Meeting New Friends
With the arrival of the full summer heat and the monsoon season, it’s been getting increasingly difficult to spend time outside. This is the time of year when we start to look to the mountains for relief and outdoor adventure. On Saturday, Aspen got to escape the desert heat and end enjoy a little hiking in the high country. As an added bonus, the Flagstaff Rescue Roundup was underway so we decided to make a quick stop and visit our friends at the AZ Cactus Corgi Rescue booth.
Before I even had an opportunity to catch the names of everyone in the booth, Aspen had already jumped into the caring arms of Vicki Combs, the Director at AZCCR. I’ve always believed that corgis are a great judge of character and this was no exception!
After settling in, our attention quickly turned to two curious smiling faces peering at us from a shaded play area in the grass nearby. We walked over to greet our attentive audience and gently extended a hand and snout for an introductory sniff. It was immediately clear that we had instantly made two new friends.
Our meeting with Nola turned out to be brief as an excited family arrived to welcome her to her “furever” home. Our second new friend, who goes by the name Isosceles took center stage as he made it a priority to “talk” to us the way only corgis can!
After enjoying a spirited conversation of happy barks, we sat down for a quick ear scratch and belly rub. As we often do, we snapped a few pictures to share with the Corgi Club community.
I didn’t think much of it at the time but Isosceles or “Iso” for short, was a big hit! The comments, emails, and private messages started rolling in at a hurried pace. Of course! Who wouldn’t want to welcome such a handsome guy with an incredible personality into their home?
All About Iso
As it turns out (and this is often the case with rescues), there’s much more to Iso’s story than you could see in the pictures. He was born missing his right paw and has compensated by putting additional weight on his other legs. If left alone, within a few years, he would be in a lot of pain and gradually lose his ability to walk. Fortunately, because he’s young, he’s a candidate for a prosthetic that will give him the opportunity to live his life like any other playful corgi.
Thanks to the caring folks at AZ Cactus Corgi Rescue, Iso has begun a long journey that will ultimately allow him to be free from pain and learn how to walk normally (with the help of a little high-tech hardware).
Here’s his story as told by Vicki:
“Basically, he was on Craigslist as a puppy….he was adopted from there and then the adopter had to move to a place that didn’t allow dogs, soooooooo he is with us.
Iso being born with this, has never “stood up” straight and has not built muscle in his left shoulder. Also, due to genetics and the fact he has to bear all front weight on his left leg, it is “breaking down” or “buckling” so he can walk for a bit, then it buckles. This is painful for him and he overcompensates by “army crawling” using his right stump and walking with that too. On another note, his left rear leg is also buckling.
We are waiting to see if by bracing the left front and using a prosthetic for the right will alleviate some of the pressure on the left rear leg, allowing him free movement with it instead of having to have it braced also. So, this is all a long process.
Iso came to us intact, however as a bilateral cryptorchid….meaning neither testicle dropped, so his neutering was a little more complicated, having to go in abdominally, locating and then removing the testicles. He came through that surgery and recovered nicely.
Then we contacted Ortho-Pets regarding a brace and prosthetic. Katie Titus of The Loyal Companion in Tucson, AZ came up and measured for the brace (to get this brace, you must have a prescription from your veterinarian) and to do a preliminary cast for the prosthetic. Due to findings of this cast, Iso had to have surgery again to have his dewclaw removed. At the end of his stump a dewclaw with a nail had grown. It would hamper the prosthetic fitting tightly enough to be functional, so it had to come off. Once that was removed, he again had to recover from that surgery.
After 2 weeks, he was re-casted for his prosthetic and it is now in the process of being made. The brace has arrived. He has to have a “break in” period over 2 – 3 weeks of wearing it for a few minutes 4 times a day, increasing the amount of time, watching for skin irritation, breaks, etc. He also has to have physical therapy to help him build the muscle in both shoulders so he can stand on the brace/prosthetic. Then he has to learn to “re-walk” with both apparatus’…so he is not a candidate for adoption for a long time. And when he is ready, he will most likely be adopted to someone medical, that knows what they are getting into and has the knowledge and the finances to continue his care.
Why are we doing all this for Iso? Well, he is young and we have a chance to help him. If we leave him as is, as many people ask why we don’t, within 3-5 years he would not be able to walk at all and would be in excruciating pain. The possibility of spinal injury would be much greater, as he is off kilter……so we want to help him, hoping and praying that this will. It’s a long process and lots of work, but he is so worth all we can do for him….you’ve met him, he steals hearts quickly! He is a very special boy and deserves as much as we can give him!!!”
As you can see, AZCCR is very different than what probably comes to mind when you think of a dog living in a shelter or hopelessly waiting in a kennel for an adoption. There’s A LOT that goes on behind the scenes to make sure that none of these corgis end up trapped in a revolving door of homes and families. In the mean time, each corgi is treated like family and put on a path towards finding a “furever” home!
How Do Adoptions Work at AZ Cactus Corgi Rescue?
Prior to any adoptions, an application and a home visit is done to ensure the best possible fit. They take the time to learn about the family and their preferences and then match which dogs are most likely to fit their lifestyle.
The next step is to set up a meeting. To best suit the families wanting to adopt and the corgis looking for a new home, there are never any “picture adoptions”.
This process has an incredible 97% success rate with matching the Corgi to the home! The team at AZCCR is proud of that statistic and they continue to strive to do good with every corgi that comes into their care.
How Can You Help?
Being a guardian angel for a corgi in need can be expensive! Donations are always appreciated and go directly toward making a positive impact on the lives of corgis who need help now. You can donate directly through their website: Here
Please keep in mind that donations do not guarantee the right to adopt a specific dog and their goal is to ensure the best possible outcome for each corgi. If you aren’t in the position to offer financial assistance, you can still help! Volunteers are needed from time to time to help staff events and assist with day to day activities.
Want to know more about the dogs at AZCCR? Be sure to check back for regular updates and profiles to get to know our fur friends!