It's probably been a while since we've talked but after moving to Wisconsin 2 years ago, things are going pretty well. Working for Kohler is a great opportunity and after moving in 2011, I decided to volunteer at the Sheboygan County Humane Society and soon I was walking dogs on a weekly basis.Late in the fall of 2012, I met Dixie. She was a shy little girl and although I tried walking her, we didn't make it very far after I noticed she was limping severely. The staff at the shelter explained that Dixie had fallen off a balcony when she was 2 months old and as a result, the bones in her left wrist joint would never heal properly. Dixie was turned in to the shelter after a "good samaritan" had taken her to a vet and it was determined the original owners did not have the means to care for her. Through the good graces of the people of Sheboygan County, the staff at the shelter were able to raise money through a Facebook campaign for Dixie's amputation of her left front leg in February of 2013. It was shortly before Dixie's surgery that I inquired about who the lucky person would be to adopt her after her surgery. After a hugely successful facebook campaign, I assumed someone would snatch her up. To my surprise, no one had expressed interest. So, I eliminated all the reasons why I couldn't care for a dog, found a new place to live, and on March 27, my new best friend came hobbling home with me. Dixie's first couple vet appointments were a little puzzling. I purchased pet insurance for Dixie knowing that I needed to do everything I could to care for her remaining limbs, especially the front right. I filed claims for an x-ray and three visits for hyrdo-therapy (swimming) and unfortunately the insurance company denied the first claim. After requesting that my vet clear the confusion with the claim, she called me and explained that she had "forgot" to mention that Dixie's right leg had also been fractured in her original fall. As you can imagine, this was devasting news. I considered forfeiting Dixie back to the shelter under the terms that while I had budgeted her insurance and other costs, I simply couldn't afford this type of burden. After consulting with an orthopedic specialist in Appleton, he recommended that the long-term solution would involve a MRI scan to determine if the debris in Dixie's elbow could be safely removed. The subsequent surgery would be similar to an arthroscopic surgery where the procedure would be to clean out the elbow joint. Until this past week, Dixie has been happy and healthy. We had started walking longer distances and about a month ago, she made it all the way around our city block, a huge accomplishment for her. About a week ago, Dixie woke up and didn't get out of her cage immediately to go outside. After leaving the door open for 20 minutes, she gingerly took a couple steps and crashed onto her belly. She is currently in pain. The circumstances are such that I am not in a good enough financial position to pay for the MRI scan and subsequent surgery that are necessary for her long term health and short term relief from pain. Whether or not you decide to donate, thanks a lot for taking time to read about Dixie. She means everything to me and I feel that she is indeed a victim of circumstance. I wish nothing but the best for you and yours in the upcoming holiday season.
-Ben Olsen Volunteer of the Sheboygan County Humane society and on-air at Midwest Communications