Mr Darcy (23.6.08 – 6.10.09)

My Shoulders ached for Strong Sure Wings
And my Feet were sore with the Need to Fly.

Poor Earth-Bound ones— you could not know!
I raced the skies on Sturdy Limbs and tossed my proud dark head away from Captive Bones.

Thanks to the ‘Splorin Wolfies.

The little humans decided to write about Mr Darcy too:


“Mr Darcy,

Mr Darcy was a smart and a big puppy. Mum made blogs about him. He’s my most favourite dog in the world. He also used to be a small puppy.”


” I loved Mr Darcy. He loved me. He loved running around and hopping in the bath without any water in the bath. I Loved lying down with him. He was fun to play with. I loved him the most because he was big!”

On the 17th September, 2008, the four of us traveled for hours in the car to pick up the Dane puppy we had been waiting for so eagerly. He was waiting for us in the puppy pen looking so exquisite! While his sister jumped all over us, Mr Darcy looked at us quite perplexed. I picked him up and put him in my lap and he snuggled in ~ and that was the start of an epic love story between a puppy and his family.
Mr Darcy was a dog who took loving seriously. He made it his job to make us all feel loved and happy every day.

24 weeks 001

Mr Darcy was always doing silly things for a laugh. Like spying on the neighbours:

P1010009 - Copyand digging giagntic holes:


… attempting to work out the mystery of ducted heating:


Thank you Mr Darcy for being the best dawg you could be.

Please follow this link to watch Mr Darcy’s farewell clip.

go and give those you love a smooch,

Darcy’s Mumma
click here to see another video of Mr Darcy’s gardening skills.

Mr Darcy got his wings today

My beautiful Mr Darcy got his wings this afternoon.
He deteriorated today and he was not going to get better.
I, and Darcy’s dad and Darcy’s little hooman boy all cuddled him. He went very peacefully.

thank you so much to everyone who have all thought and prayed for Mr Darcy for days now. You have all been a great comfort to me.

I am going to do another post soon. I would love everyone to read it because it is going to be a celebration of Mr Darcy’s 14 months.

I know Max is taking care of him.

Darcy’s Mumma

Day Five

Ok! Well today everyone, I have some great news!

For the first time since surgery the Specialist thinks Darcy might just make it! It was such great news to have today, after Darcy went quite poorly yesterday.

the not-so-good:

Breathing is still a big problem. I realised there was a bit of ambiguity in my last post: Darcy’s jowls are superglued to attach to further up his face with the help of some tape.  This doesn’t help him breath any better but stops him chomping them off! Which is obviously important.

Still not holding his head up.

Still not eating via the mouth, but having to be tube fed.

the good stuff:

#1 being the great news that the specialist believes he has a chance!!!

Today Mr Darcy was put in the stretcher a couple of times and took on a bit of his weight each time!

Anyway that good stuff is very good!

My dear Wolfie friends said maybe it doesn’t matter that he’s not standing up yet – I would have thought so too. But the Vet said it is quite important as lying down in a big heap (he can’t even change position) is very bad for his circulation. Darcy’s legs are actually very swollen because of this. It also means that the muscles are just wasting away. The more muscle he loses the harder it is for him to move his body around.

My new friends Abbey,Chelsea and Shiloh asked why he’s on methadone. well it is for pain management. He was on morphine and ketamine after the surgery. Later they thought he may do better on methdaone – there was a precise reason why – but sorry I just can’t remember :-S

I have managed to upload the day four movies:

hugs to everyone,
Darcy’s Mumma

Day Four

Hello all my fabulous Darcy support hoomans and dawgies, and kitty-cats!

Well I am going to take a slightly new slant on reporting how Mr Darcy is going. I don’t want to get everyone to be on the same emotional roller coaster that I’m on.

So I am going to first update about the things that are not going too well and the things that need to improve. Then we will end with the positive – the things that are improving. Hopefully over the next few weeks there will be more things in the positive section and less in the ‘things that are not going well section’.

Things that are not going so well:

Mr Darcy’s breathing is back to being very difficult like on day two.

The continuous opening and closing of his mouth to breath has also had another bad consequence and he has bitten off some of his lips and jowls. But Jacob has now super-glued his lips/jowls up out of the way. (Did you know superglue was originally designed for medical use?)

He has lost more weight. We need him to start eating a bit more.

Mostly we really need him to be able to stand up. Yesterday Jacob made him a sling out of a stretcher so he could be up-right for a little while.

Yesterday he did not show any sign that he knew I was there, no response to my voice etc.

He can’t hold his own head up.

The good stuff:

Last night Jacob called me to tell me that when he and James got Darcy in the sling Mr Darcy took some of his own body weight for six seconds! this is really good news! And something we should all be really happy about.

When I visited him yesterday they pushed the oxygen tube further into his nose, and he resisted. This is a great milestone as it is the first uncomfortable thing he has resisted since he has been out of surgery.

He did eat some food via syringe .

Yesterday in the sling I was holding his head up, and talking to him quietly and he fell asleep! This is great as he is not really sleeping because of the way he is breathing.



I did make a movie of him in the sling but for some reasont he software that came with the camera didn’t pick it up.

