Nubbin, the Jack Russell terrier, needs more work on leg

jwarren@herald-leader.comDecember 14, 2012 

Nubbin, the little dog whose story many people have been following for the past two weeks, will need more treatment on his broken rear leg.

Veterinarian Barry Hays gave the leg an extensive examination Friday, and determined that one of the three breaks has not healed as hoped.

"Some of the breaks look pretty good, but the leg isn't as stable as we want it to be," Hays said after the examination at the veterinary clinic at Locust Trace AgriScience Farm.

Hays said he plans to install a pin in Nubbin's leg on Monday to provide more stability and, he hopes, give the bone a better chance to heal.

Nubbin, a four-year-old Jack Russell terrier, broke his left rear leg chasing a groundhog late last month. His owner, Jessie Brother, who lives on Social Security and disability, couldn't afford surgery for the dog. But two Lexington firefighters agreed to split the cost of the operation, which Hays performed.

Many people who were touched by the story sent in donations to help, and the story took an unexpected turn when Brothers' son, Jessie Kennard, 34, of Oklahoma, saw and online account and contacted Brothers. The two were reunited in Lexington a few days later.

Brothers, 65, who brought Nubbin to the Locust-Trace clinic for a checkup on Friday, said he is grateful for all the help people have sent, but remains concerned about his dog.

Brothers said he'll spend all the money that's been donated on Nubbin, and will use none of it for himself.

"I wouldn't take a million dollars for him," Brothers said. "I got him when he was a little puppy, when I was alone. He's been a better friend than you'll ever know."

Nubbin's leg has been in a cast since his initial surgery, but Brothers said that hasn't kept him from being active.

"He's been wanting to get out in the yard and play," he said.

Hays said he's doing all he can, but doesn't want to give Brothers false hopes.

"Some of these breaks are so bad that the blood supply to that area of the bone is damaged and they just don't heal," he said. "We'll put in a pin to make the leg more stable and give it another chance."

Hays said, however, that even it became necessary to amputate Nubbin's leg, the little dog could enjoy a good life. He noted that Jack Russells are full of life and energy.

"If it did come to amputating his leg, it wouldn't slow him down one bit," Hays said.

Jim Warren (859) 231-3255.

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