Oct 292009
 

Here’s my little friend Cheyenne, 5 weeks after she was hit by the truck. My little friend Cheyenne is looking an awful lot better! I can see that she’s feeling better too, although she probably doesn’t know it. Why do I say that?  Little puppy is thinking about now and she wants to be free. She wants to be free of her splint and she wants to be free of the wire in her jaw. She wants to be free to jump up and down.

Cheyenne_2

She is not thinking about when she was hit by the truck:  She wants to be free now and she wishes there weren’t so many limits on her freedom or new rules in the home now.  This is the way we dogs are.

She may never understand why she has her leg in a splint, why she can’t do whatever she wants, why there are so many new rules, why she can’t go wherever she wants. But one day she’ll be happy with the results of this new life of hers.  Take me, for example.  After I was hit by a car, I didn’t like all the new rules I had to obey, the splint, the collar, the lead, the confinement, everything.  But the rules made me a happier dog, even happier than very very happy me that I usually am. In fact, I am now “under voice control”, which, apparently I wasn’t before, so my parents can now take me to a dog park or any other off-leash area and let me go free, which I love, and which they couldn’t do before.

Getting back to Cheyenne, last week Cheyenne was vomiting a lot.  Her injured leg has been draining a lot and making things messy.  Her moma and nana talk to Cheyenne’s doctor and the doctor says that everything is okay, that it’s just going a little more slowly than they all hoped. Cheyenne’s moma and nana are busy busy busy taking care of Cheyenne, cleaning cleaning cleaning. They are still taking Cheyenne to the veterinarian for checkups.  They are being her best friends. Now, when she needs them.

I’m glad to be Cheyenne’s friend! And I’m glad that my friend Cheyenne has such a wonderful family who have been there for her every step of the way.

******

Oct 272009
 

This drawing is what people say the bones of us dogs look like.   They call it our “skeleton”.    I don’t understand this word, although I do understand the word “bone”.  This is a common word in our home.  Usually if my parents say “Joey, where’s your bone?” or “Joey, go get your bone” I know just what they want me to do, and I waste not a second answering their question or obeying them.  My parents have friends who come over and bring me a “dog bone“.  I have another friend who is always giving me a bone when my parents aren’t looking.  Then that night or the next day I get sick.

But this picture is of a dog’s bones.

Dog_anatomy_lateral_skeleton_view

In this picture, you can see what bones of mine were broken. In addition to my ankle, my toes, numbers 26, were broken.

You can also what bones of Luca’s were broken. His Radius (# 9) and his Ulna (#7) were both broken. The doctors did surgery to the Radius, not the Ulna. Luca’s mom says the doctors say the Ulna will heal by itself. These bones are important. The Radius supports the dog’s weight. The Ulna allows us dogs to rotate our arms.

This dog’s tail is low and isn’t wagging. His tail is not like mine. My tail is usually always wagging, side to side to side, unless I’m sleeping.  You can see the tail bones of us dogs go to the tippy tip of the tail.  This is why, when I wag my tail, and the happier I am the faster I wag it, people say “Ouch!”

*******

Oct 232009
 

When your dog is injured, do you know what to expect in terms of your dog’s recovery and rehabilitation? When should you expect your dog to start walking – and how far and how fast? What’s the best way to get your dog’s muscles back in shape, and his stamina back?  Good communication with your dog’s veterinarian can give you some guidelines. The doctors should give you the instructions in writing.  But as always, observe your dog carefully and notice and pay attention to everything, and use that as a guide.

******

Here is my time line for my rehab and recovery.  In general, my parents and my doctors made these decisions, not I.   I wouldn’t have agreed to any of them.

eyes_3_crDay 1: I was hit by the car and brought to the emergency room of the animal medical center.  When I went home six days later, I had a full-splint on my leg.

During this time, I may only go outside to pee and poop and then must go back home. I must be on the lead at all times when outside. I must have the plastic bag on my injured leg every time I go outside.  In our home, I may only stay in one room and my parents have me confined to the living room. There is a dog gate so I cannot get out of that room, except for when they open the little door on the dog gate to allow me to go outside so that I can take my walks.

Week 5, Day 3: I have surgery on my broken ankle, though I’m asleep and don’t know what’s going on.   When I go home, I have a half-splint on my leg.

