A young German Shepherd in an Idaho community owes his great quality of life to several kind people. “Eli” suffered a birth defect which impaired the functionality of his esophagus. Fortunately, the made the acquaintance of several dedicated people who assisted him in overcoming his disability.
The small German Shepherd cannot consume food in a normal fashion because his esophagus contains a constricting outer ring of cartilage. In most people and dogs, food travels through the esophagus pushed downwards by the force of muscular actions. Eli’s impediment prevented him from eating solid foods and, as a puppy, he could only consume milk. He wound up at an Idaho veterinarian’s clinic in a very emaciated condition, weighing about half the size of his siblings.
At the clinic, Eli attempted to jump out of a technician’s grasp. He endured a rough landing. Unfortunately, his impaired ability to eat food had left him on a very poor nutritional plane. While healthy pups might have managed to land without damage, the hard fall caused Eli’s to sustain a fracture.
The staff at the veterinary clinic nursed Eli back to health. One of the technicians fell in love with the little German Shepherd, and she decided to adopt him. Eli’s leg slowly healed, and the staff gave him five special liquid feedings daily.
A local carpenter built a special high chair for the pup, so he could sit in an upright position as he ate and the force of gravity would help direct food towards his stomach. The chair worked well for Eli and he began to gain weight. Today, he thrives at the veterinary clinic, assisted by the efforts of so many people who contributed to his well being. Although he will likely always require the use of special accommodations to eat, the wooden puppy high chair has significantly improved his quality of daily life!