A Brief History of Luigi

Luigi’s second class in Novice Obedience Handling was on Monday. He did really well. He showed everyone what a dog who crabs looks like. That is, he sticks his rear end to the side of the handler and that part walks sideways while the front part of him, where his head is, walks straight ahead. I was expecting a magic pill to fix it, but there isn’t one. I know what I have to do. Work.

You know, Luigi is a PITA. He’s been one since day one. Though I love him and would never part with him, I was just recently summing up his time with me.

He came in with a stitched up front paw. The former owner did not keep Luigi still, bandaged, or otherwise contained, so the paw didn’t heal, and Luigi was limping. To add to that, he’d been neutered, and let to chew his stitches out. All but two. It was a mess on both ends. My vet advised me to keep the Elizabethan collar (aka cone) on his neck, apply Neosporin you know where, and keep the front paw taped till it healed. So I did all that. And eventually, he healed on both ends.

Then, somewhere after that, he was running in the backyard, and one of his middle back toes starting gushing blood, and that was from Luigi’s fantastic ability to locate and step on the one thing in a mile wide area that can do damage to his bad self. So now he has a “flashlight toe.” That means that middle toe’s pad will stick forward at times, instead of down on the ground, due to whatever connected the paw pad to the toe bone was disconnected.

Then there was the time Lilian came aboard. She was very sick as she was adopted from Miami Dade, which is known for its pets being severely sick form the shelter’s outdated environment, which spreads disease. Luigi felt neglected, but I wanted him to be safe. So I had put a short ex-pen across the kitchen, where Lilian was and I was and Luigi was not. Luigi decided to pout. He hung his head over the ex-pen, and the harder he pouted, the harder he pushed his neck into the pen. This caused a great deal of problems starting in the wee hours of that night, for a couple weeks after. Due to meeting up with a VERY BAD vet “specialist,” Luigi got this bad.

Luigi after Dr. Bondy’s very costly do-nothing “vet” work 6-26-06

I filed a complaint against the vet who did nothing, except charging a couple grand for “waiting to see what happens.” I just got a letter today that said – a year after I filed the complaint – that the vet licensing board is finished with their part of the investigation, and now are turning it over to their legal side to see what they suggest. I will bet they suggest nothing even though this was highly negligent as if I had not pulled Luigi out of this vet’s “care,” Luigi would have suffocated to death. His throat was so swollen the night this picture was taken, he was whistling as he tried to get air. He also got uevitus, which is low blood pressure in the eyes, and he was close to going blind.

Before it gets worse, it did get better. The night I brought Luigi home, I had to find another emergency vet to take him to. It was a crap shoot for me because I had just lost faith in specialists. However, I did need to do something. So at 1 a.m., I took Luigi to another specialist, and by the next day, this is what Luigi looked like:

Luigi after getting proper emergency care from a vet who knows what he’s doing.  Luigi’s surgery seam

Meanwhile, during this whole event, my non-specialist vet who initially started treating Luigi, took an x-ray, which on it showed Luigi had a bladder stone. So after Luigi healed from this surgery, another specialist that was not the surgeon who did the good work above, removed the lump that was left in Luigi’s neck, which probably from hindsight, could have just been left alone. He said he had to “move” the salivary gland, which does not make me feel secure. God put it in a spot for a reason, and it wasn’t for a surgeon to go in and move it around. This surgeon said he put it in a place where a “hole” was. Eww kay.

He also, under this same anesthesia, removed Luigi’s bladder stone, which when evaluated, was determined to be a calcium oxalate stone, which is why I have to feed Luigi a special homemade diet.

I had asked this surgeon’s assistant if she could ask this highly paid surgeon if he would do a “show cut” on Luigi’s toe nails while he was under for the two surgeries. What I know now, which I didn’t know then, I would have enough sense to say NO, even though I had not gone through vet school. But this moron had one of his vet techs do the nails. It was HORRIBLE. She ground them down with a high-powered drill, and the heat damage alone, I cannot fathom. Luigi’s toe nails were so infected, which then infects the legs and can go into the bone and rest of the body. However, this particular surgeon told me NOTHING on post-care for Luigi’s nails. There were no written or verbal instructions on how to care for them.  Luigi’s toenails were wide opened to infection!  I asked Dr. Ego on the follow-up visit for some guidance, and he told me to ask my regular vet. He had NO clue is basically the premise here, and damaged up a good set of toenails on a wonderful dog’s paw.

Infected mess

I asked my vet to help me with Luigi. That was another half a grand, because the one who did this to Luigi would not admit blame, and when I first contacted him about it, said it HAD TO BE something else entirely like CANCER and if I wanted him to check it, I’d have to bring in x-rays. That surgeon is as pompous and arrogant as they get.

With my vet and through the message boards, I found a long road ahead with keeping Luigi’s nails uninfected – they were open wounds! I wrapped them and kept his tootsies in boots.

Luigi in boots

And months of soaking and more antibiotics and money, and even to this day, from November 2006 till now, his nails are not back to normal.

I also filed a complaint on the vet who did this to Luigi. It was filed the same time as the one above, and I got the same paperwork back on him today. I had never filed complaints on any vet till this double tragedy.

Now, I have to feed Luigi a special diet, with vitamins and herbs particular to his system’s needs, and when I trim his toe nails, it’s more soaking.

We are now dealing with a rash that comes and goes on his belly.

Luigi’s rash

My regular vet said this boy is high maintenance, and that is the most accurate definition of my boy. But he is worth it.

The Boots Guy back in 2006…always a character

As for obedience, well, he is high maintenance there too. There is no better crabber in the world. When he sits, he doesn’t tuck, but he goes back about 2 feet from where he started from to end up in a sit. That and his crabbing are enough of a project to fill a master’s thesis. Add to that the boy cannot sit in an ex-pen quietly, so has to sit in the front seat of the truck while his sister, Baby Puss Queen Mother, has her turn at class.

The Queen Mother

Luigi, heza my PITA.  Heza boy.

Luigi, heza my boy.


About Helen

I’m a Southern California living in South Florida. I’ve been here for 10 years as of October 1, 2007. No matter where I live, I’m a dog lover, and my breed is the Dobermann Pinscher of the Working Group. I am also fond of the Australian Shepherd of the Herding Group. My life revolves around my dogs, which is something those family members of mine don’t understand. So I’m an island in that respect, but have built friendships with those who are doggie lovers and respect the canine as much as I do. Some do rescue, some train in, compete in, and judge AKC trials. The common thread is our dogs are family.

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