Meet Antoine. His life has had more bumps in the road than most but with some help from some wonderful humans, he still leads his life with a big smile. We reached out to hear more about Antoine's story and had to share it. Thanks to the Connie and the team at Canine Health Resort, they sent over Antoine's story and his journey to Canine Health Resort:
"Janet learned of Antoine from seeing pictures of him at a local shelter in Kansas—He was about 6 months old. Having rescued many dogs before she was familiar with the pull on her heart to help. Without help, Antoine’s immobility suggested a very bleak future for him.. Janet made an appointment with her vet to have proper X-rays of Antoine taken and that is when she met him for the first time. His foster mother brought him and his journey began.
Antoine at one of his therapy sessions. He has three sessions a week. Credit: Elaina G. Cochran Photography.
Janet had the X-rays sent to Colorado State University, where she had previously taken one of her dogs there for treatment, and one doctor, by the name of Dr. Felix Duerr, felt he could help. Antoine was on his way to Colorado the next day. The team there researched Antoine’s background and found he had likely contracted Neospora during fetal development. If treated properly at that point, he would have likely been fine but as it was not, he was born with bilateral stifle and tarsal hyper-extension—his right leg was completely rotated around his hip. Dr. Duerr performed surgery, the only chance Antoine had of ever standing or walking and CSU recommended that Antoine go to the Canine Health Resort for his recovery and start of his rehabilitation.
Connie Fredman, the owner/manager of Canine Health Resort, has been caring for dogs receiving treatment at CSU for nearly 15 years. Her day starts between 5 and 6 AM. She lovingly feeds them, walks them, ensures they have their medicine and proper diet, and takes them to all their doctors’ appointments. She has seven permanent dogs, four of her own: Axel, Dexter, Kerry and Spree. She is surrogate mom to Antoine, Moose and Molly. Early on it was clear that Antoine’s best quality of life would be with Connie, however Janet is still very much in his life and visits him when she is in Colorado.
If not for the Canine Health Resort, many dogs would remain in kennels in between treatments. At Canine Health Resort, Connie gives them the chance to live freely, in a loving environment which could only help their recovery. Credit: Antoine's Fund
Antoine has therapy 3 times a week. Twice at Connie’s and once at Fort Collins Veterinary Emergency and Rehabilitation Hospital. His rehab team has remained constant from the beginning—Dr. Jessica Rychel and Deanna Rogers. These two women have seen him go from surgery, to a wheelchair, to recognizing his own special mobility. He will always need their assistance to keep him flexible but his life is full because of the efforts of all involved.
Antonie can't hide his excitement when he sees Deanna, his physical therapist. Credit:Antoine's Tail
Connie, with Janet’s okay, had Antoine registered as a therapy dog with Pet Partners a few years ago. He’s worked two important jobs. The first was working with special needs children at Putnam Elementary School every week. The administration recently has since changed and a new agreement has not been set up yet so this is not currently happening. However, his second job still is. He attends Dog Night at CSU when he and some of his friends go and visit with students who may be missing their own pets while away from home.
Antoine seems to be totally adored wherever he goes. Janet’s non-profit, Antoine’s Fund, will be publishing his full story later this year. Be sure to visit Antoine's Facebook page, Antoine’s Tail , for updates and to see more videos and photos."
We wanted to spoil Antoine and the dogs of Canine Health Resort with some of our slow-cooked food, toys and treats.
Thanks to Connie and her team for taking these pictures and for everything else they do to enrich the lives of these dogs! If you'd like to send these pups a gift of slow-cooked food, toys and treats, click here to get started!
Canine Health Resort, LLC
1721 N. Shields Street
Fort Collins, CO 80524