HERCULES

Many hearts are breaking right now. Herc was so very special to us and I’ll always remember his trips with Gina and I for his aqua therapy with our Board member, Lori Jobak, as well as our trips to various groups to show him off. He absolutely wowed the gang at the Paul Mitchell School as he did at so many of our fundraisers. Hercules could always be counted on to steal the show. Those of us who loved Herc are so very thankful for all that Dr. Tari Kern and her husband, Chris, did for our sweet boy as well as for 4 Paws 1 Heart. He was our Canine Mascot over these many years and now he is with our Feline Mascot,Chance. Always in our hearts. – Diana, Gina, and the 4paws1heart Board.

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

Hercules 1/1/2012-5/12/2024

P.S. Please follow the journeys of both of our mascots on our website.

https://www.facebook.com/PawsitiveStepsRehab

What do you say when a part of your heart leaves? I suppose you share that special soul with the world.

Hercules came into my life as a broken puppy with big dreams. He had a rough beginning, suffering numerous injuries in his original home. A concerned citizen reported a puppy, who couldn’t walk to Animal Control. His removal from that situation started a domino effect, allowing him to literally touch hundreds of lives. He was a special, sweet boy, who was loved by so many before I ever met him.

His first love was Gina, who received him the day Animal Control freed him. She cared for him selflessly through 4 Paws 1 Heart, a wonderful rescue group (newly formed at the time) which provides medical care for stray and abandoned animals in need. His new story began there and he truly knew love for the first time. There were fundraisers to cover his anticipated medical expenses and all who met him fell in love with his spirit. Newspaper articles and news stories followed. Visits to specialists were set up with the hopes of repairing his poorly aligned fractured limbs. Court dates were attended to seek justice for the wrong done to him. So many people showered him with love and Hercules never forgot it. His reunions with Gina were amazing and joyous, regardless of the duration of time between the visits.

Hercules entered my life after two people shared his newspaper article with me. He needed rehabilitation care and Pawsitive Steps was in its infancy. The specialists had determined that it was too late for surgery to help our little hero and his rear legs would remain as they were. There was talk of him needing a wheelchair, but he proved everyone wrong. Herc was supposed to be my rehab foster puppy. However, I failed as a foster and he became my forever rehab guide. I have stated that a cat sent me to vet school and a dog sent me to rehab, but Hercules was rehab and he taught me so much over the years.

This little puppy became one of my greatest teachers, with so many lessons to share. How to strengthen the tissues that could be healed without injuring the damaged areas further. How to occupy the puppy brain while resting the body. How to find the joy in little victories. How to modify exercises to accommodate his handicaps. How to make rehabilitation fun and functional. How new treatment modalities might be useful in different situations. How controlled play can teach the brain and heal the body. How to identify challenges and overcome them. How little improvements can slowly change the world. How to exceed expectations and thrive despite physical limitations.

Hercules taught others too. He became the CEO (Canine Executive Officer) at Pawsitive Steps, going to work regularly. He was the first to try the new underwater treadmill before the clinic officially opened. He tried out all the new rehab equipment. He was the 5th dog to receive an orthotic device at the practice. His custom orthosis helped correct his limb length discrepancy, leveling his pelvis and spine. He could walk more comfortably for longer distances and run faster with it. He loved to show off his fancy shoe while out on walks, making ordinary moments educational opportunities. He showed kids that being different was cool. He demonstrated therapeutic exercises for new team members, veterinary students, guests at clinic open houses, and even conference attendees when we had a booth in the exhibit hall. His rehab journey has been shared in state and national veterinary presentations, showcasing the benefits of proactive preventative rehab care over time.

The lessons changed as we aged together. Which frequency of care worked best for the activities that took place to make the muscles sore. What type of massage felt best on rainy days wasn’t necessarily the same as after a summer walk. As his vision changed and hearing failed, we learned how best to communicate and keep him engaged. Mental engagement helped soothe the feeling of being trapped inside his head when those senses dimmed. Most importantly, that regardless of age, the puppy was still inside there and zoomies were still possible!

With all that stated, Hercules was not perfect, but he was always perfectly himself!

