Tucson Tails: Special Needs Boy & Special Needs Dog, Updateby Karyn Zoldan on Jan. 25, 2013, under Animal News, Dogs, Canines, Fun with Fido, Barking Encouraged
In April 2012, Tucson Tails wrote about a local family with their own special needs who adopted a special needs dog from the PACC kill line. Yesterday I visited the family to find out how everyone was doing.
Everyone is doing great: Nathan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis and other related diseases has grown several inches. He greeted me at the door smiling and talkative. Bella, a pit bull mix, also greeted me with one of those precious pittie smiles and happy tail. Lesli, Nathan’s mom, gave me a warm hug. It was a love fest all around.
Nathan still uses a feeding tube but can eat some normal food now. He turns 8 years old on January 27. The next day he has to go to TMC for a routine partial colonoscopy, endoscopy, and button change. Yet, he is upbeat and a smiling Mr. Personality.
Bella still suffers from Valley Fever; she has some lesions on her legs; and her titer is 1:64. She takes Fluconazole and Tramadol. Bella is under the care of Dr. Mark at Acacia Animal Hospital where some wonderful people have paid it forward so Bella currently has a credit waiting for her veterinary services.
Prior to going to Acacia, Bella (formerly Kavona) was seen by another local veterinary clinic who told the family that the dog would be dead in 2 or 3 months. Wrong! Young Nathan said he wanted to go back and show how wrong those words were. (Gotta love a spunky kid!)
While I was there Pat came home (he’s the husband/dad) and told me a story how his life turned around when his father allowed him to rescue a pit bull. Pat said that he had a living creature whose well being depended on him and he wasn’t going to fail. He was there for his dog Roscoe.
So Pat took it in stride when Nathan saw Kavona’s photo on PACC and wanted to save a dog’s life. Nathan & Bella are quite bonded, and Bella senses Nathan’s fragility and takes care of him, sitting quietly by his side during Nathan’s breathing treatments. It looks like one of those a boy and his dog stories that should make us all feel good.
If you would like to help, the family could use Petsmart gift cards (for pet supplies & nail trims) or Fry’s gift cards for prescription refills. You can also contact Acacia Pet Hospital and pay it forward for Bella Contreras.
You can follow the family’s triumphs and challenges on this Facebook page.