We Just Heard From Linus’ Surgeon Oh My Lord!! They Said It Went Absolutely Perfectly!!/Plus a $500.00 Matching Challenge From Another Rescue Organization for Linus To Be Met In Any Amounts!! Hallelujah!


8:00 Monday Evening, January 20, 2020 


I just now heard from the surgeon’s tech about Linus! Thank you Jesus!

The 6 1/2 hour surgery was done by Dr. James Cellini and Dr. Zach Niman.

She said Dr. Celiini had to go right into another emergency surgery but he told her what to tell us.

You better sit down. I better sit down! I am flying on air!!


His spinal cord is now completely stabilized! Every surgery goal was met! They inserted six screws to completely stabalize his spinal cord and got the fracture completely back together!

They expect a FULL and COMPLETE recovery!!

Two Neurosurgeons, one intern, and a TEAM of others were there to make this happen!

I have already called his Foster Mom, as well as Alison Pugh, his rescuer. Both were ecstatic!

He is in recovery and is awake and being warmed. He is on three types of things for pain so he won’t be hurting.

They took pictures of Linus and the team before surgery, which they will send after the next emergency surgery they are doing now, but it will be late, so I will get them out to you tomorrow! They also took actual surgery pictures for me to see. (I’ll put them in a link so you can click to see them if you want to and ignore them if you can’t. ) 

And then something else happened today that has never happened in almost 22 years since we began. I am humbled and awed and you will be too!

Another rescue group, Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation has issued a Matching Challenge Donation in the amount of $500.00 to be met in any amounts, yes, that’s right, for our little Linus!

Here, I’ll let them tell you about it, themselves. Wow! Thank you to the GSRF! Now we need to be able to match them for Linus! (Please see my note at the end of Anna’s letter.)

From: Anna Garrido <garridostrayrescue@gmail.com>
Sent: Mon Jan 20 10:08:43 CST 2020
To: robinpressnall@gmail.com
Subject: Linus (Petey)
Good Morning Robin,
My name is Anna Garrido.  My husband and I work full-time, but have a community rescue organization called Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation (GSRF).  Our mission is to help reunite pets with their owners.  Additionally, we take in animal abuse court cases when we have time, and we also assist with veterinary costs for GSRF pets when we can.  
We first heard about Linus (Petey) from Lilly, a manager at BluePearl.  Lilly was looking for help for this little guy and wrote an email to us.  We have a relationship with BluePearl since we had a couple of dogs needing major surgeries and they have always been great to us.  
We put a call on our Facebook page looking for a foster for this medical case.  Unfortunately, no one stepped up.  We were so worried about this guy and very sad that we could not secure a foster.  
One of your fosters, Lauren, who is fostering Elf, reached out to us about Elf’s court case info.  We did not have any and directed her to other sources.  Long story short, we kept in touch.  Lauren saw our post about Linus (Petey) and reached out to us immediately.  She suggested to contact you.  She said that if anyone would help and be great about it, it was you.  I reached out to Lilly and said, “I know how much Petey means to you, here is the contact information for an amazing woman who wants to help, so please call her and you can personally vet her.”  Lilly was in tears happy!  She kept me in the loop the entire time.  I am so glad that Lauren saw our cry for help and connected us with you.  Your organization is wonderful and since our mission is a little different than yours, we are happy to say – we love what you do and would like to propose a $500.00 matching donation.  The donation can be from combined donors.
Take care Robin and continue being the voice for little guys like Petey (Linus now)! 
(Editor’s Note from Robin: When Linus first came into Blue Pearl after being hit by the car, they had named him “Petey”, which is a darling name. Bonnie Ferguson, our Director of Adoptions, loved it so much that she named one of her own new dogs, “Petey”, and fostered and then adopted him. Petey was such a wonderful little boy, my new nephew, when tradgedy struck, last spring. Though he was only two years old, three weeks after Bonnie adopted him, he became very ill and at Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists Hospital, was diagnosed with Spinal Meningitis. No one knew how he contracted this. Petey fought for his life for several days but continued to decline until he he was too sick to lift his head and he was suffering terribly. He changed before our eyes from a happy young dog running and playing to one who looked like he was passing away. Upon the advice of several specialists, at Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists Hospital, who had been so wonderful to the Fergusons, to me, and to little Petey, he was humanely euthanized, last. This is the reason we changed Linus’ name from “Petey” to “Linus” when we took him into rescue. We retired the name in honor of Petey Ferguson. Bonnie is still grieving that baby and we didn’t want her to see her boy’s name several times a day in e-mails. But I DO want you to see a picture of our little Petey Ferguson.
Petey Ferguson and me in ICU,  a few days before we lost him.
So that’s why our newest Small Paws boy is named “Linus” now. )
Since GSRF has issued such a wonderful challenge, the least we can do it to meet it! In any amount or the whole thing at once! Many thanks to GSRF for their generosity. Let’s show them what we can all do, together! Thank You Jesus for this glorious day. For the surgeons and for the entire staff. And thank You for Linus.
He has changed our lives. All My Love, Robin


Taken Yesterday. Linus’ Foster Mom visited him at Medvet of Chicago. He is in good spirits as long as he doesn’t move in the wrong way, which makes him yelp.

