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.


Jul 242009

Here are some more friends from the animal medical center: Dakota, the German Shepherd, and Steve, his handler. These are a really proud and nice team!

dakota_steve_3Dakota guides Steve, who cannot see his way.  Dakota was in the hospital because one morning when Steve was going to work and the two of them were going up an escalator, Dakota’s paw got stuck. He too was in a lot of pain, just like I had been.  His toes were also broken, like mine had been. He too has to wear a collar, just like I did.

When they are walking together, Dakota helps Steve to walk in a straight line and around obstacles. Outside, Dakota also tells Steve where the curb is so Steve knows where to stop.

However, only Steve determines when it is time to go.

When they are stopped at a curb where there is a traffic light or a stop sign, Steve uses his sense of hearing to determine when it’s safe to cross.

Dakota and Steve are best friends but each one has his role and they work together as a team to ensure Steve’s safety and happiness.

I speak for Dakota when I say that dogs, even guide dogs, cannot understand or obey traffic signals and stop signs, and cannot make decisions about when it is safe to cross the street.

Jul 082009

After surgery, especially surgery on a limb, it’s tempting to want to take your dog for a longer walk than is healthy for him.  We already know that dogs will not always tell you when they feel pain.  So how much is enough? How long of a walk is too long for your dog?

Here I am following a scent on my first day out with no bandages.  Notice how I'm trying to go quickly.
Here I am following a scent on my first day out with no bandages. Notice how I’m trying to go quickly.

No sooner had we arrived home from the animal medical center than my parents uttered that golden word, “Walk”.

What they actually said was Let’s take Joey for a walk but only “walk” echoed in my ears.  Or maybe I heard the double golden words  “Joey” and “walk” but I got the message, special delivery.

This was big. I danced in place with high expectations.

It was early in the afternoon, the day was gleaming with opportunity.  Dad got the little poop bag,  mom got the lead and put it on me and opened the front door. Out we went.

My mom handed the lead to my dad, who led the way. Or maybe I led the way.  Somehow we ended up walking toward the big wide  street where I had been hit by the car. They liked walking in this direction because the wide green strip of park between the avenue and the carriage lane gave me something soft to walk on.

Once there, I attempted to move quickly, picking up the scent of another dog.

I was also slowed down by the lead, since my dad wanted to keep me at a slow pace.  My parents kept looking at me, talking about me, the whole time.  Looking at me and talking about me. Joey this, Joey that. Phil kept saying that we could go a little further and that I seemed to be doing fine. He’s doing fine he said. He’s got to learn to walk again with that leg.

Jane said something about overdoing it on the first day, whatever that meant.  It went something like We shouldn’t overdo it on the first day. I was perfectly happy to overdo it.

Then I heard those words – That’s enough – and we turned to head toward home. Still, I kept my eager nose to the ground.

Back home, Jane got me breakfast – even though it was afternoon. She didn’t have to tell me to eat or to drink; I drank  the full bowl of water and ate the full bowl of food with gusto, even with the glucosamine and condroiten, and then fell, exhausted and contented, onto my bed.

That was it!

Since I had eaten a late breakfast, I actually got one more walk in that outstanding day.   It was a short walk but it was a true walk.

The first of many!

And I needed to be able to walk well if I was going to run again. But for the record, tonight I was satisfied.

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