THOUGHTS OF LITTLE PUPPY FEET
Amanda Corin knew that raising a puppy wouldn’t be easy. “With my hectic schedule, it wasn’t the right time.” However, when she and her boyfriend Jonathan Weilbacher decided to move in together, the idea of getting a dog returned. “I figured with two people home, caring for and raising the new pup would be a little bit easier. And I missed having a dog — I had one while growing up in Florida who recently passed away.” Jon was also a dog dad; he raised a Husky while living in California. “We’re both dog people, and it just felt right,” said Amanda.
She started searching with her heart set on a puppy. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic still churned, and puppies were in high demand. Having little luck in the greater Boston area, she expanded the search outside the Bay State until they came across a little yellow furball named Kobe in Ohio.
“There was just something about him,” Amanda explained. “He was one of the last profiles we looked at, and something drew him to me.” She knew at that moment that Kobe was the perfect dog for them.
WHEN CAPTAIN MET HIS HUMANS
In May 2021, Amanda and Jon met up with the driver who transported Kobe (now named Captain) to Boston. “He seems to be wheezing a bit,” the driver informed the couple, explaining how he stopped earlier to feed the dog and noticed his breathing. “Maybe a couple of pieces of kibble got stuck in his throat?” the driver suggested.
Amanda and Jon immediately brought Captain to a local emergency vet. There, medical staff took X-rays and determined something was, indeed, in the dog’s throat. Unable to proceed with a more thorough examination, the medical staff felt that Captain should see a specialist and recommended Amanda and Jon take him to the Emergency and Critical Care (ECC) service at Angell in Boston.
As Amanda and Jon sat in the waiting area at Angell, Captain’s breathing worsened, to the point where medical staff wanted to keep him overnight for evaluation and then have him see a specialist first thing the next day. The following day, Dr. Kelsey Turley, a resident with Angell’s Emergency and Critical Care team, delivered the somber news: they found a mass. This rare and usually benign tumor called a canine tracheal osteochondroma could obstruct Captain’s airway if it were to grow larger.
Dr. Turley said that a biopsy of the mass was risky. “And there’s really no good way to say this,” she continued. “But even if we operate to remove it, there’s very little room for error.”
Amanda and Jon were understandably scared of losing Captain, but they knew he needed that surgery. “And we knew in our hearts that Angell was the best place for Captain,” Jon continued.