He counter-surfed because he could! The first time it happened, my husband recalls that Dr. Kern was very proud of his skills because rehab worked, while Mom was very disappointed with his decision. Hercules found many activities in life that were self-rewarding over the years, much to my dismay!

Hercules didn’t share well with others. Everything was about the Herc! If someone else was getting attention, he would sneak in to steal a bit more than his fair share. His favorite game was keep-away because playing fetch was beneath him. If the toy squeaked in both directions (on the squish and the expansion phase), it needed to be repeated constantly.

Herc knew how to play the crowd. He recognized the sound of a camera shutter and posed well. He could charm food from strangers in the most unusual places. His fan club was broad, including all ages. He had trading cards to share at events, schools, and his numerous walks in town. Kids collected them, after he licked their faces clean.

He never believed in boundaries. Why limit what you could do and where you could go?? Hercules had an awful “come” command. Everything else apparently was more interesting than returning to a cue. It took losing him to fully understand why. He was the world’s dog and he was really only on loan to me.

Hercules left us suddenly, but didn’t suffer. Cancer silently grew in his heart until he quickly was not himself. The diagnosis took us by surprise, leaving no time for long good-byes. Herc never would have wanted it to be any other way.

Hercules, I miss you so much already. My teacher, my friend, my heart.

Hercules has returned to the Universe, free of all the issues that made him the World’s dog. Run free sweet boy. We will meet again.

– Forever loved by Dr. Kern/Mom and Dad

You are welcome to see Hercules Facebook Photo Album here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.955414899924542&type=3

BOWLING RAFFLES

5/17/24 – Even if you’re not bowling there is much fun to have at our annual bowling fundraiser tomorrow night, May 18. We’ll have amazing raffle baskets which include:

$100 Lottery Board, Bourbon w/Smoker Kits & Glasses, Dog and Cat Baskets, Massage Systems, Detroit Tiger Tickets for 4, St. Clair Shores Golf for 4 w/carts, Gift Cards, Garden Art, and much more.

Also, our SPECIAL RAFFLE includes: Summer Cruise Tickets — Christmas in July — on the Ovation Yacht (2 separate packages for two people each valued at $310 for ea. pkg.; Black Stone Grill (valued at $699); The Pleasure Zone basket for couples (valued at $740).

Not to mention a 50/50. Join all of us for friendship and pizza all for the fur orphans who have only us.

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

BOWLING

5/17/24 – Tomorrow, May 18, is the big night for our annual fundraiser. Please support the many businesses who have generously offered to sponsor a lane:

Java Junk Coffee Shop & Resale Store, The Pleasure Zone, Sterling Heights, Pawsitive Steps Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine, Firehouse Pub and Grill, St. Clair Shores, Arden Courts, Sterling Heights, BAS Security Systems, St. Clair Shores, Advanced Animal Emergency, Clinton Twp., Farmers Market, Clinton Twp, Michigan Fire Training Consultants, Simply Social Media, Orion Animal Hospital, The Wedding Shoppe, Team Lisa Mortgage 1, Five Mile Animal Hospital, Spina Electric Co., Hometown Grill, Bunzo’s Liquor, Re/Max First, Galeana’s Van Dyke Dodge/Ram.

We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our community. diana

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

LILY AND HER 6 KITTENs

5/17/24 – Lily was rescued after having had 6 kittens in a garage. Lily’s rescuer, Jolynn, advised that Lily would need to be spayed and vaccinated but she started to ‘eat at her fur’. We authorized Lily to be seen at Anchor Bay Veterinary where it was determined that poor Lily had ring worm. Lily began treatment and would be vaccinated and spayed when healed. Also, all 6 babies were accounted for and once old enough will be adopted. – diana

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

INBREEDING EYE PROBLEMS BUT WILL BE ADOPTABLE

5/15/24 – Lana and Batman are members of a cat community where there is a significant issue with in-breeding resulting in deaths and serious illnesses including eye infections and cats being born with entropion (basically where the eyelashes, either upper, lower, or both grow into the eye). We recently helped Silas with an eye removal and he is doing great (first two photos). Another cat we tried to help ended up passing away. Unfortunately, the rescuer, Amy, tells us there has been many deaths within the community. And now, there is Lana and Batman. In late April, Amy contacted us about Lana and Batman. They have since both been seen by Dr. Zalac at Orion Animal Hospital, and both need surgery for entropion. Here is the diagnosis for both:

“Batman – Conjunctivitis in right eye, adhesion of eyelid to conjunctiva, and entropion of the eyelid. His eyeball is viable and can be saved. She said his right sinus and eye will not heal unless the eyelid is surgically repaired. He was given a snap test (neg -), Ears were dirty so she applied revolution (in case of ear mites, then tested a sample, no ear mites were found), gave med to clean ears.