During this time, I may only go outside to pee and poop. I must be on the lead at all times when outside. I must have the plastic bag on my injured leg every time I go outside.  I may only stay in one room and my parents have me confined to the living room. There is a dog gate so I cannot get out, except for when they open the little door to allow me to go outside so that I can take my walk.

Week 12, Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for a bandage change. It has been 7 weeks since my surgery. Although he was going to only take x-rays at this time, my doctor removes my splint!

During this time, I may now leave the living room, and I may go upstairs. When I go upstairs and downstairs, I must be on my lead.  When I go outside I must be on the lead, even when I’m just hanging out with Jane in the backyard. I still must have the plastic bag on my injured leg every time I go outside, except that now it’s a bootie. There is a dog gate blocking the stairs so that when I am downstairs, I cannot go upstairs except for when I’m with Jane or Phil and on my lead. And when I am upstairs, I cannot go downstairs except for when I’m with Jane or Phil and on my lead. When I am home alone, my parents keep me in the living room and close the little door gate. They don’t want me jumping up on anything.  My parents have made me a new bed in their room; at night, I sleep upstairs with them in my bed.

Going up and down the stairs, my muscles are starting to strengthen again, especially my leg that broke when I was hit by the car.

Week 13:  Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for x-rays on my broken ankle. It has been 8 weeks since my surgery. My doctor removes my bandages!

During this time, I am learning to walk again. The dog gate to the living room is pushed away.  The dog gates to the stairs are gone.  I do not have to be on the lead in my back yard.  I do not have to have the plastic bag or the bootie on when I go outside!  I can feel freedom!  When I go outside for a walk, I must be on the lead (but that’s the way it’s always been.).

My muscles are starting to strengthen again, especially my leg that broke when I was hit by the car.  I’m still walking with a limp.  When I start to hop on three legs, my parents slow me down so that I use all four legs.

My walks start out short. Then they get longer. Then they get longer and longer. Then they get longer and longer and faster and faster.  My mom is walking longer and longer and faster and faster, too. This is good for me.

Soon I’ll tell you about my swimming and my running!

*******

Oct 192009
 

There are many places in each city or town to take your dog. Some require the dog to be on the lead, and some allow off-lead.  Either one is a wonderful opportunity for your dog – and for you – to get fresh air, to walk, and to enjoy nature. Your dog will be happy and healthy, and you will too!

***

It was another one of those surprise days.  Jane gets me ready to go outside. I’m excited. It doesn’t matter where we’re going. It matters that we ARE going.

We ride and ride and then get out of the car.  I’m on the lead and I seem to know what direction to go in. It’s the direction where I smell dogs. This is a very large place. There are ducks in the water but I don’t care. I care about the smells in ground, and the dogs that pass by me, each one on a lead with his or her mom or dad.

looking out at the reservoir

Most parents are really nice and give us a chance to acknowledge each other and decide if we want to be friends or not.   This dog wanted to be friends with me.IMG_0006

Sometimes even when we decide we want to be friends, our parents say “okay, that’s enough” and we move on.

Some dogs aren’t feeling very well and my mom doesn’t let me play with them.

We walk for a long long time and we are going around and around this large body of water.  I’m getting thirsty but only my mom notices that my tongue is hanging out and that I am hot and thirsty. I don’t notice.  I want to keep on going.  Mom mom notices, however, and after a long long time she decides it’s time to get back in the car. We go to the car where she has a treat waiting for me.  Good boy. Good mom!

This is another wonderful place in the world, another place that I have discovered!  That my mom has helped me to discover!

*****

Oct 152009
 

You may not see that this is about me and getting better. But it is!

When I still had the splint on my leg and I wasn’t allowed to see many people or make many new friends, when I had to always be on my lead when I was outside, I had a really lucky afternoon when a lot nice and friendly people came over to our home.

At the time, I didn’t understand why so many people were coming to our home.  Lots and lots of people came over!  And they were saying “How’s Joey?” They asked, “Can we see Joey?” and they let me spend some time with them.  I was really very happy about seeing my old friends.  Some of them I’d never met before.  I was really very happy about making new friends.

One new friend came over to our home: Setti.   My parents introduced me to Setti, too.  After a while, everybody went into the living room and sat down.  Setti talked, and people listened, then people talked, and Setti listened, then Setti talked, and people listened, and on and on it went like this for a long time. At one point, I heard somebody say “dog parks”.

