In his book, Through My Eyes, Tim Tebow New York Jet’s football player, writes about his childhood dog, Otis. “Otis was loyal and protective, traits you’d hope to find in a dog. If you came by, you would see blonde-haired Otis, who looked to be a mixture of half lab and half golden retriever, walking down our long dirt driveway at the farm and toward the house, keeping my mom company and safe.”
However, the summer before Tim’s junior year in high school, Otis did not come out to greet the family when they returned from Disney World. Sometimes Otis would take off for hours but never days. Tim took off to look for him and found him beaten lying in the brush. Otis’s bottom jaw appeared to have been split down the middle and he was missing teeth. His legs were at an awkward angle.
A quick trip to the vet told the whole story. Otis’s injuries had been caused by a baseball bat. His back, legs and hips were severely damaged and his jaw was radically fractured. Surgery was an option but it would be extensive and expensive. There was no guarantee he would survive.
So, they brought Otis home to die. Only they forgot to tell Otis these were his final days. EverydayTim took Otis to their swimming pool where he submerged Otis on his lap. After a couple of weeks he started gently moving his back legs so his muscles would regain some tone and strength. Over the next few months with regular pool workouts and lots of vanilla shakes he regained the ability to walk but with a limp.
Tim wrote in his book, “Otis never ran again, but after an initial period where he seemed ashamed or worried that he’d done something wrong – which made me upset at the physical injuries he’d suffered – he settled back into being himself. He was a bit frail, but he was our Otis, no less, the one we always knew and loved.”
Otis lived to be 13 and died when Tebow was away playing college football.