Lana – conjunctivitis in both eyes, and entropion of the eyelids. Her eyes are viable and can be saved, but the entropian needs surgical repair. Continue with eye cream to help soothe, but it can’t heal without surgery. They shaved her matts, applied revolution, and gave ear meds.

They also got distemper shots. The doctor said when they come for surgery they will get the boosters. When they heal from surgery they can be adoptable and ok to be around other cats who are vaccinated. – Amy”

Their surgeries are scheduled for June 8. And again, please remember them in your prayers. – diana

Without your help we could not help Them.

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

TEMPORARY FREEZE ON FUTURE ASSISTANCE – PLEASE KEEP FRANKIE IN YOUR PRAYERS

5/15/24 – Dear Friends, It hurts us to report that we will be putting a temporary freeze on future requests for assistance. As always, we will be keeping our prior commitments which are signficant and includes 3 cats requiring entropion surgeries, and two dogs requiring heart worm treatment. This does not include the many animals that are waiting for their appointments for spay/neuter and vaccinations.

Frankie is one of the cats who is scheduled in June for entropion surgery in both eyes and neuter. I earlier posted about Frankie who was rescued from the streets and was treated with ointments prior to the diagnosis of entropion. Please keep him in your prayers. – Diana

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

CHANCE 9 YEARS AGO

5/14/24 – Remembering our Chance when he was just learning to walk again after being paralyzed. – diana

Hellloooo everybody! Sooo, theres a reason mom doesnt post too many videos of me. In a nutshell, shes not a very good video taker! But I wanted her to post this one becuse, well I mean seriously, look at me goooo!!! Meow for now, Love Chance

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

A Second Chance For Chance

ROCKY UPDATE

5/13/24 – On February 20, 2024 I posted about a dog who was found curled up in a parking lot. A kind man, Anthony, saw this poor helpless animal, brought him into his home, and contacted us. Rocky was first seen at an amazing partner veterinary clinic, Five Mile Animal Hospital. At the time, Dr. Mina found that Rocky had been shot; he had a bullet in his paw and he was positive for heart worm. Since that time, Rocky has had episodes of diarrhea, a lump on his back which had to be drained twice, and the pre-treatment for heart worm. Throughout, Dr. Mina has been in close contact with me and we have continued to keep our commitment to Rocky’s full recovery. The photos clearly show what a difference Love and Donations can make in the lives of those who are rescued and those who rescue. Rocky has become Anthony’s best friend and Anthony is doing everything to make sure that Rocky has the best care. Continued prayers for this family and the love they have given an animal who has been through so much. – diana

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

5/12/24 – From our Board member Denise Najera, rescuer, foster mom, and creator of A Second Chance for Chance. We could not have said it better.
“Happy Mothers Day to all my friends in Rescue. To those who trap, foster, bottle feed, take in seniors and hospice, injured and abused, hopeless and helpless. To those who give love, time, medicines, to those who selflessly give all they have to bring these babies back to life, ready them for life and love them till they take their last breath of life, Happy Mothers Day. Your the best of the best! Enjoy your special day.

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080

LINX UPDATE

510/24 – It was February 29 when we posted about Linx, a community cat whose eye was so infected that he needed to have it removed. We authorized his surgery at West Flint Animal Hospital and today I bring you the happy update.

Linx’s surgery was successful and he is doing great. He was recently adopted into a very loving home where he will be well taken care of and loved for the rest of his life. Here are his photos post and pre surgery. – diana

4paws1heart.org/donations P.O. Box 84, St. Clair Shores, MI. 48080