Here’s what her trainer said about her:
Coco is such a sweet girl. We have been introducing her to various people. She has done well with men, women and children. She has basic commands such as sit and down. We are working on place right now. She can be a little verbal/bossy at times, but we’ve been working on it and it seems to have diminished. She also responds well to no. When we first got Coco I was told that she would give a verbal alert and lunge forward. It was my goal for her to not feel like that was necessary. It took her a very short time to get comfortable and her personality quickly blossomed. She is very quick to give affection even when first meeting someone. She has been groomed with no problems. Coco is also quick to roll over for a belly rub. She has been exposed to cats and had no reaction to them even when they were reactive to her through the cage front. She can get a little reactive with other dogs sometimes when she can’t get a good read on them, so at this time I would say she would do best in a single dog home. We will continue to work on socialization. Overall she is a happy, energetic and very social girl. Everyone here has fallen in love with her.
COCO UPDATE! 01/13/19 Coco had surgery this past Thursday and is doing well. She had her front left leg amputated and the mass on her rear end removed. She’s on lots of medicine to make sure she’s not in pain, and she’s eating well! When I went to visit Coco, she wagged her tail and despite her big e-collar, she insisted on putting her head in my lap <3