Until the end, Paco clung to life with incredible determination. Despite his small size and his health problems, he was always brave, becoming a source of inspiration and motivation for his keepers, who decided to found a retirement home for senior animals to pay tribute to him.
This is certainly one of the most moving and sad stories that the editorial staff of Woopets has come across. All those who knew Paco, however, have wonderful memories of this little dog with whom life was not kind.
It is the image of a determined, affectionate creature with an unfailing zest for life that remains of this Yorkshire Terrier / Pinscher cross. Her story was passed on to us by Alexandra, from the association Tends-Nous la Patte and the Confrérie des Ti’Vieux in Peyrat-de-Bellac (87).
The animal had been discovered in great pain in an open market in October 2020. Paralyzed and sore, he had been taken to a veterinary clinic by the municipal police. Despite the call on social networks to find his owners, no one had come forward, knowing that he was not identified.
The next day, a lady explained that she had been following Paco’s ordeal for some time, he who lived permanently tied up in a garage. However, she did not wish to divulge the identity of her masters. The Tends-Nous la Patte association took care of him.
A dog on borrowed time, but who returned to happiness
The canine risked whiplash at any time, because he suffered from a serious dislocation of the cervical. The pains he felt and manifested were intense, which was painful to see.
At the association, we did “a huge job to get him out of this very bad situation”, says Alexandra. Paco had to be operated on, it was his only hope.
In the meantime, he received treatments thanks to which his attacks were spaced out. First kept in a park, he was then transferred to «his own room with all the comforts» because he was trying to escape and thus risked getting very hurt. Paco wore a rigid neck brace ordered in Italy to protect his cervical spine.
He finally tasted «the joy, the happiness of a house with a large land that he loved to explore with Kile, Goliath and Myrthil», remembers Alexandra. He enjoyed every meal and when he received his treats, and was very affectionate with everyone, as if to show his gratitude for being offered a new start.
The association’s resources being limited, it launched an appeal for donations to help finance its particularly expensive care: «Modelling of its cervical, manufacturing of its titanium plate with exact precision of the axes and length of the screws, without forgetting the surgical act itself”, explains Alexandra. Some donations came from Spain, Italy, England and even Canada.
He was also sent parcels full of toys, stuffed animals and treats. Paco made it a point of honor to gather them around him before going to sleep at night, not without giving Alexandra a hug, from which he «removed very delicately [the] hair darling».
A miracle, then worry
The surgery to save him was scheduled for January 13, 2021. Alexandra took him to the veterinary clinic the day before. After the operation, which according to the surgeon had gone well, he spoke to the volunteer on the phone. In the middle of the discussion, a small miracle happened; “Paco got up on his own in his incubator and above all stood up”.
Short-lived joy, alas, since the next day her neck had swollen considerably. He presented with a breach in the esophagus with tissue necrosis. Alexandra being in the business, she believed that this lesion could only be caused by “an involuntary surgical act”. What the surgeon did not want to recognize; for him, Paco must have swallowed a toy that injured his esophagus. His interlocutor remained perplexed.
Paco had to be operated on 2 other times afterwards. He stayed several days with his wound open. He was rapidly losing weight, which only further worried his benefactress. She recommended to the clinic to increase his rations by gastric tube, because he often walked around the establishment and bit kibbles, when he should not eat them given the state of his esophagus.
The last operation, a muscle transplant on the esophageal breach, took place on January 23, 2021. 4 days later, and when the association had been forbidden to visit Paco, the clinic contacted Alexandra again to tell him that she could pick it up the next day.
She showed up as agreed, but was entitled to a welcome committee that was not at all reassuring: “the surgeon, his wife, the intern, an assistant and the atmosphere becomes heavy”. The clinic wanted to adopt the dog, a request that intrigued Alexandra, who politely refused.
“Paco has made his choice! »
An assistant brought the quadruped to her, who “throws from her arms towards me sitting on the chair”. The clinic team couldn’t believe it. The volunteer, she quickly understood that the animal had only one desire, it was to leave the place to be with her.
“All his little sweaters that are placed on a chair as well as his favorite blue baballe, he gives them to me one by one! No doubt Paco wants to get out of here, that’s his way of telling me. Straight in the eyes, I make him the promise that he will leave with me! »
Glad to be able to go back with him, she was nonetheless concerned when she noticed that he was drooling profusely. At the exit, the surgeon’s wife tried her luck again: «Hey! Paquito, are you coming with me? “, she launched to the cross Yorkshire / Pinscher, who did not follow up, preferring to accompany Alexandra. “Well done, but Paco has made his choice! “, she then told him.
At the house of the association, it was time to rest for Paco. Alexandra called the clinic again about her excessive drooling, and she was prescribed painkillers and a gastric bandage.
Gone in the arms of Alexandra
On the night of Saturday January 30 to Sunday January 31, 2021, Paco came to Alexandra, his favorite toy in his mouth, stared at her before collapsing. She gave him cardiac massage which paid off.
The dog was conscious and on his feet again, but as she was about to take him to the nearest veterinary clinic, he collapsed once more. Unfortunately, he never recovered. Paco left in Alexandra’s arms, knowing he mattered and was loved.
“Paco branded me with a hot iron. I didn’t want him to be forgotten, ”says the one who fought by his side until the end.
“In his memory, we decided to create La Confrérie Des Ti’Vieux where the logo represents 3 stars of little souls that have marked us forever. The face of Paco, Mouss and Choupette.
In memory of Paco and under his star, we welcome small elderly dogs and cats, suffering with or without disabilities, in order to offer them warmth, affection, care, for some of the families who adore seniors, for a dignified end of life. »