Wow, where can I start? I first met Dr. Waldman and Amy about 6 years ago when my then 5 year old Bernese Mountain dog Hudson was having a really hard time walking. She had always had orthopedic issues, 2 elbow surgeries before the age of 2, both hips 1/3rd in the socket, and had just been diagnosed by an MRI with 3 bulging discs (two in her neck and one right by the end of her spine). I was told back surgery was her best/ only option so that she walk better again. Well, financially I couldn’t do it after everything that had happened previously, and Hudson hated the vet so badly I didn’t want to put her through any more stress. Plus I never fully trust surgery can work for back issues.

So someone (I forget who!!!) had told me to contact Dr. Waldman who was at that point working out of a vet’s office and on that day, Hudson looked worse than ever. She could barely turn while walking without looking like she was going to fall over. It was like all her issues converged at once.

They put me on a regimen of stretching, acupuncture and exercises. I was so diligent with Hudson. She met me at a park to show me what kind of things to do to strengthen her limbs, neck and back, without making her worse. I took that dog to the park 3-4 times a week, 45 minutes doing hills, walking in sand, making her walk over metal bars on that ground to make her use her knees instead of walking stiff-legged. At her very worst, I even took her to someone who had a pool to let her use her joints without pressure. These were all ideas I got from CARE (before it was CARE) 😉 I wouldn’t have known what to do. I took every suggestion and my dog’s personality into consideration and because of them, my Hudson was able to hike, play at the beach and be a normal dog, for a dog with severe orthopedic issues, this was a miracle. And NO surgery!

Hudson and I visit them occasionally, to get checkups and to say hello. They are proud because she was one of their very first clients and she’s still here (who knows how much longer but for a Bernese to be almost 11, it’s fantastic). I was just there for 2 weeks of major rehab because her back legs are getting weaker, and I’ve been icing and stretching her at home. They are so nice to her there and I truly believe it’s worth it. She has lasted so long because of the methods I learned from them and she has been able to have a wonderful, happy life. We always joke about how she looked like when I first came to them, what a mess she was. We didn’t know how she would fare, starting off so badly, but between her spirit and their suggestions (and my OCD), Hudson is still able to go for walks, roll around in the grass, swim at the beach, and we truly thank them for this gift!!! And I know its my fault when she has setbacks because I should rest her more, I know I know) 😉

Danielle S Gershberg
January 2013