Sep 012009

If you’re a dog or you know somebody who has a dog, and if you (if you’re a dog) or the dog you know has his leg in a splint or a cast, this blog post is for you!


Well, here is what my parents don’t want me to do. Here is what my doctors don’t want me to do. And here is what my doctors say that if they see me doing, and if they notice my bandages getting wet, they have to bring me to the hospital.

a dog licking his bandages and splint

Joey licking his bandages and splint

My doctors and my parents don’t want me licking my bandages.

First of all, licking my bandages may indicate that I’m uncomfortable and that I have an infection. Also, wet bandages may tighten up and cause problems for my circulation.

When my parents see me doing this, the collar that I hate so much has to go on. Then, if my parents have to bring me to the hospital, I have to be examined for signs of infection. I also have to have my bandages changed. Once I chewed up my splint so much the doctors had to make me a completely new splint.

This isn’t the first time I was licking my bandages, by the way.  It is, however, one time that I was caught on camera!


Jul 052009

Today, the day before Independence Day, marked 12 weeks and two days since I was hit by the automobile.

Today also marked the first day of my new personal sense of freedom.

Heading toward freedom

The day started like all the other days when I had a visit to the animal hospital, except for three things:  On this day my dad did not go to work.  My mom also didn’t give me breakfast. And third, both he and my mom got in the car with me. Still I didn’t suspect that anything was really different.

Now please continue to Part 2 of this 2-page post to read about the rest of this great day!

 Posted by at 5:32 pm
Jul 012009

Here is the topic that many of you have been asking about.  what happened here

As the weeks go by, my new coat is growing in and the bald spots where I was shaved are disappearing.  I never pay any attention to these areas of baldness. They don’t mean anything to me.   I’m not one to pay attention to looks. When I meet a person or a dog, the first thing I do is to sniff and see if the scent is attractive to me. With people, I sense if this person is friendly and most people I meet are friendly so that I’m happy.  I never care what another animal or person looks like.

Also, when my parents are out walking me, people stop and stare – fewer now than in the beginning. That didn’t mean anything to me either. When I’m out walking, other things are much more important to me.

But my mom says that it’s time for me to write about this this issue of my bald spots. So here goes:

I have a number of separate places where I was shaved and toward which people point and then ask, “What’s that?” or “What happened here?” And usually I have to stand still so my parents can explain each spot, which is really annoying to me but which I’m getting better about standing still while people talk about me. But let me get back to the story that you want to know.

I was shaved on two occasions. The first time was the first day that I was admitted to the hospital as a patient, right after the accident.  This is where I received the large square you see, the bald patch closest to my neck. I was shaved here so that the doctors could apply a patch that contained some medicine so that I did not feel pain. That patch remained on my skin for maybe two weeks.

In addition, the  emergency room doctors shaved all around my leg because I had many wounds to my leg that had to be cleaned up and have antibiotic creams applied. One area of my leg had an open wound which Dr. B closed surgically; by that I mean he stapled the skin closed. So my whole leg had to be shaved so that the emergency room team could patch me up.

The next time I was shaved was one month later, right before my ankle surgery.  Here the surgeons really went to town shaving my leg. I think they left me some coat – but not much.  The whole area had to be clean and sterile for the surgery.grounded

There is also a rectangular spot in the middle of my back, above my tail. This was where I was grounded so that, during the surgery, I did not receive an electric shock.

This sounds strange to a lot of people. I don’t understand any of this so don’t ask me; ask my parents. Actually, don’t even ask my mom because she doesn’t understand about electricity either. Understanding electricity is, to my mom, kind of like my understanding why I cannot dig my way out of the garden: Neither of us gets it. So maybe you can ask my dad. He understands electricity.  Or maybe a doctor or veterinarian will make a comment onto my blog and explain it to you. All I can tell you is that it was done to protect me so that I was safe. And that’s the most important thing!

The best thing about telling this story, from my point of view, is that after my mom took the photo of me that you see to the right, during which time I had to stand perfectly still, she said “Good boy!” and gave me a treat.

Jun 262009

I don’t know what my veterinary doctors are going to think about this but here goes:

There I was – happy as could be – without the splint for the first time in months.

It was the afternoon and I was with my mom.  The telephone rang and my mom was talking and talking to my dad. Then my mom turned to me and said, “Joey, it’s “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” in Boston” and we’re going to go out! But she didn’t tell me we were going to see Dad.  Next, my mom dressed me all up (that is, she put the sock on my foot, the bootie over that and put the lead on me). Then we walked to her car. We drove to my dad’s work.  There, she pulled the car up to the curb and there stood Dad! Happiness and Joy!  Dad opened the car door and I got out. Jane drove away.  Dad stood and I sat until Jane came back (without the car). Then the three of us waIMG_0006_adjlked to Dad’s work, which was only a few feet away. We went up the elevator and into a new and special place.

