The French bulldog supported her owner through a traumatic miscarriage during lockdown – but might have to be put down if she doesn’t undergo urgent surgeries
Image: Renee Collins)
She can’t feel her back legs or control her bowels – but she’s supported her owner through a traumatic miscarriage.
Now Lola, a French bulldog, could be put to sleep if she doesn’t undergo life-changing surgeries to improve her long list of health issues caused by inbreeding.
Owner Renee Collins, 21, from Smethwick, is desperately trying to save her dog’s life as she gives her a reason to “get out of bed” on her hardest days.
Renee was left suicidal after having to face a miscarriage alone in the hospital as Covid restrictions prevented her from bringing her partner.
She said: “It made me very unwell – I tried to commit suicide.
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“We’ve been trying for nearly two years for a baby and it doesn’t seem to be happening.
“I’m being tested to see if I might be infertile or unable to carry a baby to term.
“Lola helps me find the effort to get out of bed on my hardest days and whenever I look at her, I smile because the bond we have is just pure love and adoration.
“She’s been my rock every day and she makes me extremely happy.”
Lola, who is just under two years old, has been diagnosed with hemivertebrae, otherwise known as butterfly spine, a fusing or twisting in the dog’s spine.
“Her condition means that she can’t feel her back legs very well.
“She can’t control her bladder or bowels, which is difficult when she’s covering your home in faeces, but knowing it’s not always her fault makes it easier,” said Renee.
“She’s been bred terribly. Her nostrils are too small for her to breathe correctly and she has a corkscrew tail that could get infected.
“She has cut her hocks and paws open several times due to this and it makes things most dogs find easy impossible. She can’t run and jump and she can’t really go on long walks because she doesn’t know if she’s cut her legs.”
Lola spent most of her puppyhood outdoors before being rescued from an owner who was unable to cover the dog’s medical costs.
Renee added: “The owner was in over her head with her children who were disabled and her own mental health issues.
“She kept Lola’s sister because luckily she was in perfect health but offered Lola up because she couldn’t afford the bills and couldn’t care for her how she needs.”
Renee has now launched a GoFundMe page to raise the £8,000 needed to cover Lola’s spinal surgery. The operation aims to readjust the dog’s spine to relieve the spinal cord.
“Without the surgery, she’ll more than likely end up losing the use of her legs and being in a lot of pain, which I’ve been told will mean she will have to be put down,” said Renee.
“All I’m asking is for some donations on her GoFundMe, even a £1 is helpful. The surgery and everything I’ve been estimated will be £8,000 if she’s got more than one compression.
“She’s only young and she should live to age 14. This is why I’m asking for help because she deserves it.
“She’s my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
“She’s a loving, funny and intelligent dog. Everyone who meets her falls in love with her, even people who aren’t fans of Frenchies.”
If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, The Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email [email protected], or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.
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