Paws For Reaction launches Puppy section: Meet Hazel the Saint Bernese

My first moments with Hazel.
Photo by Sylvie.
Letter from the editor: Welcome Hazel to the Paws For Reaction family

By Stacey McIntyre-Gonzalez

Paws For Reaction in expanding! I am proud to announce that my partner and I have welcomed Hazel- a 9 week old Saint Bernese pup- into our fur family. Hazel is an absolute joy and we love her so much- we brought her home on March 22nd! We named her after her beautiful mom who is a pure bred Saint Bernard named Noisette (French for Hazelnut) and Hazel's dad is a Bernese mountain dog named Maverick- just like Keira's dad! Hazel is going to help me launch my puppy section of Paws For Reaction!

Sadly Hazel fractured her left femur when she was really young. The signs she exhibited where walking with a limp, favoring the injured leg (or lameness,) holding the leg out straight and the inability to bend the leg at the knee or sit square. The break was un-diagnosed and the bone healed incorrectly causing Hazel to have one leg shorter than the other and walk with a limp. I have been looking forward to sharing my foray into 'pethood' with my amazing readers however raising Hazel will be a little different than raising the average puppy. I hope that by sharing Hazel's experiences on Paws For Reaction that I can help educate and prepare pet owners who are raising a puppy with a disability. I know I can't be the only one out there.

Hazel's left leg exhibiting signs of an injury: the leg was stiff and straight.
I plan on doing all that I can to help increase Hazel's mobility. I have sent my x-rays to a board certified surgeon to find out what the best next step is for her. There are a lot of unanswered questions right now. Can she be fixed with surgery? Will she ever be able to climb our stairs? Will the other leg degenerate due to her over using it? There are also some unpreventable issues she will be faced with. She will have arthritis and hip dysplasia- that is a fact. 

The most important thing is that Hazel gets the best care and we are planning on providing her with that. We are proud of her and proud of where she came from and although she was not what we planned on we can't stop loving her. I hope that my readers will join me on this journey as it will not be an easy one. Meet Hazel my sweet girl!


What i really want everyone to know is that what happened to Hazel was an unfortunate accident that went un-diagnosed- these things are rare and I am not looking to place blame. I realize a situation like this is quite shocking- trust me I know- but I just want to focus on Hazel and not what happened and how the injury went unnoticed. We were very selective when seeking out a breeder. We did all the research and went with an ethical breeder with a brilliant track record- bad things just happen to good people.
 We were very selective when seeking out a breeder. We wanted the most responsible and ethical Saint Bernese breeder and we were lucky to find one so close to us. The breeder we used had the most beautiful, clean and well maintained facilities- even equipped with heated floors. He loves his dogs- each and every one. He provided the puppies with expert medical care and unfortunately the accident either happened after their doctor visit or was missed by the doctor. We suspect that the mother dog may have sat on Hazel. They have 10 years experience breeding the mix and in all this time something like this has NEVER happened. 

We have absolutely NO ill will towards the breeder and he was just as devastated to find out about this as we were. We have had an almost 2 year relationship with these people and our experience with them has been amazing. They are supporting us in seeking treatment for Hazel and have offered us a full refund and any other help they can manage. We have nothing but love for Hazel's breeder and do not blame him for this unfortunate accident and we DO NOT condone anyone placing blame on the breeder. We are proud to own one of his dogs. Hazel is otherwise 100 per cent healthy. I am just greatful to have adopted Hazel from a man good and decent enough to offer to help us financialy. Please do not let this discourage anyone from adopting from this breeder- he has done everything he can to help us and is extremely remorseful. Despite this unexpected setback he remains a dear friend. We are fully ready for the years that come with Hazel and the ups and downs she will face as she learns to live with her disability. She couldn't have ended up with a better family and we do believe that we have her for a reason. This is just a complicated and sad situation. 

Stacey & Robert

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