Right away I was so happy to see new people and make new friends, and people were so happy to see me and I could hear the smiles in their voices. “Joey!” they called to me. This made me even happier. Then more and more people started coming to see me. “Joey! It’s Joey, from the blog!”  They were so excited which made me more excited. They especially got a big kick out of my sock.

Rachel, Tammy and me

Rachel, Tammy and me

Then we all walked to my dad’s office. After all, Dad had work to do. I’m not sure what that means, but I think it means that I’m supposed to be quiet and “sit” and “stay”.

Being quiet and sitting was difficult to do because more and new people kept showing up and wanting to pet me and wanting me to play with them, and take photographs with them.

Jane took a lot of photographs but she wasn’t very happy with the photographs. She kept saying, “Joey, stick your tongue back in your mouth”. But I ignored her.

Rachel, Tammuy, Jody and Jamie

Rachel, Tammy, Jody and Jamie

Then I went into my dad’s office and Jane said, “Joey, sit” while my Dad got quiet and then she got quiet. When I would sit, everybody would say “He’s so gooooood!!!” and then I would get excited and stand up.  Jane wasn’t so happy about that because I still had my injured foot and she didn’t want me standing up too much. But that’s happens when a dog goes to work: A dog has to work at making all the friends he can!

Soon my Dad brought me a bowl of water and Jane said “Joey, drink”. People were watching me drink and they said, “Wow! He’s so good!”  I felt happy to hear them say that with their approving voices.


so much work

Then it got quiet again and Jane said “Sit” and then “down”.  She kept piling books near me.  It depressed me that I couldn’t play with my new friends while she kept piling more and more books near me.

What's that?

What’s that?

Another big deal was the bald patches on my fur. Although my coat is beginning to grow back, people pointed and said “What’s that?” and my dad was explaining everything. I actually don’t understand what they’re talking about but I do know that they talk a lot and point a lot to my back.

Soon it was time to leave. My dad didn’t think he could work with me there, which I think means that I couldn’t sit and be quiet. Actually, I could sit and be quiet but all my friends there couldn’t stop coming and visiting me. So it was time to go back home with my mom.

The most important thing I have to say is that I love all of my new friends and that if my friends are reading this I want them to know that I would be happy to come back and see them some time.


this photo speaks for itself

The other most important thing is that it was really nice to spend some time with my dad in the middle of the day and I really love him a lot.  And Dad, if you’re reading this, I love you.

Jun 252009

I walked into the animal hospital today with a bandaged foot and ankle, and a splint – and I walked out of the animal hospital with just a bandaged foot and ankle!  I feel so happy I could run a mile.

Except that I’m not allowed to walk more than a block in each direction.

No splint, just bandages. View of my paws and ankles, from behind.

No splint, just bandages. View of my paws and ankles, from behind.

In fact, Jane and Phil are still keeping me on my short lead whenever we are outside and I’m still on the lead when we go up and down stairs.

In fact, in some ways I’m more limited now that the splint is off.  Since I now have more pressure on my leg and less support, I have to be more careful than I’ve had to be recently. With the splint I was going up the stairs and down the stairs numerous times a day. Now they only let me upstairs once – to go to bed for the night – and downstairs once – to go out in the morning for my morning walk with my dad, and I have to stay downstairs all day.

Still I feel lighter and happier! My leg is getting more air and there is less irritation.

Many people look at my leg and still see the bandages which are currently bright blue (to humans) but to me – do you remember? – is a pale blue. They can’t tell that the splint is not there under the bandages. But it’s not there!

Dr. Bill, my doctor was leaving the animal hospital and moving to another city and this was his going-away present to me!  He was going away but he gave me the going-away present.  That’s the kind of doctors I have.

 Posted by at 8:52 pm
Jun 252009

How do dogs communicate with each other?  Some dogs make friends quickly and others not so quickly.

Today we took another trip to the animal hospital for another bandage change.

I met more and more dogs and one of them even let me lick him!  This dog I liked a lot. Her name is Fay. When Fay’s mommy was holding her in her lap, Fay let me lick her face.  She was really happy about this and we got along really well.  Then later Fay’s mommy put Fay down on the ground. I went to play with Fay and lick her face but suddenly she seemed afraid of me and hid behind her mommy’s legs.  Maybe because when she was on her mommy’s lap and higher up she liked me to play with her but when she was down on the ground and could see that I was many times bigger than her, she got nervous. So Fay’s mommy and my mom decided that I should leave Fay alone so that Fay could feel happy and comfortable.  It’s too bad that I couldn’t just say to Fay that no matter how tall or small she is, I would like to be friends with her and I hope she could be friends with me.  But dogs don’t communicate that way.  But if we could, that’s what I would tell her.