She is the only one allowed to visit him, as she is a surgical tech at one of the Blue Pearl hospitals and she knows how to handle him with his unstable spinal cord.

He is such a sweet, happy dog.

The Neuro surgeons have been keeping me updated over the weekend. He remains in stable condition and surgery is planned for around 1:00 this afternoon. They had to work around the schedules of TWO neurosurgeons because it will take several hours to complete the surgery.

We won’t know anything until later tonight. As soon as I know anything, I will let you all know.

We don’t know what the exact costs are going to be or when he will come home. He will require 2-3 days in ICU for recovery. And his injuries are worse than they suspected before the imaging. But I have faith that we are going to make it.

Many thanks to EVERYONE who has donated for Linus. His life was spared for a reason, with so many people coming together.

Including one very special lady whose name is Allison. I received an email and I think it will be ok to share part of it with all of you.

From: Alison Pugh
 Sent: Fri Jan 17 20:39:54 CST 2020
 To: robinpressnall@gmail.com
 Subject: Linus donations & info.
 Hi Robin,
 I am the good Samaritan who brought Linus to Blue Pearl/Northfield, IL.
It was a little before 5 am on Monday (1/13) when I was on my way to the airport and he was on the road, bleeding and hurt badly.  I managed to get him wrapped in my coat and took him to Blue Pearl.  
I have posted his pics and info on my FB page and a neighborhood blog page that has gotten a lot of attention. 
 Thank you so much for caring and helping.  This little guy is the sweetest angel.  I want to do everything I can to help with donations.
 Thank you,  Alison Pugh>
Alison was on her way to the airport for a work trip, in the dark, and yet she stopped. She missed her plane. Her Mom told me that anyone in their family would have done the same. And I believe her.
Alison went to work directing her friends, work colleagues, and family and to our donation site. She has since joined our mailing list and we all want to tell you, ALISON, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR SAVING THIS BABY!
I believe that God found one good person and placed her there, a place she would not normally be at 5 in the morning, at the exact location where baby Linus was hit by a car, a car that did not stop.
But Alison stopped. Knowing she would miss her flight for work, she stopped and wrapped his bloody body in what I’m sure was a very nice coat. But she didn’t stop there. She found the nearest emergency hospital and rushed him there.
Well done, Alison. Well done! We will always be in your debt for saving this one little dog.
We have one final matching donation challenge for $100.00. It’s from Deborah Berger in Florida, and her Celebrity Bichon, Boris Berger. Thank you Deborah! Is there anyone who can match Deborah and Boris?
<From: normetski@aol.com
Sent: Sat Jan 18 08:28:59 CST 2020
To: Robin Pressnall <robinpressnall@gmail.com>

Hi Robin..please issue a $100.00 challenge. The name Linus holds a special spot in my heart. Deborah and Boris<  

So that’s where we are on a very important day. The day little Linus get’s put back together, all thanks to Alison and to all of you.
Please keep your prayers coming.
I happen to know, and you do too, on a first name basis, the Great Physician, and I know that I know that I know, that HE will be there in that operating room.
All My Love, Robin







This letter is to all of you from Sara Rhodes, Team Leader to Il, among other states. Sara is beloved among Small Pawsers, everywhere.

“From: Sara Rhoades @ pacess4@att.net

Hi Robin
If you could please put this in the newsletter. 
This letter is coming straight from my heart. I have had this baby
on my mind for days! 

Stressed about not having a local foster home!!
Well, now we have one! 

Now stressing about the cost of the surgery, 
and thinking what can I do? 

I want to say, from the bottom of my heart.
I have LOVED this rescue since I started!I LOVE it even more now! One
reason is we are a family! 

A family of (volunteers, adopters, fosters,
donors, transporters, etc) 

We have come together to make things happen!
Right now we all need to come together and donate to help raise funds 
for this precious little Bichon, Linus, that was hit by a car, so he 
can experience the joy and love of a wonderful home!! 

He needs us! 
I challenge everyone to make a one time donation of whatever they
can afford, even if it is $5.00!! 
I am not a regular donor, but do what I can. 

One reason is I have a lot of dogs but I am going to donate tonight!

I have worked extra this month and will start with a donation 
of $200 for little Linus. 
He needs us and we are team Small Paws! We are a family! Let us all 
come together and make this surgery happen!! 