Setti also was very nice to me!  Mom took this photo of me and my new friend, Setti.
(a friend in the background) then me and Setti

If I were a person and could vote for Mayor of Newton, I would vote for Setti.  He was really nice to me, as you can see, even though I can’t vote, in fact I can’t even register to vote, and he made me feel better and happier at a time when I couldn’t go out and make new friends.  He was really nice to me and to everybody!

Setti is one of my new friends.

Here’s another of my new friends: Lorie. You can see how friendly and nice Lori is and dogs like me pick up on this right away!  Meet my new friend, Laurie!  Days and friends like this really make me want to get better and better and live my life!

*****

 Posted by at 8:15 pm
Oct 152009
 

When your dog is injured, do you know what to expect in terms of your dog’s healing, and visits to the animal hospital? When should you expect the splint to be removed? There are some general guidelines, although of course only your dog’s veterinarian has enough information to determine what is right and healthy for your dog, and when.

******

eyesHere is my time line for my injury, when my x-rays were taken, my surgery on my broken ankle, my bandage changes, when my bandages were removed and when my splints were removed.  In general, my parents and my doctors made these decisions, not I.

Day 1: I was hit by the car and brought to the emergency room of the animal medical center.

Day 6: My parents pick me up from the animal medical center and bring me home.

Day 8: I go back to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and check-up.

Day 9: I am rushed to the local animal hospital when I start bleeding profusely from my lacerated penis. The doctors fix me up and send me to the big animal medical center.  I go home!  All is well.  (Except that from now on, the shades in the living room will be drawn and no children will be able to come over to our home . At least for a while.)

Week 2, Day 6: I go to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and check-up.

Week 2, Day 2:
I return to the animal medical center for my “Day 9″ (counting from when I was allowed to go home) examination.

Week 4, Day 4: I go to my local animal hospital for a bandage change and a check-up.

Week 4, Day 7: I return to the animal medical center to see the surgeon.  He will decide whether or not I need surgery on my broken ankle. He also changes my splint. He decides I need surgery.

Week 5, Day 2: I go into the animal medical center for surgery on my broken ankle.

Week 5, Day 3: I have surgery on my broken ankle, though I’m asleep and don’t know what’s going on.

Week 5, Day 4: I go back home!

Week 7, Day 1: I go to the local animal hospital for a bandage change and a check-up.

Week 7, Day 4: It has been two weeks since my surgery on my broken ankle. I see the doctor again for an examination.  He is really happy with how my leg is healing, and I get to go right back home.

Week 8, Day 1: I have a bandage change at the animal medical center and get to meet new friends and dogs. This is an emergency visit; my parents have discovered I’m chewing at my splint and my bandages are wet.

Week 9, Day 2: I have a bandage change at the animal medical center.  I get treats!  It has been 4 weeks since my surgery.

Week 10, Day 3:
I go to the animal medical center for my bandage change.

Week 10, Day 4: I go back to the animal medical center when my parents discover I’ve been chewing on my splint and my bandages are wet.

Week 11, Day 4: It has been six weeks since my surgery!  I go back to the animal medical center for another bandage change, and to make friends with some new animal friends.  I get treats!

Week 12, Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for a bandage change. It has been 7 weeks since my surgery. Although he was going to only take x-rays at this time, my doctor removes my splint!

Week 13:  Day 3: I go back to the animal medical center for x-rays on my broken ankle. It has been 8 weeks since my surgery. My doctor removes my bandages!

There were a few other times when I had to go to the animal medical center for bandages changes – when my parents found me chewing on my bandages and splints.

Part 2: My next time line tells do’s and don’ts and may and may not’s for my aftercare.

*******

Oct 082009
 

Bruno is another new friend of mine, Bruno.   I know how miserable Bruno is feeling now. Here he is, with his leg in an open-toed splint and his head in the dreaded Elizabethan collar, saying “Get me out of here!”

Bruno and Elizabethan collar

Bruno was injured – well, he’s not telling anybody how he was injured. He’s not even telling me how he was injured! Just like I didn’t tell anybody how I escaped from our back yard.  (Still to this day my parents think they know, but they aren’t completely sure.)

So getting back to Bruno, his mom came home one day and found him limping. She did the right thing and took him to the doctor. He’d somehow broken his own leg!  Jumping off something, one would think.

Here is Bruno, sleeping! He’s in his sanctuary, here where he will heal…and not be jumping off of anything…Maybe! It looks like Bruno has his sister there to keep him company, a friend and sister who has her own sanctuary too! Bruno also has a nice soft comfy bed…in his cage.  Perfect! And also great to rest his injured arm on.