There were other dogs in the hospital, too.

There were two dogs named Lowell and Lana who went together with their dad.  Lowell was the younger dog and was very excited to be in the hospital but Lana, the older dog, was very nervous.   Their dad held Lana in his arms and you could see Lana was shaking and their dad held Lana so that she felt comfortable and protected. It’s too bad that I couldn’t just say to Lana that I’ve been in the hospital many times and that everything was going to be alright and that the doctors in the hospital really care about their patients. Dogs don’t have that kind of communication but if we could, that’s what I would say.

Tern, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Tern, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

I also met a dog named Tern. Tern is a Cavalier Spaniel and these dogs are very friendly to humans and to other dogs. Tern and I became friends there at the animal hospital and he even let my mom take a photo of him.

Then something really great happened:  My mom and I met two children who had a dog.  The two little children asked my mom, “What happened to him?” and my mom said that I had a broken ankle. Then the two children pointed to one of their dogs and said that their dog had a broken ankle too and had plates and screws in his leg too!   Maybe if their dog could talk to me he would say, “Don’t worry, just like me, you will be able to run again.” But dogs don’t communicate that way.

Still, I feel it in my bones that I will be able to run again and I will be able to run with my dad, we will run early and we will run far, and we will run side by side!

Now you can please continue with today’s story!

Jun 232009
We're never going to tell you if it hurts or where it hurts.

We're never going to tell you if it hurts or where it hurts.

A dog who gets hit by a car isn’t going to tell you if he is in pain.  And if he is in pain, he certainly is not going to tell you where it hurts.

At the fence that morning after I was hit by the car, my mom saw blood and open wounds but she had no idea how seriously I had been hurt.  Because of my silence, it had never occurred to her that I was so deeply wounded.  I didn’t tell my mom and I didn’t complain, not a whimper. I didn’t lie down; I stayed sitting up and erect.  I did everything she told me to do and I stayed where she told me to stay.  My eyes were wide open the whole time and I followed my mom’s every move. Even when she had driven the car to the back of our home and was opening the back door to the car to let me in, I tried to jump in until she said “Joey, NO” and she put the blanket around me and lifted me in and onto the car seat.

The hardest part for my parents was when the first doctor said, “He could die if you don’t get him to Angell right away.”

Since then my parents have been learning a lot about how we dogs are different from humans.  For example, today my mom found me licking my splint again.  She knows that something is irritating my foot and that this means another trip to the hospital tomorrow to try to determine the source of my irritation – and that in the meanwhile she has to put the sock back on my foot and the cone if my licking my foot continues. She knows that I’m never going to tell her that my foot is being irritated or where it’s irritated. I’m not going to complain.  She knows that I’m just going to try to get some relief in the only way I can, which is to lick my foot. And maybe try to chew at the splint.

That’s just my way. That’s our – a dog’s – way.

Ask any dog and he or she will tell you the same.

So my mom and dad are going to keep looking at me and looking at me to see what I’m up to every day, every waking hour. And they’re going to keep the phone number of the animal hospital close at hand.

Jun 222009

How can you tell when your dog is feeling sick?  After he’s been sick how can you tell when he’s feeling well again?

Everybody asks “How’s Joey?  How’s he doing?”

Anybody who knows me can tell I’m feeling better than I was ten weeks ago – or even last month. How? Here are the top ten things that my parents have noticed:

I'm feeling better

I'm feeling better

1) I’m running up and down the stairs faster.

2) At midnight on a beautiful summer night, I make some type of deep howl that I want to go outside.

3) I’m scratching the ground after I pee.

4) I’m getting interested in the squirrels and bunnies again when my dad takes me out for my early morning walk.

5) I’m picking up my tennis ball and throwing it up in the air and playing catch with myself again.

6) I’m playing with the area rugs and rolling them into little balls, which frustrates my mom to no end.

7) I’m even eating all my breakfast topped with the glucosamine and chondroitin sauce before Jane even has to say “Joey, eat your breakfast” and my dinner with its salmon oil topping before Jane has to say “Joey, eat your dinner”.

8) I seek out other dogs when I’m outside now and follow the trail of their scent.

9) I’m bringing my tennis ball to my parents for them to throw to me (although they aren’t throwing them for me to catch).

10) If you get near my tail when I’m wagging it, you might feel something more like a fly swatter than a tail!

I sure hope that I get to spend more time outside soon and that I start running with my dad. I have so much energy!  What can I do with it every day?

When my dad he gets up at 4 a.m. and gets dressed to go running and I get up too and get all excited and my dad says, “Joey, not today. Go back to bed” I do what he tells me to do. I go back to bed.  But it’s hard for me.  I hope soon he’ll say “Joey, come!  Let’s go run!”

 Posted by at 9:39 pm
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