By: Ashley Smithson
Many of you might know 3rd Street Dispensary (3SD) co-founder, Cheryl Annen's dog, Moose. He is the unofficial mascot of 3SD and to know Moose is to love Moose.
From his tight curly but so soft and fluffy coat to his happy-go-lucky demeanor he gets nothing but head pats and (too many) treats when he visits the dispensary. 3SD has welcomed friendly, well-behaved dogs since the beginning and a big
part of that is due to the fact we also serve canine patients. One of our most popular CBD, or cannabidiol (non-psychoactive cannabinoid from the marijuana plant), products are our Dog Treats and Tinctures. This is because they work but BUYER BEWARE, not all CBD companies are created equal!
From the beginning, fellow co-founder, Mary Ann Westhues, and Cheryl weren't thinking they would offer CBD products as they felt the products available were unreliable. It was them meeting with Missouri CBD (family-owned) company, Rural Route Hemp Co., and finding out all they have to offer that won them over to the idea. They were most interested in their Certificates of Analysis (CoA) or lab reports on all of their products. From their salves and body lotions to human and animal gummies these CoAs provided Cheryl and Mary Ann the confidence they needed to carry their products.
They first fell in love with their family-owned business model comprised of actual farmers and extractors committed to delivering safe and potent products to their human and canine patients alike. Cheryl has recently developed a new found love and life-time respect for the brand as she has watched her beloved Moose make an astounding recovery utilizing their CBD pet products. Moose's health was in top shape for a 7yr old Portuguese Water Dog going into the summer of 2022. Cheryl and family were busy planning a wedding celebration for dispensary manager and step-daughter, Kat Annen when the unthinkable happened.
On June 27, 2022, Cheryl and husband, fellow owner, Tom Annen, Kat's father, were at St. Luke's hospital awaiting a heart procedure for Tom. Cheryl's mom, Vickie, who affectionately calls Moose her "Granddog" was watching him. She called Cheryl in a panic to tell her Moose was whimpering and was unable to move. Thankfully the team at St. Luke's Plaza Hospital were able to be with Tom (even if he did joke he was being abandoned) while Cheryl rushed Moose to their local veterinarian.
Aware of Moose's IVDD, or Intervertebral Disc Disease, Moose's vet was worried it was impacting his neck discs and said time was of the essence. Having previously taken Moose to the University of Missouri Columbia (MIZZOU)'s College of Veterinary Medicine four years prior the vet called to secure a spot for him and Cheryl and Moose made the hour and half journey.
The doctors at MU were able to see his C3 and C4 discs were leaking and hardening, making him unable to move. Cheryl is told they are short staffed due to Covid illnesses and would need to wait until the next day to operate. Moose was given medication to reduce the swelling but his condition worsened as the compression started to restrict his breathing, putting his life is in more immediate danger. Immediate considerations for euthanasia were discussed. Left with the choice of putting him down or proceeding with a limited operational team, Cheryl elected to have them perform the operation citing "we have to try". The dedicated team that night saved his life on a limited staff and lack of sleep. Grateful just doesn't cover it.
Moose was put on oxygen for a few days but it was clear immediately that the surgery was working as he was able to breathe even though there were no signs of movement and the prognosis wasn't wasn’t clear. They just had to wait and see.
Moose's Road to Recovery
07.02.22 - 5 days post operation Moose is still with the resident surgeon. At this point he is unable to move his tail or legs but is showing slight movement in head and neck.
"I think Dr. Kowal (pictured left) worked 24 hours straight before taking this picture. Moose would not be alive without his the team's dedication" Cheryl explained.
07.03.22 - Cheryl and Tom are taught range of motion exercises and given Trazadone to manage his excitement and Gabapentin for nerve pain.
07.04.22 - Cheryl and Tom are able to bring Moose home to an uncertain road of physical therapy and recovery. He is still unable to move though his tail starts to move slightly (happy to be home after the hospital)!
Luckily for Moose, Cheryl is well aware of Rural Route's CBD Dog products and implemented their tincture immediately. Working backwards (not recommended for humans) she started with a full dropper and worked backwards to see what was the least amount he could have and still experience relief. Different than most scenarios where it is recommended to go low and slow, with the severity of his situation and the amount of pain and anxiety he was experiencing combined with her trust of Rural Route's products Cheryl felt comfortable trying it.
Unlike the Trazadone, which just knocked him out, the CBD helped calm Moose enough while on movement restriction but kept him alert enough to to get through physical therapy which prevented muscle atrophy and developed back his strength. As a working breed activity restriction or confinement just adds to his anxiousness which Cheryl says the treats were fantastic for!
07.06.22 - Moose requires constant care as he is unable to move alone. Just going potty was an epic journey into physical and emotional endurance for pet and owner. A quick Facebook Marketplace snag and Moose gets a modified dog wheelchair for the foreseeable future. Dad Tom takes him on nightly walks being sure to go slow over the bumps.
07.08.22 - Only 4 days after returning home and implementing a regimen of physical therapy, CBD (just as much for Mom's sanity) and Gabapentin. They are completely able to remove him from the Trazadone.
Around this time Cheryl begins to utilize Rural Route's Pain and Joint Cream on herself for her stiffening muscles (turns out lifting all 70lbs of Moose around for a week is a bit of a workout!).
07.11.22 - One week after returning home and just two weeks after collapsing in their kitchen Moose is able to walk on his own! Thanks to the dedicated team at MIZZOU's College of Veterinary Medicine, physical therapy, acupuncture and CBD Moose continues to make improvements in his mobility everyday. Now, Moose is only on Gabapentin for nerve zingers but Cheryl is hopeful that he can come off of that soon with continued therapeutic use of CBD.
Have you met a Moose-Bird?
08.09.22 - More than a month later Moose returns to 3SD for an all-staff meeting and to meet Rural Route Hemp Co.'s owners, Michelle Poindexter and Luke Poindexter, and thank them for helping his recovery! The reason Moose looks so much different now is due to his new hairdo. Unfortunately, being on bedrest left him with a very matted coat and the groomer was forced to shave him. His coat, more resembling a birddog, has won him the affectionate nickname "Bird".
Michelle and Luke provide continuing education for 3SD including other great ways to utilize their pet products like:
Before going to the vet
Going to be groomed
Separation anxiety (especially after you return to work post Covid)
Other times your dog experiences anxiety
For more information on Rural Route Hemp Co., CBD, pet products or how Moose is doing please visit us in-store (our favorite), check our website or call the store and ask to speak to one of our managers.
Medical decisions should not be based on advertising. Consult your physician about the benefits and risks of particular medical marijuana products.