Bruno sleeping in his crate

It’s hard to know what Bruno is dreaming about. Probably something that he loves very much, something that he wants to do again, and soon, as soon as he gets better.

Bruno was supposed to have his splint on for five weeks. But three weeks after the splint was put on, his mom noticed that something was bothering him and she did the right thing again and took him back to the veterinarian. The vet discovered that the splint was hurting Bruno and that Bruno had some sores on his skin.  And then the vet took off the splint.  The air will help to heal Bruno’s sores.

I hope you get better soon, Bruno! I hope you like your doctor, and I hope that you get better.

*****************

Oct 072009
 

When your dog is injured, his or her bed must be comfortable. But comfort isn’t the only thing that matters.  There’s also the question of location, location, location.  Also, your dog will not tell you what bed he likes and he will not tell you where he wants his bed to be. You will have to figure out how your dog thinks and what type of bed your dog likes and prefers, and where he prefers his bed (or beds) to be placed.                             *****

I moved a lot of times when I was injured.

Here is my tale of moving:

Before I was injured, my parents had my bed in the living room.  That is where I slept at night.

My bed a great bed: It has lots of fluff, and a really nice cover to lie on.  Whenever my  mom washes the covers, I’m so happy to have my bed back afterward.  My mom makes a big ritual out of it:  She comes up from the basement and gets me, then I follow her into the living room. Then she puts the bed together. Then she smooths it out. I’m standing there watching every slow move.   The crowning point is when she pats the bed twice.  That’s my signal that I have my bed back.   Whether I am tired or not, I ceremoniously go lie down. It smells clean and it feels soft.

My parents have kept my bed in the living room for years, next to a sofa, because the living room is a large room and because on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons, my parents like to go to the living room and read.  I don’t read but sometimes we all fall asleep in the living room.  From my bed, I can see my mom and my dad.  Last but not least, I can get some attention from my parents when I’m there nearby. Since I can see them, I know when they’re looking at me and I will not waste any time in coming over to them to get a pet.

This place in the living room is where I was stationed during my injury, when I was confined to the living room and the dog gate stood like a soldier always at attention, keeping me to the living room side of the gate.

Several weeks after my surgery, when the doctor said that I could walk around the first floor and the dog gate was left open during the day, my parents created another bed for me.  They placed two fleece blankets in the dining room, folded once and folded again, right by the side of the door between the dining room and the kitchen.  I know this was my second bed because my mom folded it nicely, placed it on the floor, and smoothed it out.  Then she patted it twice and that was my signal that this is another bed for me.

When my parents would go out and I was home alone, I would remain on the fleece blanket in the dining room.  That’s where they would find me when they would come home. I would not go back to my comfy padded bed in the living room.

This was difficult for my parents to figure out why this was the case.  Why did I prefer to be on a fleece blanket in the dining room, over a nice comfy and fat bed in the living room?  Did I prefer the fleece to the soft comfy bed?  Or did I prefer the spot in the dining room to the spot in the living room? Was one spot cooler and one spot warmer?

Here my parents are trying to figure out how I think. They know what I choose, they know what I prefer – but they want to know why that is my preference.  They want to understand me.

I think they’ve figured me out. They’ve figured out that what’s very important to me is being a part of the family – and the place where I most feel like part of the family is in the dining room right by the opening to the kitchen.  My parents spend so much time in the kitchen and also in the dining room that this has become my favorite spot.

As a result of this discovery, they moved my soft fluffy bed from the living room into the dining room, and then moved my double fleece blanket folded once then folded again into the living room.  Of course on Friday nights when they go into the living room to read and talk and fall asleep, I’m right there with them, either sleeping or trying to get attention.

Of course I have a third bed too. My third bed began when the splint came off and I was allowed to walk up and down stairs.  Knowing how much time and how many nights I’d spent alone when I was not allowed out of the living room, they got another blanket that I love and they folded that again and again and set it down next to my parents bed and, just like before, patted it twice, which was my signal that this was my new bed.  This is the place where I sleep at night so I am not alone. I am with my family.

With so many beds of my own, that my mom washes regularly for me, I don’t need to be on the sofa.  Or I  don’t need to jump up onto a sofa when my parents aren’t home.

It’s so nice to have comfortable places to rest. And it’s also nice to be with my family. Doesn’t every dog have at least three clean and comfortable beds?

*****

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