Ostomy Memories of My Dog Stump


Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a world-class rescue organization just north of Kanab, Utah. For example, they took in twenty-two of the Michael Vick dogs and, with loving and knowledgeable care, brought them back to normalcy and found most of them forever homes. Those too far beyond reach for that lived out their lives in idyllic, southern Utah surroundings. Anyway, that’s where I went to find a dog. They had a sweet boy who had been hit by a car and left on the side of the road in a nearby polygamous community (yes, they still thrive there) notorious for its maltreatment of domestic animals. The vet had to amputate most of his left front leg, but the dog was quickly learning to manage with just three. His inner canine gyroscope was working just fine. I brought him home with me. They had given him some dumb temporary name, but he needed a good, permanent name, just like he needed a good, permanent home. Naturally, I called him Stump. We bonded faster than contact cement. Stump would go with me on hikes out in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We went back a number of times to Lick Wash and, when we got to the long slot canyon, he would take off running on his three legs, dashing right through the muddy puddle that always seemed to remain in one particular spot, his tongue flapping out, his love of life so obvious it made my eyes tear. I always strapped on a Camel-Bak with sufficient water for both of us. I’d shove a little plastic bowl in for Stump. I’d also pack us each an energy source, a special dog biscuit for him, an energy bar for me. I had one of those little pocket-size tissue containers for when I’d have to empty my pouch. Stump was no dummy. He took to going poop whenever I did. Talk about bonding! He was a wonderful companion and it broke my heart to have to lose him seven years ago. Yet Stump remains with me as an enduring symbol of making do with what you got, or don’t got, as the case may be.


Lovely post, Henry. Your pup is a perfect metaphor for you, and for all of us on this site: we are so much more than our ostomy. This is an especially important message at a time when it has somehow become acceptable to make fun of people who have disabilities, or don't meet whatever physical "standard" that frankly, most people wouldn't meet. How refreshing to see you have eschewed those standards, and have been rewarded for it in ways that the shallow would never understand. Their loss. Thank you for this.



What a lovely read! and I agree wholeheartedly with Laurie.

Best wishes


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Awesome story! There is no dog like a rescue dog. My dog broke out of prison to become my "princess of this house". That is literal! She was In prison for a few months working off her crime of being unloved. Talk about rehabilitation! She went from being an Unloved, impatient, energetic, sassy, and scared little girl tied to the door of Rescue, to an obedient princess eager to please! She is well mannered and a pup even the harder or hearts would love! The prison training program on Ohio is awesome. Thankfully there is rehabilitation on both sides, trainer and trained!

<>Hi Henry,I admire you so much for taking in one of the "hard to home" rescue dogs. It sounds like it paid off for both of you in spades. I have been a dog person my whole life and losing a dog who has become part of your family is one of the hardest things. When we lost our last dog it took years of grieving before we felt ready to bring a new pup into our lives. It's a sad story about how sometimes timing is everything. We had both decided we were ready and had committed to adopting a rescue dog from Kuwait. I was about three months out of surgery and was adjusting well to my ostomy, feeling strong and confident. We met our new sweet boy at the airport and brought him home and all was well until we took him for his first walk. He wanted to attack every other person and dog we met. Major aggression issues that we were not expecting (and not the temperment he was advertised as having) but we were in and committed and ready to do whatever was necessary in training, rehabilitation etc. Three days later I was admitted to hospital in serious pain with what turned out to be a really bad bowel obstruction. I was in for nine days during which time my husband was frantically trying to cope with our new pup and having work commitments he could not put off. It was decided I was going to need further surgery to remove more of my large intestine. This just wasn't going to work. The rescue organization Loved At Last (I have nothing but good things to say about them) understood our situation and agreed to take him back (not to Kuwait!) and have since found him a new home. It broke my heart as he was such a sweet boy and even with the short time we had him I felt we bonded. With my future uncertain (waiting for ileostomy surgery and not knowing how well I will do) it would be irresponsible to even consider adopting another dog, but I hold out hope that maybe someday down the road...

<>What about you Henry?Will you adopt again?I often say that some of favourite people are dogs!




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<p><br />Thanks for your comment, Terry.&nbsp; What a tough set of circumstances!&nbsp; I'm sure you'll have another doggie sometime soon.&nbsp; As for me, I've adopted other older dogs, though it's really tough to then have to deal with their passing.&nbsp; Right now, four cats rule the roost, but I know that I'll bring home another doggie some day.</p>
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