Pumpkin the Westie has captured the hearts of dog owners everywhere with her playful personality and feisty little Westitute in the wake of permanent paralysis. her owner Tammie Fox reveals the journey so far…
Tell us about how you came to be the owner of Pumpkin.
Pumpkin was surrendered to a local dog rescue called, Breeds in Need. Her breeder didn’t want her due to the problems she had. Breeds in Need contacted me and asked if I would be interested in fostering a young puppy with back leg problems. Nothing prepared me for the shock I got when I first met Pumpkin. I was an emotional wreck. Her injuries were far worse than I had realised. I fell in love with her instantly and wanted to help her.
How old is Pumpkin and what health condition does she have?
Pumpkin is currently 20 weeks old. She came into my care around two months ago. After undergoing several scans, we are now aware of how severe her injuries are. Pumpkin is fully paralysed from the waist down. She has no feelings or sensations from the waist below and she will never walk. Being fully paralysed also makes Pumpkin incontinent.
Have you had Westies before or is Pumpkin your first?
Pumpkin is my first Westie. I do however already have a female Jack Russell called Smiggle who is fantastic with Pumpkin – they have a really good bond, it’s really beautiful to watch.
Dog lovers around the UK have fallen in love with Pumpkin and have generously donated money to your Go Fund campaign to help her. How much has been raised so far and how does it make you feel?
It’s not just the UK, people from all over the world have fallen in love with Pumpkin. The generosity, support and kindness has been phenomenal. It’s absolutely mind blowing, extremely overwhelming. My family and I are so grateful to everybody that has helped Pumpkin. We managed to raise just over £7,000 pounds. This money went towards an appointment with one of the world’s top veterinary specialists.
How will this money help Pumpkin?
The money we raised paid for Pumpkin to have x-rays, cat scans and an MRI. The money has also been put aside to pay towards the costs of intense hydrotherapy and physiotherapy.
You recently visited one of the world’s leading veterinary clinics. What was the outcome of the visit?
Pumpkin had an appointment with one of the top veterinary specialists to receive her treatment. Unfortunately, the results of her scans were shocking and extremely upsetting. The scans revealed that Pumpkin’s back had been broken. It had then been left without veterinary treatment and had fused itself back together in a mangled mess. It is beyond surgery. The scan also revealed that both of her rear legs had also been broken and left without veterinary treatment. Both legs now have grown deformed, in fact they are the opposite way round. The veterinary specialist said that this was the worst case of a spinal injury that he had seen. The only explanation he gave was that this was caused by extreme trauma. Pumpkin was not born like this; this was not a birth defect. We will never know what really happened to Pumpkin. We can only imagine. It actually breaks your heart that something like this could happen to such an innocent animal. My heart breaks everyday when I see Pumpkin unable to walk. I wish there was more that I could do but we love her and me and my family are determined to give her a normal happy life.
Pumpkin has new wheels – who donated them and how does this help Pumpkin’s quality of life?
The charity Winston Wheels donated a set of wheels to her. They are the smallest set of wheels I have ever seen, and they are still a little big. With her being so small she doesn’t use them everyday. We’re also grateful to the charity for helping us and they have agreed to help us for the rest of Pumpkin’s life.
Describe Pumpkin’s personality.
Pumpkin is amazing. She is so determined; nothing gets in her way. She is full of personality and character. Pumpkin loves a cuddle and loves wrapping up in a warm fluffy blanket. She loves to play just like any other puppy. She is always playing with Smiggle and tries her best to keep up with her. Pumpkin also loves our four cats! I also have two children and she loves playtime with them too. She is extremely close to my 4-year-old son Ziggy.
We ended up adopting Pumpkin, we just fell instantly in love with her. It’s hard to remember life before she came into our lives and the last few months have been a rollercoaster. Pumpkin is not the easiest of puppies to look after and some days I feel that she is harder than a newborn baby. But we absolutely adore her, and we are rewarded by watching her grow and being happy. Pumpkin is booked into our local vets to be assessed and to talk about her future treatment. Her hydrotherapy and physiotherapy have also started. I closed the original Go Fund Me page when we realised pumpkin would not be having surgery. I donated £1,554 pounds to Breed’s In Need the rescue where she came from. They will use this money to help other dogs in their care and future dogs that will be in their care. Caring for Pumpkin will be ongoing, and we are not sure what the future will hold, so for this reason I have set up a new go fund me page to help towards any costs of equipment or veterinary treatment she will need. I was also encouraged to set up an Amazon wish list. The response to this has also been incredible. Both Smiggle and Pumpkin have received some lovely gifts from all over the world. I cannot thank people enough; I am so grateful. Honestly from the bottom of my heart thank you to everybody. Not just for donations but for the support, the encouragement, and the love.