He’s getting better

Mr Darcy is improving slowly. He was actually able to begin to support himself a little yesterday (not lying like a sack of potatoes)! He also ate some of the high calorie food they gave him through a syringe! So that’s really good news.

I am going to see if I can organise to see him today.

Jacob said once they have improved from a condition like that, they usually don’t go backwards!

So really wonderful news.

Thank you everyone and hugs to everyone,

Darcy’s Mumma

Breathing better

Mr Darcy’s breathing better. So we can all breath better too!
Thank you so much everyone. I can’t tell you how helpful it has been to have so much support from everyone.
He has people working with him at the moment, and I’m going to receive another update soon. I will keep updating the blog when I know more.
A special big thanks go to Mango and his Mumma who have rallied so much support for us. Thank you so much :-D

Darcy’s Mumma,
P.S. I do have some photos of Darcy. I took them yesterday (in the first visit) before I realised how dire things were. I wanted to document his recovery.
I don’t know whether to put them up or not. but if you want to see them, let me know. :O)

Well I have decided to go ahead with putting some photos up and a link to a video on youtube. After all part of this blog is to provide info to other owners going through similar things and trying to make informed decisions. The operation Mr Darcy had is very similar to the one for Wobblers. So here goes.
Click here to see the video.
The video shows most clearly the breathing troubles and the wound. He is actually breathing through his mouth to try to get enough oxygen. As you can see its not a good way to breath, and means he actually couldn’t sleep because of needing to keep opening his mouth.

The photos and the video were taken before he had the oxygen tube out up his nose, and before the methadone was stopped.



Anyway I am sure the next photos will show a huge improvement :-)

Jacob told me that he;s not completely ‘out of the woods’ yet; but that after an improvement like he has shown they usually don’t go backwards. So I am feeling so much more confident than yesterday!

hugs to everyone,

Darcy’s Mumma

Prayers and thoughts everyone

Hi all Mr Darcy’s friends,
things are looking very bad for Mr Darcy. I have basically been told he’ not going to make it.
Please do what you can to give him a chance.

Darcy Mumma

Edited to add:
I have just come back from being with him. His spinal cord started to swell today and his central nervous system is depressed and he’s not breathing properly. He is on oxygen, but he’s not getting rid of the carbon dioxide and its up to 79% in his system. He looks dreadful, much of his body has swollen. He could tell I was there, but that was it really. Anyway they gave him a drug to make him want to breath while I was there and you could see he became a bit brighter after that. they have also given him a drug which they hope will make the swelling in his spinal cord go down. I had to leave before I know whether that’s taken affect. Basically now we just wait and see. I know they are doing everything they can, and they are all trying really hard. They have people coming in to monitor him throughout the night. I think there is a chance he can make it, I really do. I know none of you can actually do anything, but I can’t help but feel that the more people who just want him to live would have to make some sort of difference.

Missing Mr Darcy

Hello everyone!

I wasn’t able to visit Mr Darcy today. The nurse told me he would get too excited when he saw me and we need him to be very still in order to make a proper recovery. So I just dropped off some more food for him, even though that was quite pointless as his appetite has not returned yet.

Sorry there was an ambiguity in my last post concerning the reaction Mr Darcy had with the anaesthetic. The reaction wasn’t so much to do with the fact Mr Darcy is a big boy as that a fair amount of function returned to his spinal cord the moment the last bit of bone was removed; this changed the effect the anaesthetic was having on his body! But yes, big dogs are prone to problems with anaesthetic. This was the fist time Mr Darcy had a problem, although he has been under a general anaesthetic five times now; so we’ve been lucky. At the Vet school Mr darcy has an actual anaesthetist taking care of him during the operation so it makes it much safer.

The vet said all things goin well Mr Darcy might come home in 5 days time! I know how am I going to wait that long – and how are all you dear readers going to put up with my drab writing!!!

Well I think the solution lies in some puppy photos.



Ele's lesson and Mr Darcys first day 085

9 wks


10 weeks 017

sorry about our back yard, it is most definitely a work in progress; very slow progress…

Out of surgery!

Thank you so much to everyone! All your healing vibes and prayers and thoughts have been so heartening and I am sure helped make the surgery go well.

Mr Darcy was in surgery for nearly six hours. The specialist found that his cervical vertebra were malformed and they have cut all the bone out that was compressing the spinal column; and stopped the ligament from compressing the spine as well. Mr Darcy came into a bit of trouble with the anaesthetic when his spinal cord was de-compressed, but he got through that as well!

We won’t know for a few days whether his spinal column has been permanently damaged.

I am going to visit him tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing him again so much, even though he will probably be in a very sad state.

I’m not sure when he’s coming home, hopefully in the next few days.

Well I guess at some point I better change the “about Wobblers” page as it turns out he didn’t technically have Wobblers after all!


Darcy Mumma

Mr Darcy had an MRI today

Today Mr Darcy went back to the specialist for an MRI. The MRI showed that the discs are not compressing the spinal cord; but that a ligament is. The ligament is thickened and causing the spinal cord to swell: thus all the movement problems.

He is staying at the hospital tonight and he will undergo surgery tomorrow (pending approval from the head vet) to stop the ligament from damaging the spinal cord.

Fingers, paws and claws crossed everyone that the spinal cord has not been permanently damaged and that the op is a success!

Mr Darcy’s Mumma