Greater Chicago Cavalier Rescue walking with a purpose
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News April 23, 2012 2:30PM
If you go …
What: Annual Greater Chicago Cavalier Rescue One-Mile Walk-a-Thon
When: Saturday. Registration from 8:30-9 a.m.; walk begins at 9:15 a.m.; and vendors will be available from 9 a.m. to noon.
Where: Bird Haven Greenhouse, 225 Gougar Road, Joliet
Registration: $30 for adults and $15 for kids ages 3-17. Free for kids ages 2 and younger.
Etc: Participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Dogs must be on a leash (no flex/stretch leashes). Each walker is limited to two dogs. Participating dogs must be spayed or neutered and wearing current rabies/ID tags.
Register online: www.gccavalierrescue.org
Updated: May 25, 2012 8:05AM
Although proceeds from Saturday’s Greater Chicago Cavalier Rescue walk and adoption event will benefit that group, which spent more than $50,000 on veterinary care last year, the walk will represent and celebrate dogs of all breeds.
“We’ve invited other rescues to come and experience the walk with us,” said Karla McKanna of Joliet, a volunteer. “Many people don’t realize there is probably a rescue for every single breed out there. If you’re looking to adopt a dog, come out and meet some of these people.”
Features for the day include a free breakfast, doggie games and a variety of vendors offering every dog-related item imaginable. There will also be 50/50 drawings and basket raffles.
In addition to the fun, participants have the satisfaction of knowing they helped care for four permanent fosters — Dilly, Frankie Two Paws, Lucy and Tater Tot — all dogs with medical issues so extreme, a permanent adoptive home is unlikely.
Dilly, now 14, came to the rescue group a year ago by court order, weighing in at 25 pounds (most Cavaliers weigh between 13 to 18 pounds) and suffering from kidney and eye problems, infected teeth and possible deafness.
Her owner had moved to a nursing home where pets were not allowed. Now that Dilly is in foster care and no longer eats table scraps or is sedentary, she has lost a third of her body weight.
Her personality, however, is intact. “She’s a typical older dog: very mouthy,” McKanna said with a smile.
Frankie Two Paws, now 3 years old, came as an 8-week-old puppy with paralyzed back legs. The group initiated therapies, including underwater treadmills, laser therapy and acupuncture, but nothing worked. A later MRI found a cyst on Frankie’s spine. He also has an unidentified bleeding disorder.
However, Frankie’s quality of life is excellent and that’s all due to his caring foster mom, McKanna said. She performs therapy several times a day and sets ramps against couches and chairs so Frankie can climb up.
His foster mother also takes him for walks in his special wheelchair, which essentially replaces Frankie’s back legs with a set of wheels. Even without the wheels, Frankie can pull himself through a snow bank faster than a dog with four good legs.
“You just set him down and he goes,” McKanna said
Lucy, nearly 2 years old, is in good health, but experiences unpredictable and uncontrollable epileptic seizures.
Tater Tot, McKanna’s permanent foster, has a severe heart murmur and severe pulmonic stenosis, (a narrowing and obstruction of the blood flow near the heart valve). He has undergone valvoplasty to open up that valve.
Unfortunately, Tater Tot now has a new, neck-related problem.
“He can’t lift his head; he’s in pain, and he’s screaming,” McKanna said.
For anyone wishing to contribute directly to Tater Tot’s care, a special donation button has been added for him at www.gccavalierrescue.org.