Ryan here, Crusoe’s Dad. This is the first time I’ve actually written a post on Crusoe’s blog, but unfortunately, Crusoe isn’t here right now so I’m taking the liberty of doing so. He is going into surgery at the moment 🙁
I know Crusoe has always preferred to not share details of his health with his fandom (because as you know, he thinks he’s invincible and has to uphold a certain image), but I think it’s come to the point that I should share this with all of the people who follow and love Crusoe almost as much as we do. And to be honest, this has been such a tough and heartbreaking time that Lauren (Mum) and I could probably benefit from some positive thoughts ourselves. I also think as fans you might appreciate to know what’s been going on with him, and with so many people sending thoughts and prayers, there has to be some benefit in that for our little guy…
Crusoe’s had a couple minor back issues in the past couple years. If you’re a dachshund owner, you’ve probably heard of IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) which affects dachshunds the most out of any breed because of their long backs. Essentially, their discs degenerate and harden over time, and then can herniate (the jelly in the middle gets squeezed out), which depending which way it goes, can cause paralysis if it pushes on the spinal cord. Although it’s common in the breed, it affects individuals differently. Crusoe had his first issue when he was four year’s old. Oakley is five and has never had an issue, thankfully.
We’ve always known this could be a problem, which is why since day one I’ve been building ramps for Crusoe all around the house… And why I eventually started DoggoRamps.com, now with over 10,000 ramps sold (as of 2020).
That’s also what’s made this so disheartening and frustrating. With some dogs, it’s unfortunately just bound to happen at some point or another, no matter what precautions you take.
And you can’t keep them in a bubble either. After all, Crusoe was born to be an adventurer.
Anyway, Crusoe had another back episode in early June of this year. This one seemed different somehow. Every other episode he’s gone through has been characterized by some discomfort and pain, wherein we would rest him and put him on some meds, do some laser therapy and acupuncture sessions, and he would always improve pretty quickly and get right back to being his old self.
This time, he appeared to be in more pain, and he didn’t seem to recover as quickly. We employed the same treatment process as previous times, but he still didn’t seem to follow a clear recovery path. Two weeks ago we were very close to deciding on surgery, but decided to give one last conservative treatment process a run. And actually, he seemed to be doing really well! We thought he was going to recover. But then, all of a sudden in the past couple days, he started to go downhill again. I know Crusoe would never want anyone to have this mental image of him, but today he was wobbly on his back legs for the first time, so, heartbroken, we knew it was time…
Crusoe is now in surgery. We’re sad, scared, and worried, but also hopeful that this may correct the issue once and for all so that he can get back to doing all the things he loves, especially now that we’re at our new house and he has many adventures awaiting him.
It’s kind of crazy how much you come to love these little dogs. Crusoe has really become like our own child. Both working from home, we’re with him almost 24/7. We bring him with us everywhere we go, whether down the street or overseas. We would do anything for him and his well-being.
But even more so than being like a child to us, he’s also very special in that he’s blessed me with my career for the past couple years; allowed us to travel all over and meet so many wonderful fans, to be the source of our livelihood, and the source of so many other peoples’ joy.
People always say your job should be to do what you love. Well, mine has been to spend time with my dog.
That’s something I’ll always cherish about Crusoe, and something I still look forward to once Crusoe gets through this little rough patch in life. That’s why seeing him struggle to recover recently has really been hard for us.
He’s a special little guy, and I’ll give you one example why. A couple year’s ago our vet noticed Crusoe had a “gallop” in his heartbeat. He said it could be an arrhythmia or other type of heart disease. We were understandably worried, so we took him to a cardiologist who did a bunch of tests and did some imaging of his heart. As it turned out, there was nothing wrong with his little heart at all. The cardiologist even said he had never seen anything like it before; that he just had a “heartbeat of a slightly different rhythm – special”.
In the meantime, since our new house didn’t actually come with a “yard” despite being in the country, I’m building one for Crusoe. It should be ready by the time he’s recovered.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know I’m not as entertaining or nice to look at as Crusoe, but “Mum” and I would so appreciate if everyone might keep our little guy in their thoughts and prayers for us in this next while.
And we’ll keep you informed as to how things go from here.
~ Ryan (Dad)