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.


Aug 052009

What should a person do if he sees a dog running loose near traffic or a busy street?  Remember – and put into practice – the lessons learned about dog and human safety. ********

The other day my mom was walking me on our regular evening walk. We were headed up the carriage path.

I was perfectly happy, as I am in each of my walks. I saw another dog off in the direction we were heading toward but this does not concern me. In fact, it evokes some joy on my part.

Suddenly my mom saw the dog, a big dog, coming toward us! My mom suddenly seemed very concerned and jumpy.  Maybe she was nervous: She had been bitten by a dog several years ago. But I don’t think that was it, really.

The dog got closer to us and she called out, “It’s a Retriever.” Does that matter to me? Not at all: I like any breed of dog. Then she called out, “Joey, come”. Why? I like Retrievers. I’m a Retriever, after all.

The dog ran closer and closer to us, panting the whole time. Then it crossed the carriage lane to where we were on the grassy park land between it and the 4-lane avenue. This is the same 4-lane avenue, I remind you, where I was hit by a car.

a yellow Labrador Retriever. Nice dog!

a yellow Labrador Retriever. Nice dog!

Suddenly I heard, “Puppy, come!  Stay close to me!”  Was she talking to me?    Then the dog came right up to us.  Now she wants me to play with the dog a little but not too much.  She’s holding my lead really tight. She doesn’t know this dog.  We, the dog and I, socialized a little and my mom, seeing this, loosened up my lead a little. My mom thinks aloud.  Does the little phone in her hand mean anythin about why she’s talking out loud?  “He’s a Lab.  Labs are friendly. But I don’t know what to do. Should I call the police?” she’s saying. I hardly know how to answer her. She knows that my friend Officer O’Connell will be notified.  “I can’t call the police while the dog is still running.”

The retriever calms down and my mom holds out her hand for the dog to smell. He’s okay with how she smells. Then she gets even closer and looks to see if there is a tag on his collar. There isn’t. I’m all confused and don’t know if I should play, sit, walk, head up the avenue or cross the street and head down the avenue.

The retriever then picks up running again, continuing in the original direction. I want to follow him and apparently my mom has the same idea but maybe for different reasons.

She’s is still talking and trying to follow the dog and to hold onto me as I’m pulling and pulling on my lead all at the same time.

Then the dog continues past us, crossing the next road and heading down another. “Joey, come” I heard, good news. I follow as commanded. The dog runs down the next block and we follow.  He stops at a home, at the side door. We catch up and stop on the sidewalk. Nothing and nobody moves. Then the dog goes to the front door and sits. My mom ties my lead to a post on the lawn, says “Joey, stay here. Wait here. Good boy” and she goes up the wooden steps of that home and rings the doorbell.

In a minute the door opens, a man comes out, “Max!” he says, and Max disappears into the home.

I can tell that this was a happy ending.

But then my mom started pointing at me, tied to the post, and telling the man the story of my getting free and my getting hit by a car on the same avenue where Max was found running loose. The man is nice and he listened.  He said he had had Max in the backyard and didn’t know that – or how – Max had gotten free from the leash that held him and was running loose in the neighborhood.  I wasn’t about to offer up any suggestions.

This event has a happy ending: My mom has remained cool-headed and has learned a lesson from my being hit by the car.  Maybe she has helped save a dog from danger on a busy avenue. She was careful not to get too close to a dog she didn’t know. She waited for the golden to come to us, allowed him to smell her hand so that he was comfortable and calm before she reached out to him. And I got some good exercise and met a neighborhood dog I never knew.

Jul 012009

Hello, friends.

Many readers of my blog do not have the time to go through the comments to each post and page.  You are occupied with walking your dogs, purchasing dog food for them, taking them to the veterinarian, feeding them, and, hopefully, taking them to dog parks and off-lead dog areas! At least once a day, you get in your cars and drive away (or walk away) and leave us dogs at home, and go – where? And then you come back home to us in the evening, and spend your evenings at home with us.

So my mom and I have decided to help you by summarizing the comments that the readers of my blog have sent to me.

I started my blog in April, after I was hit by the car.  Blogging was good because I could not meet new dog friends due to my injuries (unless I was making friends in the animal hospital).  In May, from my blog, I made a lot of new friends.

One of my new friends from the month of May was Rachel.  Rachel, in my post “read my ears”, wrote about her beagle Mason and about how good his sense of smell is.  She wrote how Mason uses his ears to help him smell!  It is important for dog owners to understand just how good our noses are, because, as Rachel noted, dogs will just follow a scent when they are outdoors and not pay any attention to where the scent is leading them.  The scent could lead us off of the property, and it could lead us right into the street. And with our noses down, we won’t see anything like cars and other moving things in the roads.  This can be bad for dogs if we are off-lead. Read this post and comments for more details.

In May, I also made friends with Ellen. In my post “dogs don’t look both ways”, Ellen wrote about a cockapoo named Julie.   She says that Julie, an intelligent dog, knew how to look both ways for traffic, and to stop and wait until the traffic had passed. I am not so sure about this: Even if Julie sits down on the sidewalk and moves her head, I’m not sure if she understands what she is looking for, and understands the danger, and to wait.  My mom says that given the number of dogs who are hit by cars each year, it’s safer to assume that the dog does not know and understand.  On this point, Rachel said that Mason has to be on the lead at all times when outside, or she will pick up a scent and disappear in an instant.

Other friends who I made in May are Jerry, and Jamie, and Mike. All of these friends wished me well, and liked my blog and the photos, especially the photos of me and my bandages.  They asked a lot of questions, such as “How long do you have to keep the cast on?“. That was an interesting question, because she asked it right around the time that I started chewing on my splint and had to start going for bandage changes more often. For more details, read my post, “i’m definitely getting better“.

In one of my posts, “designer bandages“, I wrote about a dog’s perception of colors. Raviva also expressed the idea that “I never knew that people and dogs saw things differently“.  She is a good reason why I am writing this blog:  Most people, including my mom (at least, before I was hit by the car) do not understand that dogs and humans perceive colors differently, and I am hoping to educate them a little.  Actually, I never understood that people don’t see as well at night as we dogs do, and don’t smell as well as we dogs do. What a shame!

So this is a little summary of my new friends who wrote to me back in May, right after I was injured.

Thanks, pals, for writing to me and becoming my friend!

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