Two Christmas Miracles

I’m writing this at 3:30 p.m on Christmas Day, almost three weeks to the hour when we tried to feed Jojo and discovered that her hind legs didn’t work. In under two hours she was in a special veterinary hospital and on her way to surgery. When the vet’s assistant brought us the estimated cost of her surgery, we looked at each other and said, “Guess what we’re getting for Christmas?” And so, without another thought, we signed for the king’s ransom and sent her off to the neurosurgeon.

But here’s a word of gratitude about that king’s ransom. Where did it come from? My readers, that’s who. You people out there funded Jojo’s surgery—every penny of it, so thank you.

Those first few days when we brought her home as an incontinent, paraplegic were terrifying and challenging and every other participle you can think of. Carrying a 15 pound dog in and out of the house and back and forth to the bedroom has been tough on my back, made tougher by the worry that things might not get better. We went through dozens of pee pads and load after load of laundry as well. But then things started looking up. She was able to squat, pee, and get back up. I can put her out in the dog yard and then have her wait for me to lift her up the steps to get back into the house.

She can walk on all fours back and forth to the bedroom. She staggers a bit, and occasionally her back end tries to get ahead of her front end. But she can walk. She can wag her tail, and last night she took herself over to the fireplace, wiggled around for a bit, and then turned over onto her back—her all-time favorite position. And the fact that she is eating right now after grabbing her obnoxious rubber chicken and squeaking it like crazy, demanding her supper, counts as a miracle for me—a Christmas miracle.

But I believe I promised you two. I have a friend who has a thirty-something special needs son who met, fell in love with, and married a special needs young woman. For years the young bride has spent most of her time in a wheelchair. For Christmas this year, her husband got her a “red-racer walker,” and the other night she used it, walking from one end of their church to the other. Another Christmas miracle? You bet. He gifted her with the belief that she could walk upright, and she did.

The skill of a neurosurgeon’s hands made Jojo’s recovery possible, but behind both of these miracles is the power of love—a husband’s love for his wife and our love for out pet.

And isn’t love what Christmas is all about?

23 thoughts on “Two Christmas Miracles

  1. Christmas is full of miracles, also we seem to notice them more..
    So glad the surgery was a success. I am so glad my small contributions help pave the way to this miracle.. After all the reading pleasure your books have given me I should thank you . So Thank You…

  2. Thank you for sharing both Christmas miracles. You were truly blessed this years. Thanking your readers is another kind touch. You write the books that have given your readers so much pleasure over the years. Group virtual hugs. You were able to pay for the care Jojo needed. Another thought. I don’t know how you are lifting Jojo. I used a long bath towel looped under our dogs body’s when their legs started to fail them. This meant I was not lifting in such a bent position. Lifting was easier on my back that way. Good luck and Happy New Year to you and the family.

  3. I absolutely LOVE miracles, especially Christmas miracles.
    Thanking God for answered prayers for JoJo.
    Happy to hear she is doing better. Praying she continues to improve.
    Your friend’s son sounds like an amazing young man. Glad he found love and gave his bride a reason to walk with a walker. I am sure they will have a wonderful life together.
    May the new year be easier for you and Bill with no illnesses, hospitalizations, and complete settlement into your home. You have had so many trying days this year but you persevered and have made it! Happy New Year to you and Bill and your four legged pups.

  4. I’m delighted that my purchases of your books helped to fund JoJo’s surgery. So glad she is improving. Our furry friends are family.

  5. What exciting and fabulous news about JoJo!! I’m certain you’ll continue to see the great results from the healing process. Happy New Year!

  6. So happy for you, and yes, Love is what life is all about. Love is what healing and compassion are about. And Love is what we all have to share, regardless of circumstances. Sending love to you and your family, furry and otherwise. Merry Christmas and to a Happy New Year and new decade.

  7. I am so glad JoJo is better! Having our pets have health issues is so very hard. It is wonderful that you were able to get her the help she needed in the time frame necessary for success. It was, indeed, a miraculous Christmas!

  8. I’m writing this at 3:30 p.m on Christmas Day, almost three weeks to the hour when we tried to feed Jojo and discovered that her hind legs didn’t work. In under two hours she was in a special veterinary hospital and on her way to surgery. When the vet’s assistant brought us the estimated cost of her surgery, we looked at each other and said, “Guess what we’re getting for Christmas?” And so, without another thought, we signed for the king’s ransom and sent her off to the neurosurgeon.

    BTW as Jan knows so well, my tweenie Rugby lost his rear legs walking capability Nov 2000. We bypassed spinal fusion with Dr Lee in Kirkland, went to an emergency vet in the U district where Nordstrom IMMEDIATELY provided me a VISA card to pay the vet for triage surgery and flew to Purdue vet school center for paralysis research for implant of an Oscillating Field Stimulator (OFS).

