Written by Sharon King
Wilee is a two-year-old tripod Greyhound. He is snow-white, except for the left side of his face, which is jet-black, with a few black freckles on his skin under his white coat. He has quite an overbite, which just adds to his cuteness.
I adopted Wilee when he was eight months old. I came across a picture of him on Sighthound Rescue SA's Facebook page and it broke my heart; he’d just had his right front leg amputated at the shoulder, and he looked thin and frightened. From the post, I gathered that he’d broken his leg badly and the vet had amputated it. He was no longer wanted and the veterinary practice were trying to find him a safe home. It seemed that he may have been used for hunting because they were looking for a home that would keep him out of a hunting environment.
The trouble with Wilee’s legs
On his arrival at the Crazy Hound House, I immediately noticed that his left front leg was growing crooked and that there were issues with the elbow joint. When he hopped, the front leg was landing on the ground almost at the elbow joint. I was concerned because it was apparent that he was going to have a longish body – the front leg wouldn’t be able to manage the weight of his body as he got older.
I took him to my vet who decided to put the leg into a splint; he chose the splint instead of a cast because Wilee’s leg bones were still growing. That splint stayed on for about a month and, throughout it all, Wilee graciously put up with it, never complaining, just being his joyful, playful self. He even dug holes with the splinted leg.
While he had the splint on, he managed to injure the stump of his right leg. I took him back to the vet who decided it would be best to amputate the stump all the way to the top of the leg. It was quite an operation because the stump had become badly infected. When I brought him home and he woke up, he was crying in pain and I could barely touch him. I ended up sleeping on the floor next to him.
The next day he soon started improving and before long was back to his congenial self. I then managed to get him an orthotic for his front leg; it was custom-made for him and could be moulded around the elbow joint. This he also wore for a month. When we returned to the vet to have his wound checked, he trotted in all friendly and happy to see everyone. The vet was actually surprised as Wilee had been in a lot of pain when they’d operated and he’d expected him to be nervous of coming back to them.
Wilee stands tall
During the time period of his left leg being splinted and wearing the orthotic, there were numerous times that he had to be carried and lifted but I didn’t mind in the least. As long as he was healing, I was happy. When he first arrived, there had been a few people who felt that it would have been better to put him to sleep, but Wilee and I were adamant that we were going to prove them wrong. And so we did.
After wearing the orthotic for a month, I removed it to allow him to walk without full support, just a thin bandage. This was done for a couple of weeks before completely removing all support. To my delight, the once-crooked leg had straightened beautifully and the elbow joint had healed. It was such a lovely sight to see him standing tall on his three strong legs, a proud smile on his face.
He hasn’t worn a support since and I must confess that I do worry on occasion when he runs too fast; he can be rather wild and I worry that he might injure his leg. But Wilee is just a typical Greyhound who loves to run, play hard and dig holes. He has the most loving nature I have ever come across in a dog and I always refer to him as “my very special boy”. He loves all his siblings, including the cats, and is often found sleeping next to Minnie Moose, one of his purr sisters. He has grown into a beautiful hound and I absolutely adore him.
Follow Wilee and his brothers’ antics on Facebook @crazyhoundhouse