Hugo The Meatball
Real quick, I didn’t write this. These are the words of Hugo’s Mommy, and hero of mine.
Karey Burek, Suncoast Animal Leage’s Rescue, Adoption, & Outreach Coordinator.
You’ll probably make some room on your hero list once you see this.
Every pug I’ve ever had was special in their own unique way and will always be with me, BUT if you’re really lucky you find that one that is special in a way that doesn’t seem humanly possible.
Mine, was Charlie Karey’s is Hugo. Who you’re going meet on Friday at Miranda!!
Hugo The Meatball’s Story
You know that saying, "Always be yourself. Unless you can be a Unicorn, then always be a Unicorn"? It's a cool mantra to remind oneself that being unique, like a unicorn, is something beautiful, brave and that should be embraced.
I call Hugo my little unicorn because he embodies this uniqueness and he is a brave meatball, one that has faced adversity from birth. What adversity you may ask?
To begin, he couldn't walk. His back legs would splay out or to the side like a mermaid tail. His upper body would pull the rest of his limbs along, dragging his back feet causing sores.
At first it seemed as easy as getting some good wholesome puppy nutrition in his body. He and his sisters were found abandoned after all, so their bodies were ravaged.
Once Hugo began having seizure activity, we knew that nutrition alone wasn't enough. This is where the unicorn part comes in....
After extensive neurological exams and testing, Hugo was found to have t3-4 Myelopathy, Thoracic Spondylolisthesis and Spinal compression, Spinal inflammation and an immune system deficiency. He has a form of Dwarfism, was determined to have Steroid Responsive Meningitis, is genetically predisposed to developing retinal degeneration, his third eyelids are elevated bilaterally, has mild dermatitis, is slightly mentally delayed, doesn't have full awareness of his left hind limb and was cryptorchid....whew! That's a lot to fit into such a little body.
Because of his immune system deficiency, Hugo ended up in the ICU at Blue Pearl Tampa for 10 days after his cryptorchid surgery.
His little body couldn't fight a bacteria that is normally occurring on dogs skin, creating necrotic tissue requiring several more surgeries and had all of us wondering if he would survive.
With excellent medical care and his fighting little meatball spirit, he was released from the hospital and continued down the slow road to recovery--several bandage changes per day, meds and repeat visits for wound checks.
This provided the surgeons and neurologists with another piece of the Hugo puzzle...he doesn't heal. So with any bug bite, rash, ear infection, sniffle...it is a vet visit and an extensive period of meds and sprays to make sure something minor doesn't turn into something major.
Want to know the best part of all of this? The very best part is that Hugo is a happy boy and knows no different.
He lives each day to the fullest and approaches everything with zest (especially snacks and snuggles.) Now, two years after being rescued, Hugo is a certified therapy dog visiting schools, clubs, he is out in the community as an education ambassador and can be found at the St Pete/Clearwater International airport as a PIE pup therapy dog. He doesn't let anything slow him down and he is always Hugo Happy!
Follow his adventures on Instagram & Facebook
FB: Adventures of Denali & Hugo
Suncoast Animal League