The power of animal chiropractic holds no limits, as the story of Charlie the buffalo illustrates.
Charle was orphaned and adopted at 6 days old by a Santa Fe couple, Roger and Veryl Goodnigh. Veryl, a sculptor, needed a buffalo for a piece she was creating for the Wild West Experience exhibit in Denver, CO. The Goodnights and Charlie developed a strong bond during his stay with the Goodnights, as told in the book, “A Buffalo in the House”.
When Charlie reached 400 pounds, he was introduced to the Taos Pueblo buffalo herd. Having been brought up in a home where the largest animal was a German Shepherd, Charlie freaked out and bolted head on into a metal post and had what is called flaccid paralysis throughout his 400-pound body. He was immediately driven to the Colorado State University (CSU) veterninarian clinic, strung up on a very strong sling, and for thirty days was given appropriate care and acupuncture.
With nothing else to be done, Charlie was taken home to Santa Fe to recover as best he could. Because he never truly recovered from the head-on trauma, Charlie lost a lot of muscle strength and his right leg was lame. He was only able to walk with his body angled, and could only push off well with his left rear leg.
Fortunately, Sherry Gaber read a story in the local paper about Charlie’s plight. Being a certified animal chiropractor, through the American Veterinarian Chiropractic Association, she knew she could be of assistance and help Charlie walk better and have a better quality of life. Charlie was 1,000 pounds heavier since the trauma, but as chiropractors know, a spine that has had earlier trauma can be corrected.
The difference in this case was the question: “What does a buffalo’s spinal column look like, what are the angles of the various spinal facets?” Thankfully, those questions were answered when CSU sent faxes of the various angles of a buffalo’s spinal column.
A simple phone call to Charlie’s owner, Roger Brooks, resulted in an appointment for Charlie for an initial chiropractic exam. With the help of veterinarian Dr. Gretchen Yost, Dr. Gaber adjusted Charlie who was quickly walking straighter. And, it was immediate, Charlie charged off down his arena — a happier 1400-pound buffalo.
The story of Charlie the Buffalo and his three-year stay with the Goodnights is not only a testimonial to the power of animal chiropractic, but of the bond that can develop between humans and wild animals.