Bentley says

written by Connie Versagi, November 2007

A few months ago ATRA took in five pups.  As you can see from the pictures, just classic cuter-than-cute Airedale babies.  One of these pups, Bentley, needs one thing for Christmas.  A chance to be pain free for probably the first time in his short life.  A chance for him not to do the soft whimpering that is heard coming from him quite often, including in his sleep, anymore. 

I need the AireAngels out there to softly and quietly swoop in for Christmas, take their giving wings that make the Airedale family so special, and wrap those wings around this little boy.
This darling ATRA pup has been diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia in both of his hips.  As if that is not bad enough, he also has dysplasia in both elbows of his front legs.  He has developed bone chips and spurs and significant osteoarthritis in all four joints.  If you look at his eyes in the pictures, I think any experienced Airedale person can see the pain.   Bentley will need to be the bravest boy he can be, and tough through some serious surgery.  I’m talking serious here –  two total hip replacements.  But he is an Airedale after all, being tough and brave is in his nature. 

It was determined that the best course was to do surgery on his front legs first.  His right front elbow was painfully popping out to the side with each step.  Getting up and down was requiring someone to lift him to his feet if he was on a slippery floor.  Sitting has  become a painful sideways contortion.  In his search for ways to hold himself without pain, he sometimes stands with one back foot on top of the other, making himself into a gently swaying tripod.  An ingenious Airedale pup, trying to find ways to get his body to cooperate with his spirit and spunk. 

The surgery has been performed on his elbows.  Bone fragments were removed and some of the bone was shaved off to prevent bone-on-bone rubbing.  He came through that first surgery with flying colors, but as you can see by the photo, he also came out with one interesting new Airedale hairdo.  You’ve got to love that fuzzy slipper foot look he’s sporting. 

As soon as the elbows heal, it will be time for the hip replacement surgery.  A permanent fix that will transform his life.  After he recuperates, he will finally be able to run and play and be a pup. 

Like the song says, in the arms of the AireAngels, may Bentley find his comfort there.  I know he will.  I can hear the beating wings….it is Bentley’s AireAngels, coming to rescue this baby from pain, helping  ATRA make this happen for him.  The expenses on this one are significant, no doubt.  But I know the AireAngels…nothing is larger than your hearts.  I need you to add one more gift to your Christmas shopping list.  Do you have the room?  The size doesn’t matter, nor the color, or the fit.  A donation for Bentley, to erase the pain from those gorgeous brown eyes.

Update: 1-20-08

Bentley is now healed from his elbow surgery and is doing well.  Though he has some trouble getting up from bare floors, he is in much less pain now.  His first hip replacement surgery will be taking place on January 28th.   I will keep you posted on how he progresses.  He wanted to share his Christmas antler picture to say thank you to all who have donated toward helping him be pain free in 2008.            Lisa   

Update: 2-4-08

We have a new date!  We are going in on Sunday the 24th and he will have surgery early morning on Monday the 25th.  If he is up and walking like they expect, he will be coming home on the 27th.  All his redness is gone so there should be nothing holding it up this time.  The doctor we talked to said that the surgeon we will have is the founding father of these surgeries and we are doing a slightly newer version which will make his hip stronger than it started out.  Anyway, I'm hopeful this will all go right this time and we can get started on the healing process.  I'll let you know if anything changes.            Lisa


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