    BTW United Air was hateful and asked I keep him under the seat in his carrier while he was flying in excruciating pain – Rugby is a very social doxie and luckily the nurse seated next to me asked if she could hold him (Wet and with poo no less!) while giving the mal occhio (Italian for evil eye!!) to the flight attendant.

    Dr Toombs was fabulous and Grace Ma the Chinese grad student had sewn a sling so when she & Rugby went through weeks of rehab he was upright. She also made him diapers to wear around his mid section with Velcro in very masculine blue denim which came in very handy. Upon release, I would give him wienie dog water therapy in the Bellevue tub at 0400, 0600 and 1600 1800 daily until, as Judith Ann says, a miracle! Rugby went through Old town Bellevue on his own without the sling and diapers.

    It truly is amazing to know today Rugby’s OFS device data went to the FDA as part of the phase three protocol to ensure approval of this device for use in human beings.

    I encourage everyone to read what great work this vet school’s researchers have accomplished and saved many dog breeds which have hip dysplasia. BTW when I first arrived at their offices there was a gentleman who screeched to a halt in front, ran to the rear of his pickup and sobbing carried his dear German Shepherd into Dr Toombs. Dr T immediately rushed the dog into surgery to help triage the hip dysplasia and put her in the program for rehab.

    more here

  9. Your story is exactly why I started Four Paws Lifeline in 2015. Not everyone has the money to have their furry loved one treated. In the 4 years since, we have had over 40 clients.
    So very glad JoJo is back on her paws and doing doggie stuff.

    Karen Brothers

  10. That is terrific! I know the pressure for king’s ransoms and I am glad you were able to do it.

    The marriage is even better. I hope they have a long and happy one.

    I guess this is what they mean by making the season bright. You just did. Thanks

  11. Well, those two stories brought tears to my heart, in a good way…thank you for sharing. Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas, and I hope you have a Happy New Year.
    Cecily Vermote

  12. all I could think of was my grand-dog, an old Dalmatian. He lost the use of his hind legs last year, and all this time they’ve had to use a harness to get him outside to do his business. He even did swim therapy. Sadly, two days before Thanksgiving, they had to put him down after he swelled up with heart congestion. It was time, and he went peacefully. Dalmatians seem to have lots of issues, but my daughter-in-law loves them and will probably get another before too long. I vote for a beagle though. They’ve had two in the past five years, all elderly rescue dogs, who have gone to doggy heaven. Glad your JoJo is doing better. Happy New Year.

  13. That is what love is about. So pleased for both Jojo, her family, and the young lady and her family. Our fur babies are family too. They would go to hell and back for us. They deserve the same loyalty and love. We lost our fur-baby to old age in Oct. Six yrs after the average life span of her breed. Two years longer than the vet thought she would last. She waited til we were ready to let go. Least ways. That’s what I like to think. I won’t be getting another dog. Over past 7 yrs have had worsening mobility issues. Can’t exercise a dog properly. So will stick with cats. My little girl cat has not slept with me since Freckles died. They used to sleep together by my side. Do hope you guys have many more years together. And I thank you for many hours of reading pleasure.

  14. I am enjoying reading all of the stories about pets. I grew up with dogs. My dog Spot was a rat terrier who looked like the RCA Victor dog. He got hit by a car on our country road. Grandpa buried him under an apple tree which was our pet graveyard. I never have had another dog. Cats are easier I think. No problems with litter box training. The one I have now is a rescue cat. His owner died and he was put in a shelter. It took him awhile to get used to country living as he had never been outside before, but now he enjoys guard duty. Is a good mouser.

  15. I am so thankful for the surgical success of your baby. We also love ours unconditionally and would spend to save them. I work as a nurse consultant in group homes for special needs adults. It is always a joy when they succeed at a new step forward in their daily skills.

  16. I am so glad Jojo is doing better. Through your books and blog, you feel like a distant family member and I really appreciate you sharing you Christmas miracles.

    In the J. P. Beaumont book, you had Beau using a wood carrier to help Lucy get around when she had a back problem. This might help Jojo too. This is now my favorite Beaumont novel.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year, and hope Jojo continues to improve.

  17. I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. I wanted to post something I do every New Years. So far I have not received any huge amount of money, but it doesn’t hurt to try.

    On New Year’s Eve put a small amount of money in a glass jar outside, I usually use a couple of dollar bills. Don’t put a lid on the jar. Be the last person who comes in that door that night. The next morning be the first person to go outside and bring the jar in. This is to bring you money and good luck during the new year.

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