Snowball’s story begins in February of 2003 when our neighbor found an 8-week old black lab puppy lying in a ditch along side of the road, covered in snow, freezing and starving. My neighbor picked up the puppy, fed, watered and warmed him.
When my husband and I saw him, we fell in love with him. Well, truth is, I hesitated at first to keep him because I don’t like big dogs. To my relief, he grew up to be a medium sized, bright eyed, smart, fast (runs like the wind), most handsome black lab mix ever to chase a tennis ball. He LOVES his tennis ball.
Thanksgiving of 2005 he began limping on his right rear leg. The top of his paw, and eventually whole paw, swelled badly. The vet treated him for various kinds of infections. Snowball didn’t respond, was biopsied for cancer and no cancer was found. After more biopsies, the vet’s final diagnosis was pythiosis disease, a deadly water-borne fungal infection. He treated Snowball with various meds for this rare infection and finally a vaccine to no avail. Only alternative to save his life was amputation. It was a grueling
3-month process from swelling of the paw to amputation of the leg. Amputation was done February 2006. This infection is known to spread quickly. The vet said that the infection could manifest itself again if it spread through the body before amputation, but that remains to be seen and I pray every day for complete healing.
Now, one year later, he’s just as healthy as he can be, hasn’t skipped a beat, runs just as fast as he did with four legs. Still loves chasing the tennis ball, swimming, camping and walks through the woods.
Why Snowball for a black lab, you ask? When he was found, he was a snow-covered ball of fur, so my husband named him Snowball.
Snowball has brought so much joy and happiness to our household. I’m convinced he’s an angel sent by God to bring laughter to me and my husband and to help us stay young. He’s my “big black Snowball of love” and I tell him that every day. I love Snowball more than I can express.
Thanks for this opportunity to share this story with other 3-legged doggie owners. Snowball is a true blessing.
(Snowball's proud and grateful Mom)