Apr 302012
 

I’m sleeping a lot, guys. I really am.  But a few weeks ago it got really really really bad.  I could barely walk back home when my mom took me out for a walk; Mom felt so badly for me drooping along that she would take off the lead and at least give me some freedom and let me walk at my own slow pace. I know that she would be up ahead of me. This was really not the order of things and she knew it and I knew it, though she tried to make me feel better about it by saying “Good boy” all the way back home.

Dad even stopped taking me out running.

My parents can remember a time when if I didn’t have anything to do, I would always find or make something to do. If I was outside, I would try to get out of the yard, or find a ball somewhere and have myself a nice time, and I think the ball was enjoying being tossed around, chewed, rolled around, too.  If I was inside, I would try to find that ball, too. There was rarely a dull moment for me.  Okay, okay. After I was hit by the car I definitely slowed down. And then a month ago my new doctor told my parents to give me Previcox every day for my arthritis and elbow dysplasia.

The problem as my parents saw it is that I was sleeping a bit too much. “He’s really sleeping a lot,” Dad said.

“Yes, he’s getting older.”

“Yes, but this is a lot more sleeping; it’s like he’s dropping off a cliff or something.”

Then Mom noticed that in the morning, when she would go downstairs, I wouldn’t even follow her down.  “Joey,  Joey!  What’s going on? Come downstairs!  Come!  Come!” and maybe a minute or two later I would stretch and stretch and make my way, one step at a time, downstairs to the kitchen. “Joey, what’s the matter? You usually follow me everywhere. Now I have to call you to come follow me around.”

At some point one of my parents said, “Maybe it’s his medication. Ever since we started giving him one a day Previcox, he’s been sleeping like this.”  And they stopped giving me the pill in the morning.

And then Dad went away, suitcases and all.

But instead of being all depressed, I started feeling better, and more energetic.  Mom was so certain that it was the medication that she took me over to the doctor’s.  He asked, “Has he also lost his appetite?”  When Mom said “NO”, he said that it’s the first time he’s ever seen a dog lethartic on Previcox but not lose his appetite.

When Dad came back home, suitcases and all, he said, “It’s my Joey again.”  While Dad hasn’t take me out running, my Mom has, for a block or two, at a time. And it’s fun again.

I’m really glad my parents know me well.   And it’s good to be me again!!

***

Aug 132009
 

How will we know that it’s okay to take our dog running again after ankle surgery?  Keep in touch with your dog’s doctor.  Observe your dog carefully when he is resting, walking and running, and going up and down stairs.

We did it!

The other day my dad got up early. He went running and I kept on sleeping. Then he came home and had some breakfast. Then he came and got me, “Joey, let’s go”, and took me out for my morning walk. We walked for a while.  Suddenly he sped up – and I sped up. And he sped up some more – and I sped up some more. And I was running!

It didn’t last long, maybe half a block, but it really happened.

That was it. All that day, he and my mom were looking at me walk to make sure I wasn’t limping.

Then my parents spoke to Dr. Cara. “How will we know that it’s okay to take Joey running?” they asked. Dr. Cara answered that it was time for me to start again: It had been 12 weeks since my surgery. She said to keep an eye on me and if my parents noticed anything unusual, to rest me for a day then try again.

The next morning, my Dad got up as usual and took his morning run – without me. I kept on sleeping. Then he came home, had his breakfast, and came and got me, “Joey, let’s go”, and got me for our walk. We walked until I was all warmed up. I get warmed up pretty quickly, though. Then suddenly he sped up, and I sped up. We ran for about one whole block. Then he slowed down and  I slowed down and we walked together for about one more block. Then he sped up and I sped up, and together we were running again! This continued for about one block.

Then he noticed it. I was hopping on three legs.

He again slowed down so that we were just walking. And we walked and walked – our way home.

Again all day my parents were looking at me. Was I using all four legs? Was I limping? Honestly my muscles were a little sore but I felt great. I slept a lot during the day.

It takes practice to do what comes naturally.

*********

Jul 092009
 

Today was a really special day.

I have one birthday every year at which time my parents usually give me a special treat such as potatoes or potato chips or something that I love. They also sing me this song; tonight they sang me a song with a really joyous melody that made me really happy. At the end of the song they said “Joey” then “Yay!” and that made me really happy.  Then they sang it again and then once more.  I love my parents. They teach me new words so I feel smart and smarter.  They try to understand me even when we have trouble communicating.  I have friends who let me jump up and kiss them, even when my parents say “Joey, off”.  I have doctors and technicians who are kind who let me kiss them and who really care about me and about dogs.  I have everything!

here's a picture of me on my 10th birthday

here's a picture of me on my 10th birthday. if you look carefully, you can see the full moon and the crescent moon in my eye.

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I pose for my birthday photo in a moment of peace the garden

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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.

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