Cheeto - A 3 Year old Bernedoodle With Special Needs
Has a New Home - She Is An Amazing Girl!!!!
Cheeto 1 Day Old

Cheeto was the last born in the litter, breech (back feet first), and out of her sack. Although Mom was trying, she couldnít get her out so the delivery nurse pulled her out on a contraction. Cheeto was born, but lifeless. After 45 minutes trying to wake her up with mouth to snout, the only action that resulted in a squeal, was by pinching the toes on her left foot. This woke her up and Cheeto thankfully survived the night. The next day I noticed the toes on the left foot were bruised. The following day, those toes dried up and sadly overnight Mom took them off. Her left leg was awful looking and a painful for her. I guarded it with baby socks and booties and cleaned it frequently with antibacterial soap.

Cheeto @ 3 Weeks Cheeto @ 2 Months Cheeto on Ramp @ 3 Months

Although not evident at the time but two weeks after birth when the rest of the puppies were beginning to stand, her breech assisted birth resulted in torn ligaments in her right leg. With her left leg missing a paw and right leg having torn ligaments, the only way for her to move was by pulling herself with the front legs. She could get up on her right and tried to stand on the left but was in obvious painful to put pressure on it. There were many early vet visits because she cried often - With my stomach torn because of her pain, twice I thought I would have to put her down but couldn't. Cheeto was babied and continued to develop although well behind the rest of the litter. At 8 weeks and as her litter mates starting to go to their new homes, I began to swim her in a beer cooler in the tub.

                Cheeto Video Swimming at 8 Weeks - After the video, use the back button.

Until I knew what type treatment would be necessary on her right leg, I didnít want the back legs to atrophy so she swam twice a day for 7 minutes each time (Note the timer in the video). At 12 weeks, this progressed to once a day for 15 minutes with Sundays off in a larger beer cooler. Then at 16 weeks she had the whole bath tub to continuing swimming. Also at 16 weeks, a consultation with an orthopedic doctor suggested to perform what was called a tibial epiphysiodesis. They put a screw in the right knee and as it was a relatively new procedure, the doctor believed that Cheeto would not need the ligament through this process. Three weeks after the surgery once the stiches were out and she was almost 5 months old, she had out grew the tub. I found a therapy pool for her in east Kent (Aqua Dog - Great place!). She continued to swim 3 days a week until she was 1 year old. At the same time we went to the chiropractor 6 days a week.

Cheeto Swimming at 5 months until a Year

When she was a year old, the doctor wanted to do a 2nd surgery on the right leg. I had it done, but Cheeto really didnít benefit much from it and the doctor had mentioned that a lot of scar tissue had built up.
In the yard, she will get up on all 4 but it looks a bit awkard. When she wants to she can really scoot. Cheeto gets around the best in her cart but it needs to be used in moderation. For her short foot, she has a prosthetic that I only use when sheís in her cart.

Cheeto Running In Yard Cheeto In Cart In Yard

I work full time and since she has been with me I run home for lunch just to let her outside to relieve herself. During the summer or in dry weather, before going back to work, I would let Cheeto stay outside. She does loves it there but not when its wet. Her favorite spot is on the couch but is only trusted there after she has peeíd and pooped. That is our largest issue because she must be offered to potty every 6 to 8 hours. Now that the weather is worse (winter time in Seattle), three times Iíve fallen taking her out. A sling to place under her abdomen with handles to hold onto works good but only after she has pee'd because the pressure, would stimulat a pee. She is a very, very loving and an incredibly sweet dog. She plays great with my other 2 dogs. I/we would miss her greatly but I just believe that someone else who is home all day and strong enough to lift her as necessary could probably give her better care than me.
Thank you for reading about her - she really is an amazing girl.

Cheeto In Kitchen At Front Door