Henry’s Journey

Henry is a lovable Dachshund whose companion, Catherine, found herself in a very tough spot earlier this year.

It’s hard to believe that Henry was an unwanted puppy. Fortunately Catherine was looking for her ‘perfect dachshund’, saw his face online and was immediately smitten. She drove to Manteca, California, picked him up and brought him home to San Francisco. Catherine loved him and he loved her and all was well for almost five years.

This past January Henry began to have back problems. First, there was unusual crying and obvious discomfort and then suddenly, paralysis. Catherine immediately took Henry to the E.R. of San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS). After a thorough examination Catherine received the bad news that Henry had a slipped disc in his back that was putting pressure on his spinal cord and without surgical intervention, his rear legs would be permanently paralyzed. The estimate for the surgery to correct this problem was way more than Catherine could possibly afford which left her with only two other options: put Henry to sleep or surrender him and the clinic would try to find a new owner who could afford the surgery.

At that point everyone was in tears. The hospital staff came up with a plan to save Henry. Five veterinarians combined their grants from San Francisco Aid for Animals (SFAfA) and with the hospital match lowered the bill by $7,000. The surgery was a complete success; Henry spent three days in the hospital and went home walking on all four legs. Today he is happy and active, a much loved perfect dachshund.

In Catherine’s own words: “Dear SFVS Doctors: I cannot thank you all enough for saving Henry’s life. The night that I brought him to your emergency room was the absolute worst night of my life. When I witnessed Henry lose the full use of his hind legs my world fell apart. It was you, SFAfA and the kind, comforting staff at SFVS that worked so diligently to make it happen. I don’t know how I could ever repay each and everyone who donated to Henry’s surgery but please accept my sincerest thanks. Henry is also an Emotional Support Animal and is the calm to my storm when I face depression and anxiety. His warm greeting at the door after a long day of work and listening to everyone’s problems has always meant so much to me. In a few days we both celebrate our birthdays, being only one day apart, and we will always remember everyone whose help allowed us another sweet year together. We love you all! ” -Catherine

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