A small dog with a major disability and an even bigger personality is about to have his destiny transformed, thanks to upcoming appointments with media superstars ‘The Supervet’ Dr Noel Fitzpatrick and singer Will Young.
Broc, a two-year-old double-dapple miniature Dachshund was born with skeletal deformations that restrict him to walking with ‘flapping’ movement on the side of his front legs.
His original owner, a Belfast breeder, defied vet’s advice to put him down at birth and instead handed him last October to Pauline Doyle, who runs the Rosog and Dashing Hounds and Equine Shelter at the foot of the Knockmealdowns in West Waterford.
Subsequent x-rays revealed two bones did not form in his front legs”, says Pauline. “The remaining joints in those legs are normal but twisted the wrong way from the elbows. Without treatment, his relatively minor discomfort will worsen with age.”
Broc was also diagnosed with scoliosis, an untreatable curvature of the spine, necessitating a careful diet to prevent choking.
His disabilities have not deterred Broc from swanning around in his favoured Superman shirt, tearing shreds off his teddy bears or pursuing mayhem with his squeaky toys.
“He has one squeaky sausage dog that he adores and cuddles up with, in the buggy we push him around in”, said Pauline.
When vets declined on ethical grounds to treat Broc, Pauline consulted Laois-born Dr Fitzpatrick, whose hit Channel 4 show filmed at Fitzpatrick Referrals in Godalmine, Surrey, is now in its 13th season.
Even then, the playful pooch’s prospects looked poor as an ethical committee was divided 50/50 on whether surgery would improve or detract from his quality of life. A third, decisive ethical committee favoured operating.
The cost, allowing for the puppy’s diminutive 4.8 kg size and the rescue centre’s charitable status, was a reduced €12,000. The surgery will see new bones inserted in Broc’s elbows to enable him to walk on his front paws for the first time.
In January, Pauline set up a Go Fund page, complete with pictures and video footage of the boisterous Broc.
Coventry native Pauline also manages a high-quality second-hand clothing and artefacts shop in Youghal where “we’ve been busting a gut to sell everything we can on behalf of little Broc”, she explains. The figure now stands at just under €9,000 and Pauline believes the full cost will be reached prior to the anticipated operation.
Importantly, says Pauline, “the money must be fundraised so that Broc remains part of our 100% back-up support for life policy, which includes re-accepting adopted dogs if need be.”
Broc’s good fortune didn’t pause there, as his GoFundMe page attracted the attention of Annabel Young, mother of former Pop Idol winner Will, both of whom are dachshund aficionados.
Annabel, whose hopes of purchasing another mini-dachshund last year floundered when the pup suffered an inoperable brain tumour, lost her heart to Broc. The lucky dog’s day was complete when her son was also smitten. The man who enjoyed a seminal hit with Anything Is Possible turned the title profound by offering to adopt Broc.
“He has actually held bucket collections during some gigs for the GoFundMe page and has been messaging the news on Twitter”, says Pauline. The singer said yesterday he is “very much looking forward to welcoming Broc to the Young family!”