Love, Sara


This is Linus, shaved. Today was a long day. He has NOT had surgery yet because of all they had to do today and he needs the weekend to heal from those things and from so much anesthesia. He was under for about four hours today.

We were already planning to do the recommended MRI, but we learned today that they also needed a CT scan, so they combined those two tests, today, one after the other, with Linus under anesthesia.

Here is what the neurologist told me on the phone. It was Dr. James Cellini. ( He said the picture was taken years ago and he has some gray now. I told him that makes me feel better .)

The fracture of L7 on his back shows to be worse with imaging that with just xrays, and Linus has a blood clot near the spine which they will go in and remove during surgery. Right now his spinal column is VERY unstable. One wrong twist or move and that would be it. They are keeping him in hospital over the weekend, on meds for pain and so that he stays still.

To do nothing would be a “guarded” prognosis. The grade these by excellent, good, fair, guarded down to poor. Guarded isn’t good.

This is his letter with two options.

Hi Robin.  Here’s a summary of options for Linus, now that we’ve diagnosed an L7-S1 luxation:
Medical management:
  • 6 weeks of strict crate rest, carrying outside for eliminations as needed
  • oral pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • goal is to allow time for the luxated vertebrae to stabilize via scar tissue formation
  • prognosis is unpredictable and essentially guarded.  
    • i suspect that relative to surgery, the recovery would take longer, be less complete, and stands a higher chance of relapse in pain or weakness going forward
Surgical stabilization:
  • goal is to realign the L7-S1 vertebrae and place surgical pins and bone cement into the bones to stabilize the spine at that location.  we would also perform a laminectomy to access the spinal canal and remove any blood or bone fragments causing nerve compression. after surgery we would perform another CT to evaluate implant placement and make sure its where we want it to be.
  • prognosis would be considered good overall given the current level of function, and recovery would still involve a 6 week strict rest period post-op, with pain medications for a couple weeks to start (then as needed). residual weakness, pain, or urinary/fecal incontinence issues are possible
  • physical therapy may also be recommended depending on level of recovery by week 2 post-op (recheck at that time)
  • risks of surgery:
    • damage to nerves upon implant placement
    • hemorrhage which has potential to be life threatening, though unlikely
    • infection 
    • chronic pain despite stabilization
    • implant loosening, failure or migration – basically the pins can move around or sometimes break after the fact. i’ve had this happen once and required re-explore to remove the pin
    • seroma formation – not a huge deal but requires some time and warm compressing to get it to go down
Let me know if there is any further information you need!
Dr. Cellini

He said that the surgery will take TWO Neuro surgeons because they physically have to move that bone back into place before they can put pins and surgical glue in it.

This surgery is to stabilize his spine and to relieve the pain from a chipped bone that digs in to the spinal cord when he moves a certain way and it is PAINFUL. Also the blood clot needs to be removed.

Now here is where we are financially. We added a CT scan to the bill today and two more days of hospitalization over the weekend.

We are right at half way there of where we need to be for surgery to take place. He said with his spine as unstable as it is, for Linus, he needs this surgery to be out of pain.

We need help. It’s a weekend and right after Christmas. We need help.

We have these matching donation challenges.

First, from Dawn Bove, at d.bove@fcpmllc.com we have this generous challenge for $250.00. Is there anyone who can match Dawn for this baby? Thank you Dawn!

Date: Fri, Jan 17, 2020, 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: From Robin: 9 Month Old Precious Bichon Hit By Car. MRI And Fractured Spine Surgery Needed. Time Is Of The Essence.
To: Small Paws Rescue, Inc. <robinpressnall@gmail.com>

Good Morning Robin: I will make a $250.00 challenge for little Linus. I  pray the surgery will be successful inspite of the delays.

I hope someone will match me soon.
As always sent with love, Dawn<
Next, from Judy DeAngelis at jadeangelis@cox.net, we have this challenge for $100.00. Thank you Judy!

From: Judy DeAngelis <jadeangelis@cox.net>
Sent: Fri Jan 17 13:44:37 CST 2020
To: robinpressnall@gmail.com
Cc: “Louie@SmallPawsRescue.org” <louieb@smallpawsrescue.org>
Subject: Re: From Robin: 9 Month Old Precious Bichon Hit By Car. MRI And Fractured Spine Surgery Needed. Time Is Of The Essence.

Hi Robin,

I will issue a $100.00 challenge for his surgery.  
Thanks for all your help.
Judy DeAngelis>
Next, from Gisella Towner at artgoose@yahoo.com, we have this challenge for $50.00. Thank you Gisella!

From: Gisela Towner <artgoose@yahoo.com>
Sent: Fri Jan 17 15:27:52 CST 2020
To: “Small Paws Rescue, Inc.” <robinpressnall@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: From Robin: 9 Month Old Precious Bichon Hit By Car. MRI And Fractured Spine Surgery Needed. Time Is Of The Essence.

