THESE DOG DAYS
A resource for disabled dogs and their owners
Today we talk to Brittany from Houston, Texas about life with her dog Apollo. When you first look at Apollo, you clearly notice that there is something different about him. When found, Apollo had the front portion of his face and entire nose removed. Due to this, Apollo's nasal cavity is completely exposed.
Brittany tells us about daily life with Apollo and the advocacy work that they do for a range of causes.
Could you tell us what daily life is like with Apollo?
Our morning begins with tail wags and full body wiggles! Apollo is kennelled during the night with our other pups in a separate room, so when he finally sees me in the morning it's as if he hasn't seen me in a month. We generally let all of the dogs out together to play and potty. Apollo doesn't really like the wet grass, so he prances around when he gets outside. It's really cute to see such a tough dog be so dainty!
When we first brought Apollo home, we did have to start feeding each dog in their own kennel. Apollo was starved by his previous owners and would try to take food from the other dogs. Plus, due to the fact that he has missing teeth and his jaw his shorter than it should be he is extremely messy when he eats. Keeping him in a small area reduces clean-up and makes him feel safe. After eating, all of the pups are then let out again to play and potty. Once done, they are kennelled while we are at work. We do this for their own safety. Although our dogs get along, we don't want to take a chance on them getting in a fight or consuming something that could be harmful.
I normally get home around 6:15pm, while my significant other gets home around 4:30pm. All of the pups immediately go outside to play and potty while one of us gets the food ready. It's pretty much like the morning routine. After dinner it's relaxation time! Apollo and our other dogs are pretty lazy, so we tend to just hang out during the weeknights.
While one of us is cooking dinner, Apollo curls up in his favorite chair. Ever since we brought him home he has loved this chair! There are times when he shares it with his Pug brother, Vader, or Karma our foster Pit will sit on top of him.
Long walks or runs really aren't an option for Apollo. When he was first found, it was pretty clear that he had zero muscle in his back legs. The first time he ever did zoomies he tore one of his ACLs. Then partially tore his other ACL a couple months later. Also, because his nasal cavity is so sensitive we have to be careful that it doesn't get too dry from the cold or sunburned. We make sure that if he scratches his nasal cavity to have it looked at right away. We definitely don't want an infection to happen, so antibiotics are always used if something like this takes place.
How do you like to spend your weekends?
Weekends are made for relaxing and advocacy work! On certain weekends, I take Apollo to do speaking engagements at juvenile detention centers through a special program called Healing Species. He loves car rides, so he is so happy to be transported to any of these events.
We also try to do animal cruelty awareness fundraisers. People love to meet Apollo and hear about his story. We try to spread the word on how to stop the cruelty of animals and notify the proper authorities if you do see an animal being abused.
When we don't have events going on, Apollo spends the day just sleeping or playing with his siblings.
Have you tried any rehabilitation or treatment for Apollo? How did it go?
Apollo has had facial reconstructive surgery, heartworm treatment, ACL repair and physical therapy and two years of obedience training. He has bounced back in a way that I never expected!
In the beginning Apollo was terrified of men, now he has no issue with being in a room full of teenage boys at a juvenile detention center.
We are actually planning on another rehabilitation program in the next month or so. Apollo has displayed anxiety when being out with dogs he has never met or in very busy places. The socialization program is specifically for "trauma recovery" and will be an immense help for him. We want Apollo to live the best life possible and be able to reach as many people as he can.
What advice would you offer to someone else with a dog in a similar condition?
Be patient! Just know that these pups have to learn to trust again and learn how to be dogs. Also, "listen" to your dog. A dog lets you know in their own way when they are uncomfortable or stressed. Don't set your dog up to fail by putting them in situations they are not ready to be in.
Finally, love them! Embrace their differences and know that they will appreciate everything you do for them.
Keep up to date with Apollo's latest adventures on Instagram.
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