Progress report on for Excalibur Zee (Zeke)

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Week 2 – Zeke Meets His Public

His recovery has been amazing! Zeke is up and running around the back yard with the other dogs. He is able to hold his own in the bump and run and tug games that are done in regular spurts. He has ended up with a teddy bear arm in his mouth and tufts of white stuffing stuck to his ears. He is learning how to fetch a red rubber ball by running by it and scooping it off the ground. He hasn’t mastered the bring it back for another throw yet, but we’re working on it.

On Sunday, we invited some of the local greyhound folks over for a “Meet Zeke Potluck Dinner”. The evening was a great deal of fun and Zeke stole everyone’s heart. Comments like “He is such a friendly boy!” and “What a character” were heard after Zeke had been introduced to everyone.

Before we could have guests over, Zeke needed a bath. His favorite spot to sun bathe is in the newly filled in holes in the back yard so he was dirty and smelled like bags of top soil. Woody took over the task of showering with Zeke. It wasn’t his favorite weekend activity (Zeke’s or Woody’s)!

On Monday, we found out that Zeke likes to race the morning alarm and bounces over to the bed to put his front foot on your chest and nibble on your exposed ear. If you should think that you’ll turn away and cover your head to sleep in, Zeke then proceeds to dig at the covers until you pay attention to him. Ergo, Zeke wins!

On Tuesday, we left him free in the house (rather than the laundry room) while we were at work and found him outside in the yard when we got home. So he is learning how to maneuver the doggie door with just three legs. By next week, he’ll be an old pro at the step down and get through with at least two other dogs helping!

Tonight, Zeke had an opportunity to meet my little sister, Ronnie. He just loved her. Zeke will do great with respectful kids as long as they are willing to shower him with the adoration he feels he deserves.

Keep watching … Zeke’s progress is astounding!

Week 1 – Zeke at Home 

We brought him home from the hospital on Saturday morning and he was ready to make his move out into the world. He liked being at the hospital and all of the attention he received from the staff of women who let him give kisses any time he wanted too. Getting into the car was a bit of an experience since he wasn’t sure how to maneuver, but he got that figured out by his third time facing the car on Monday. Saturday he met the crowd that will be his new brothers and sisters for the next couple of months. He liked Sundance, our 11-year old and let him lick his ears and cuddle.

Zeke has a hearty appetite (and transitional gas) and has managed to move rapidly through the house and yard. He likes prancing with the rest of the dogs in the early morning and loves snoozing under the pine tree in the late afternoons.

We spent Sunday being tested by Zeke. We’d wrap the bandage around his leg and do some yard work and he’d rip it off. We’d re-wrap the bandage around his leg and eat lunch and he’d rip it off. We’d re-wrap the bandage and run some errands and he’d rip it off. We finally had to go out for more supplies and were patting ourselves on the back for an excellent wrapping job when he wandered back up with the bandage in his mouth, completely intact but chewed and off his leg. As a last resort, we put him in a pair of old black boxer shorts and they managed to stay on until Monday morning.

On Monday, we brought him back to the hospital to do his neuter and repair the hip/muscular laceration. He did great with his second surgery and now is done with the anesthesia part of his retirement. His jaw is healing wonderfully and he is starting to grow back some of his fuzzy hair.

Zeke has taught us that even with three legs, he can get to the peanut butter sandwich faster than you can, that he will bounce in a circle for an hour sharing kisses to keep from having to go to bed, that he can still get into your lap if he wants to and that no matter what, he is going to be alright!

We’ll give you more info and updates on Zeke next week…

Initial Report:

Zeke came off the track in Tucson at a private training facility after a harsh racing injury. We owe a lot of thanks to his trainer who had the love and compassion to get Zeke into a medical clinic and get him the emergency care that he needed to stabilize his condition. His initial injuries included a severed artery, left front elbow fracture, upper jaw fracture, and three open lacerations – one that had slight muscular damage.

Wings for Greyhounds under the diligent supervision of Flight Commander Lanky Lance and pilots Maggie and Mark flew from Sedona to Tucson, picked up Zeke and brought him straight away to Phoenix. We are grateful to them for their assistance and dedication to the cause

When we met Zeke at the airport, we know he needed special care. His medical condition was stable, but he was still receiving a healthy dose of morphine through his skin patch.

We knew that Zeke’s injuries occurred on Sunday before feeding and due to all of the medical treatment and sedation he received, he hadn’t eaten in a couple of days. The doctor felt the best thing for Zeke was to get some soft foods mixed with water and some “puppy ensure” in him to help him regain some strength and take a full blood panel to ensure we wouldn’t be dealing with any other problems, such as Valley Fever.

Wednesday morning we took a full set of x-rays and prepared to start his surgery. Zeke’s elbow had an open fracture that shattered the bone like fine china. The bone itself was so fragile that when any pressure was applied it chipped of in quarter inch pieces. To further complicate matters, the nerve was cut in four places and being an open wound the area was highly susceptible to infection. With all this working against him, we had to make the decision as to weather we should put him down or have the leg amputated. Having spent a day or so with him under not so great of conditions we had seen his fighting sprit and know we could not just let him go. So unfortunately he did lose his left front leg, but the good news is he is already up moving around and ready to get on with life.

On the brighter side, his jaw, although cracked, will heal fine with a bit of tender loving care and a few weeks of soft food. Also, his lacerations were all treated and through they look nasty right now they should heal with a minimum of scaring.

Zeke will be making his home with Debi and Woody until he is fully recovered and we can then get him into our adoption program. We’ll keep you updated on his progress over the next few weeks with photo’s and reports.

We would like to give a special thanks to Marcia, Sukey, Maggie and Mark, Dr. Katie and the caring staff at Bethany Animal Hospital for the efforts in saving this wonderful animal. Also, a special thanks to all of you who have taken the time to fit Zeke into your hearts and prayers.

Gene Gold

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