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Friday, April 15, 2011 By SUZANNAH J. VANSON, Special to the Gazette MONTREAL – One recent night, just after I had given her pills to my old, deaf, blind-in-the-dark, six-pound Maltese named Lillie, she somehow got loose and found her way out the gate. This little one had never been alone since we fostered and then adopted her, and she rarely walks more than 20 or 30 feet before her little legs get tired. Her fear must have got the better of her, though. In the dark, with no one with her, unable to hear, unable to see well, she took off. In 15 minutes she was near the Pharmaprix at Sources and Hyman Blvds., where she was almost hit by a car. A young man stopped his car when he saw her to try to help her. He got hold of her, took her into his car, warmed her up and then called to let us, overwhelmed with panic, know he had her. This young man, Kourtney Cwinn of Dollard des Ormeaux, took the time to notice something was wrong and took action. Had he not helped her, the call I received would have been from public security, telling me she had been hit. Kourtney was kind and gentle with her, and refused any token of appreciation. Lillie was a puppy-mill dog, rescued by Rosie Animal Adoption. She was in terrible condition when we first saw her. She lay in the cage, clearly suffering, with a worn-out look that said, “Let this be over.” She had never known what it was to live in a home. She knew nothing of compassion, warmth or kindness. It’s nice to know that in her senior years, she has known all these things, and most especially from total strangers as she did that recent night. Often young people are labeled uncaring, self-centered, etc. This young man was the exact opposite. His parents can be very proud of their son, and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for helping Lillie. As a side note, it takes a second for an animal to get loose and then lost. Always have animals wear an ID tag or collar with your phone number and name. Microchips help, but the quickest way to reunite is a tag or collar with a name and number on it, since you don’t need a “reader” as you do with a microchip.

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Rosie’s Survivors Fund


This is Chanelle, a six year old Chocolate Lab. Her family gave her up to an animal control facility, sadly probably due to the high costs they faced as Chanelle has to have extensive knee surgery.

Possibly the saddest part of this tale is that this injury occurred when Chanelle was only 1 year old, so she has been living with the pain of a shifting joint, where her knee bones rub against each other as she moves, for over 5 years. Our guess is Chanelle just couldn’t manage anymore with the pain and infirmity, poor soul.

The surgery is a tibial-plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO) which is performed on dogs to stabilize the stifle joint after ruptures of the cranial cruciate ligament (like the ACL in humans). So far, this surgery looks to cost us at least $4000. It is compounded due to the number of years that have passed since the initial injury and the damage that has been done as she tried to move around on it over the years. Sometimes we opt for amputation as it is the best way for the dog due to the damage done to the leg and dogs DO manage well with 3 legs, as we have seen over and over. But amputation is not a viable option here as she is obese and this impacts her other joints’ ability to support her weight and her ability to balance afterwards. So our choice was to save Chanelle or put her down.

Look at her. What do you think we are going for?

She is a very sweet girl and weathers the pain of her leg well. We don’t have the heart to let her go. She’s done nothing wrong. She deserves a chance and with this surgery, and future weight control and good exercise, she will live a happy life and in turn, make some future family happy, too.

Help us save Chanelle. She has lived 5 years with a painful, largely useless back leg. She has had only one year in her life pain-free, before the injury. Let’s work together to bring her many more years of a pain-free, but a joy-filled life! We want to see her chase a ball one day soon!

We got you, Chanelle. The Rosie village has got this.

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