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Happy Tails - “Gus”

Meet Gus. Gus is a 6 year old long haired dachshund. He has a great family and is “in the center of our family life”, says Shelby Petersen, who shares her life with Gus, her husband and daughter, and Oliver and Oscar, two other long haired dachshunds. Unfortunately, Gus also has IVDD (Introduction to Intervertebral Disk Disease).

For the first 4 years of Gus’ life he had no problems and could jump around, run up and down the ramp to the sofa, and run and tussle with his other four-legged family members. But about 2 years ago Shelby noticed Gus having difficulties with these activities and whimpering. She took Gus to her chiropractor and for the next two years Gus seemed to respond positively to the treatments.

Gus after emergency surgery

Then in May of this year, as her family was on their way to Chicago for the Crosstown Bark Around Dachshund Social, Gus started showing intense pain and back spasms. Shelby and her family came back to the Quad Cities and went directly to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Bettendorf, where the IVDD was diagnosed. They were given three choices: medication which would still leave Gus crippled for life, euthanasia, or emergency surgery at the Iowa State University School of Veterinary Medicine in Ames, Iowa to remove a disc in his spine. Shelby and her family knew there was really only one choice for them - the emergency surgery, which was performed on May 20th “because this is what you do for your pets”, said Shelby. After one week at the hospital in Ames for recovery and physical rehabilitation (and visits from his family), Gus was able to come back home. And, so, this is where RESCUED came into the picture.

Prior to this unexpected family crisis, Shelby and her mother had discovered RESCUED on a Shop Hop day. Her mother is also friends with Nathan Bird, who frequently gets involved with projects that benefit RESCUED and had told her about the financial assistance offered to pet owners who need some help with unexpected veterinary costs.

Shelby’s mom decided that Gus’ surgery and hospital care, which had a total bill of $4,068.00, fit this description and reached out to RESCUED. She spoke to Erin, who authorized $500 towards the costs. An additional amount was offered but Shelby and her husband chose to use Care Credit to deal with the remaining balance. They were just so appreciative for any help with this costly surgery that would make life great again for Gus.

And that’s exactly what has happened. When Gus first returned home he had to be assisted with a sling to move around. But Shelby now reports that Gus only has a bit of a “drunken” walk and Oliver and Oscar seem to know that they need to be a bit less rambunctious with Gus. His days of jumping on and off the sofa may be over but the ramps that are in place still allow him to snuggle up to either 2 or 4 legged family members up on the sofa.

Shelby is committed to providing the best care and love she and her family can offer to their furry family members. Summing up their experience with RESCUED with one short sentence Shelby remarked, “It’s amazing that a stranger would help us like this”.

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