Victor’s Insider Scoop on The Things We’ll Do for Our Dogs.
May 5th, 2013 | top of page

If you’re a “dog person” you’ll get this completely. 
If you’re not, your reaction is likely to be “You did
 what and paid how much for an 11 year old dog??!!”

My twelve year old Yellow Labrador Retreiver,
Trudeau, leads a charmed life.

His luck started when I drove 8 hours round-trip to St. 
John’s, Arizona to visit his pregnant Dam, Sher-Mi
 Stellar Sweetheart. I wanted to check her out and see
 what she and her life looked like. That was after I visited
 with his Sire, CH Cherry Oaks Luck Strike, here in 

Then, there was a second 215 mile one-way trip to
 St. John’s to select which pup out of a litter of 13 I’d 
eventually bring home. I had second pick of the males. 
Although I’d read a a bit of the literature on “how to 
pick a puppy” I ultimately settled on “a good looking pup that had some spunk and seemed to take to me”.

My last trip to St. John’s occurred 8 weeks after he’d 
been whelped on January 1, 2002. I was accompanied
 by my then 4 year old son Elliot who sat strapped in
to his car seat. His job was to comfort our new, scared 
pup on the ride back to Phoenix. 
I don’t remember if I’d picked his name before or after
 we brought him home but its genesis was simple … 
Pierre Elliot Trudeau, arguably Canada’s most famous
 and flamboyant Prime Minister, had died in September
 of 2000. Since I’m Canadian picking the name Trudeau 
was pretty much a no-brainer.

Fast forward 11 years …

I was walking Trudeau on the golf course behind our 
house. Being a Lab and a perpetual puppy he was doing 
one of his most favorite things: fetching a stick in
 one of the two lakes on the course. It was time to head
 back home so I called to him to come out of the water.
 As you can imagine he wanted little to do with that.

I ultimately bribed him to come out with a golf ball that 
he saw me throw into the fairway. He hopped up the 18 
inch embankment and took off running after the golf 
ball. Four or five strides into his run he let out a painful
 sounding yelp and came up lame holding his left, rear 
leg off the ground.

He hobbled back to our yard on three legs and proceeded 
to enjoy his breakfast after which he began his 
morning nap.

Labs are incredibly stoic dogs. Wimpy is just not 
in their genes. Hence, I really didn’t give too much thought to the fact that he might have really hurt himself. 
I figured he just “walk it off” as he’d done often in 
the past.

It was mid-afternoon when I noticed him hobbling out 
in the back yard. He was unwilling to put any weight 
on his back leg. It was time to call his vet. I was able to
get him in later that afternoon.
The preliminary diagnosis came pretty swiftly. The vet
 told me he’d seen many dogs with Trudeau’s symptoms 
before. He was hoping he was wrong but it would take 
a quick test to confirm his diagnosis. The only problem
 was that Trudeau had to be anesthetized to perform the 
test. Ka-ching #1. I authorized the procedure and was 
told to come back in a couple of hours.

Two hours later my wife Catherine and I were in the 
vet’s office and were given the bad news. Trudeau had 
torn his cranial cruciate ligament—think ACL tear in 
a human. Without prompt surgical intervention he’d
 appear to get better over the next few weeks but would
 eventually develop severe and painful arthritis.

The good news was that the x-rays that were part of his 
diagnosis showed his hips and knees to be relatively 
arthritis free which is unusual for an 11 year old, large 
breed dog.

The next step was to make an appointment with a specialist 
and set up the surgery.

Pre-Op Trudeau in Surgeon’s Office

We showed up at the surgeon’s office on Saturday 
morning at 10 am. He quickly confirmed the vet’s diagnosis 
and laid out the three (really, two) options for
 the remedy. The optimal procedure was an orthopedic 
re-shaping of the knee and installing a metal plate to hold it all together.

The procedure would require an overnight stay in the 
hospital. And, a 12 week rehabilitation period where
 activity was restricted. For a Lab, that was going to be 
the hardest part!! 
By mid-afternoon the next day we had our good boy 
back home. Although groggy from the anesthesia 
and pain meds and with his leg and hind quarters all
 shaved, he was clearly happy to be back in familiar surroundings.

Having had a plate in my leg for nine months I can attest 
to the fact that orthopedic surgery is painful. Even
 with his pain pills dulling the ache it was hard to listen 
to my wimpering dog telling me he hurt!

Fast forward a month. Trudeau’s been off his pain medication
 for a few weeks and he’s now able to put some
 weight on his injured leg and walk around. Except for 
still being somewhat infirmed with a slight limp he’s
 back to being his old self. Sadly, his previously daily
 routine of a long walk and swim are still curtailed. But 
time will cure that.

Although I have never heard of it prior to Trudeau’s
 mishap, a cranial cruciate tear in a dog is actually fairly
 common. The surgeon told me he does this surgery 
at least 6 times per week! Given that his fee for the
 surgery and follow up exams was more than a couple 
of mortgage payments I’m betting he probably has a 
pretty nice boat or private plane.

But, if you’re a dog person like me, you’ll agree that 
the cost factor had nothing to do with the decision to 
do whatever had to be done to fix the problem.

The things we’ll do for our dogs!

Dedicated To Multiplying Your Income

PS – If you are ready to begin to thrive again by getting off the sidelines and putting your money to work give me a call at 602-320-6200. I see lots of deals and may have just what you are looking for.

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