The Grover Fund at Bloom
The staff at Bloom has rallied together to form the Grover Fund to help support puppy rescues. Our motivation comes from one particular puppy that so touched us we decided we needed to honor his life and the love he shared and inspired in all of us by channeling donations to other pups in need. As you may know, Dr. Ward has been working with animal rescues for some time now. Her work with one rescue organization in LA called Noah’s Bark led her to get involved in the rescue of one particular pup whose story I will briefly share.
As Dr. Ward tells it, it was love at first site. “ The first time I saw a picture of Grover I was instantly smitten”. She then made a significant donation to Noah’s Bark to help pay for the surgery this little pup needed on its hips, and both legs (Grover had been run over at 10 weeks old after being abandoned on the streets of LA and both legs and hip had compound fractures) After many frantic phone calls seeking help, Grover was brought to a local Surgeon who had agreed look at Grover. The surgeon reluctantly agreed to take on the very complicated case and after almost 4 hours of traveling around in a box in the front seat of the car with his back-end completely limp but sitting proud without a whimper, Grover was sedated and brought into what would turn out to be a grueling 5 hour surgery to repair his broken hip and two fractured legs.
Dr. Ward graciously paid for the surgery and proceeded to make the drive to visit Grover in Los Angeles as often as she could while he recovered. Finally on one of Grover’s several follow-up surgeries and a downturn in his condition and prognosis, Dr. Ward decided it was time to pick him up and take him to her home and give him the love and attention she felt would turn him back around.
“I think at that point Grover was very exhausted from weeks of effort required to keep his composure and just function. He rarely even whimpered and always presented a proud and thankful presence, often even playful despite the fact that he could hardly even move without assistance and his whole back-end was full of pins and braces. Every time he had to poop or pee he needed assistance. I felt if he knew he had a permanent home and he had a future outside of being fostered that it might give him the inspiration he needed to soldier on through the pain and medication and surgeries.”
So at the last-minute, Dr. Ward decided to take over his intensive care from his wonderful foster parents and give Grover a permanent home. When the call from the surgeon came that he had completed the repairs to the severely fractured leg for the second time and that the hip and other leg were healing well, Dr. Ward sent her team to pick up Grover and bring him home. It was a complete downpour and the trip from the Surgeon in Orange County to Encinitas was slow, but when he got to his new home there was a welcoming committee.
When Grover finally arrived to Dr. Ward’s home, her and her staff had set up and complete puppy intensive care area complete with crib, towels, wound dressing materials, and puppy toys. Grover had a welcoming from Dr. Ward and her staff that I know he never forgot.
So for 6 weeks Grover had the full attention of Dr. Ward and her staff. There are many that saw Grover being walked around by holding his tail so that his back paws would not touch the ground (since he could not put weight on them until the bones fused and healed). Many saw Grover being pushed in a stroller, unable to use his back legs at all, but sitting tall and proud like he owned the world. (He used to rock back and forth in his stroller trying to make the stroller turn where he wanted — a move that eventually became known as ‘the Stevie Wonder’). Many saw Grover dressed up in a shark costume at Halloween on the streets of Encinitas with his sidekick superwomen-dog Penelope.
In the 6 weeks that Grover was in full recovery, he got more love, attention, and respect than imaginable. His courage was an inspiration for sure. We watched him go from a proud yet unsure puppy, to proud and confident, and excited to be alive despite his severe healing handicap.
“I think what we were privileged to see first hand is how love transformed Grover both mentally, emotionally, and physically. He arrived with a not so good prognosis for living let alone walking despite a lot of surgeries, and we watched him get stronger every single day.”
On the day he was supposed to get the pins taken out he was lounging in the sun on porch with Dr. Ward like a normal dog. They drove together to the surgeon. We were all nervous to see if the legs had healed enough to take the pins out and let him walk normally without assistance. It had been six weeks of hard work of taking him out at all hours of the night to pee and poop, watching his pain as he slowly regained control of his bowels, seeing him suffer though worm infections, coming off pain meds, and just the pain of not being able to move the back half of his body.
Dr. Ward was in the waiting room and got the news that his legs had healed and everything looked great and they were going to take all the pins and take off the braces out and let him go home to be a normal dog. Dr. Ward called us and was so happy and full of joy for Grover. The surgeon said he had an unbelievable recovery. It was a testament to Naturopathic medicine as well as faith. They told Dr. Ward to come and pick him up at 4pm. We were all really excited to see Grover walk for the first time since the accident.
At 3:45 Dr. Ward got a call that we will all never forget. The surgeon who had heroically performed hours of surgery on Grover to save his life and save his legs was on the phone. His voice was shaking. He said I regret to inform you that your Grover did not make it out of surgery. We lost him on the operating table while we were removing the pins. I am really, really sorry….
That devastating news was overwhelming at the time. Now we all look back and see what an incredible gift of knowing that Grover gave us all. The knowing is that love truly is the most powerful healing force on this earth.
On the trip back, Dr. Ward with Grover’s lifeless body a message kept coming in loud and clear as if little Grover had full command of the English language. “Be proud, be strong, and be bold.” The voice said. Be proud be strong, be bold was exactly what Grover lived in our eyes. He was so strong to not even cry of whimper in all of the pain. The only time we heard anything like that was when he needed to be carried out to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. He was so proud of who he was and those around him. It just showed. And in terms of bold, when a puppy with a completely broken rear end slides around the room barking at a toy and tries to bring it back to you, it kind of defines bold in a new way.
Magically Grover also taught us something powerful about communication. He had an absolutely amazing ability to be able to tell you exactly what he needed by looking at you. It was exactly like he was speaking out loud to you. Unmistakably clear. There were only really 4 things he needed, to eat, to go to the bathroom, to drink, and to be held. He could somehow make you realize so clearly which of these he needed with-out one single word. Just by looking at him he could tell you. It was again, quite amazing. So in the bond of our love for him and his love for us was another form of communication made easier? We now think so. We also think that his message of love was multi-dimensional to say the least. We learned unforgettably that love truly heals the most difficult wounds, and that love can communicate through many barriers including language. We also learned and believe that the love that Grover got from all of us to all of him helped transform him and is ultimately what released him and allowed him to pass on to the next world. It may have even propelled him there for all we know. Maybe it is the fuel for travel that he needed to get where he was going next.
After all this, what we feel is important is giving other puppies the same chance Grover had, and that is a real chance to feel real love and know its power and frequency.
Dr. Ward has since adopted another rescue that had been mauled and left for dead at the door of a poorly run shelter in LA that was set on euthanizing her just like they were going to euthanize Grover. At 12 weeks and only 5 weeks off the street, Little Foo has become a confident, funny, extremely tender and loving super girl with a permanent smile on her lips. She has become a beaming light of love for anyone passing and if you try to get by her without feeling it she will stop you and make sure you do. Some of you already know that.
In the end, we want as many people and puppies in need of rescue to get together no matter what the circumstances, so that is why we have started “The Grover Fund” at Bloom Natural Health.
We will donate 100% of the money received to rescue opportunities and rescuers as we see fit. Noah’s Bark and Shellie (the rescuer for both Grover and Foo) are at the top of our list right now.
How to Help:
On Wednesdays we typically have Skinny Shot and Healthy Shot Happy hour from 2-4 pm. On the first Wednesday of every month we will give 100% of the proceeds to the Grover Fund to support a rescue of our choice and will announce how much was given.
Pay it to the Pups is our way of giving back for all the beautiful lessons of love that Grover gave us….
Be Proud, Be Bold, be Strong, and most of all be love.
Thank you Grover. R.I.P.