Oh Robin — this poor baby!
Please issue a $50 challenge from Bugsy, Meryl and Beamer.  They want his story to have a happy ending too! 
Gisela Towner
Small Paws Rescue Volunteer
So this is where we are. I know it is right after Christmas and January is tough. Little Linus didn’t plan for this to happen and much less, in January.
The Neuro surgeon gives him a GOOD prognosis with the surgery. There are always risks with any surgery, but we obtain as much information from these skilled surgeons as we can.
It is the Neuro Surgon and our Board’s opinion that in order for Linus to have a chance at a normal life, he needs this surgery.  Help is needed. And soon. All My Love, Robin


We received a call from an employee at Blue Pearl Pet Hospital, Northfield Il. 

Meet little “Linus” and he needs more than a security blanket. He needs us.

He weighs only 11.6 pounds and he was hit by a car. He was brought in by a good Sam who found him lying in the road of an intersection near Chicago. He is about 8-9 months old (he still has his puppy teeth) and he is very sweet.

Unfortunately, preliminary x-rays show that one of his vertebrae is cracked near his spine. L-7. He is on something for pain until we can get an emergency MRI done when the Neuro Team comes in, in the morning. 

He still has bowel and bladder control, which is good news when there is a spinal injury.

As you can see, he was banged up. I’m just thankful he survived being HBC .

Linus is alert when someone speaks to him and wags his little tail. He just hurts.

They have posted everywhere, online and at shelters, to try to find an owner, to no avail. There was no I.D. or microchip and so far, Linus hasn’t said a word. This happened on Monday night. We learned about him on Wednesday and got custody of him yesterday, on Thursday.

He needed a Neurological consult but they did not have a neurologist at this Blue Pearl.

One of their surgical techs has been approved to be an SPR volunteer and on her day off, Thursday, she took him over to VCA Auroro Il. where she had worked in the Neuro department, so they know her. There are two neuro surgeons there. (Thankfully, she is also going to foster Linus.)

So on Thursday, late afternoon, Linus was seen by veterinary neurologist Dr. Randy Cochran at VCA Aurora IL.

Dr. Cochran has recommended an MRI and surgery, hopefully today, Friday.

The problem was that neither of their two neurologists DO this kind of surgery, spinal fracture repair. 

So they said we had to move him to a hospital that DOES Spinal Fracture Repair.

Medvet of Chicago, the same folks who saved our little Elf last month, DOES do Spinal fracture repair.

Linus is there now. He was checked into emergency there at around Midnight, about 10 minutes ago.

Linus is still able to use the bathroom both ways and he can wag his tail a bit, so this isn’t a case of lost deep pain sensation, yet, but they told me with each passing day he may lose more motor and neurological function, if he doesn’t have this surgery by today or tomorrow, Saturday.

The estimate for the MRI and surgery, with our rescue discount is around $6,000.00.

Medvet has been good about staying on the lower end of estimates for us.

I have known many of you for almost 22 years now and I believe you would want Small Paws to try to save this precious little 9 month old Bichon. 

I will issue all matching challenges. This is most urgent. Time is of the essence they tell me.

All My Love, Robin

P.S. Little Elf, who was thrown from a moving car in December, is doing wonderfully! His Foster Mom will be adopting him! And she’s a police-woman. No one is ever going to hurt this baby again, Here he is enjoying a Puppachino.

You may also call Louie on his cell phone at 1-337-3Bichon (1-337-324-2466)

Louie is on Eastern Standard Time!
(Please leave a message and Louie will return your call if he is not available!)

You may also send a check or money order to:
Small Paws® Rescue Inc.
3316 S. 72nd. W. Ave.
Tulsa, Ok. 74107

If we already have your credit card on file, please e-mail Louie and let him know the amount of your donation.





Dear robin,

This is your quarterly AmazonSmile donation notification. Your charity, Small Paws Rescue Inc, recently received a quarterly donation of $921.54 thanks to customers shopping at smile.amazon.com.

To date, AmazonSmile has donated a total of:

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Welcome to the Small Paws®  Rescue Online Newsletter, especially to those of you who may have seen us over the years on our guest appearances on Fox and Friends in New York City, or on Animal Planet on “Dogs 101.”, or you may have read about us in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Happiness, 101 Stories about Finding Your Purpose, Passion and Joy . You also may have seen us on “Inside Edition” with Deborah Norville! (To see backstage photos of one of our trips to NYC and Fox & Friends, click here.)

Also, Small Paws Was Featured on a “The Chicken Soup for the Soul Podcast”. It’s was an interview of how Small Paws Rescue was born, almost 21 years ago! 2019 was our 21st Anniversary! We are so happy to have you join us! Robin


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