Dogs have been close to me since I was little, and I was determined to have one of my own as early as elementary school. I also knew pretty quickly what breed it would be. The year before last fall, the Samoyed Sky joined me. Sky is a very typical representative of his breed, both visually and in character. Visually, this means striking long white hair (a lot of hair), a curled bushy tail and a characteristic smile, with the corners of the lips turned up. Characteristically, this means that he is lively, mischievous, extremely clever (especially when it comes to his own benefit), kind to everyone, but sometimes also headstrong, and he knows how to express his disagreement very clearly.
As his exterior suggests, his favorite season is winter – the optimal temperatures for spending time outside are at the point where people are already downright cold (from -5 °C down). The temperature when Samoyeds become cold is around -28 °C, and too cold around -50 °C. On the contrary, of course, they are not the biggest fans of summer, although their long and dense hair plays an important role even then, as it protects them from the heat and the sun. As an interesting point, I should add that their characteristic smile also has its useful role – it prevents drooling, as the saliva would freeze at very low temperatures. Otherwise, he is a wonderful companion in every way, with whom he is never bored and with whom you occasionally feel as if you are not the owner of a dog, but the companion of a super star who basks in the attention wherever he appears (and enjoys it immensely).
Sky turned two years old in August, and has already passed a pretty big test. Already in the first year, during the period of growth, problems appeared (rather “wide” walking, cracking in the joints of the hind paws) and a diagnosis that dog lovers are never happy about – hip dysplasia. Despite being pedigreed, a descendant of superior ancestors without any issues, Sky was unlucky in the gene lottery. The diagnosis roughly means that the femoral head does not fit into the hip socket, which sooner or later leads to arthritis, which results in pain and consequent loss of mobility.
Despite the harsh diagnosis, the bright spot was that for young dogs that are still growing, there is a solution - surgery using the TPO method or triple pelvic osteotomy. A demanding operation where the pelvic bone is cut in three parts and turned into a suitable position.
The operation is, first of all, a considerable financial burden. The price of the operation itself and everything required after it is much closer to a five-digit number than a three-digit number, and the additional problem is that it is also time-sensitive. Usually, the aforementioned operation can only be performed on dogs that are still growing, i.e. in Samoyeds approx. 8 – 9 months. Sky had just under seven when he was diagnosed. Thus, it was necessary practically in a few weeks to somehow “conjure up” several thousand euros, which I did not have at that moment. Suggestions such as “leave him as long as he is, then put him to sleep” and “return him to the breeder and get another one” were somehow not acceptable to me.
So my friends came up with the idea of “crowdfunding”, which initially “didn’t smell too good” to me, but I only had two choices – to leave him at his mercy (the vet predicted for him approx. a year, a year and a half), or I’ll swallow my pride and get down to business. Fortunately, I chose the latter. The response was overwhelming and by the time the operation was carried out a few weeks later, the required amount of banknotes was ready – leaving the door wide open for Sky to get another chance. He was operated on two days before he turned eight months old. He spent the night after the demanding operation at the veterinary clinic, and he returned home in the morning, as everything went without complications. Despite the fact that I would have thought that the most tiring part was over with the operation, the most colorful part has just begun – the dog must strictly rest for eight weeks after the mentioned operation. Anyone who has ever had a young dog will understand that this is not an easy task. This means eight weeks without walks and without a game that involves movement, which of course gets harder from week to week, as he feels better every day.
Even later, movement is gradually introduced, weekly walks are extended by five minutes. It is also typical for the dog to lose a lot of muscle mass while resting, which had to be regained later, because otherwise it can quickly happen that, due to compensations during movement, other injuries can occur. Sky regained most of his muscle mass with the help of hydrotherapy (somewhere in the background I can hear Tadej Toš laughing at the mention of this).
The process from surgery to full mobility took almost 8 months, and the hair, which grew extremely slowly and only reached its original length more than a year after the procedure, was a special challenge. Despite everything, today, a year and a half after the operation, Sky is a completely normal, fully active and healthy dog, without any problems. The whole process was long and demanding, but definitely worth every euro, nerves and pride. After the end of the whole process, we finally came to the company, where we are both welcome.
So you can sometimes meet Sky in the offices of our calibration laboratory or in the surroundings of our company – he will always be happy for any attention.