Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pain, pain go away

As has become our norm, Bugsy and I got our day started at 5-something A.M.
Today however started with a twist, he was doing his morning roll and suddenly I heard the *ghack*
Dang, he had thrown up a blob of food. We are super fortunate that he so rarely pukes it IS an event when he does.
And my poor sweet boy looks so upset and worried he's done something horrible.
No worries my baby boy, I love you even when you puke. Now let me finish dry heaving.

He hurried outside and did whatever he needed to do and then he wanted to cuddle. Aw he must not feel well as he doesn't ask for cuddling. I presumed he had a bit too much to eat yesterday.

I gyped him on his breakfast and he slept near my side as I worked most of the morning. Then he decided we should walk - and I sure did need it.
He trotted along and then about a mile out, he turned and looked at me and I saw that he wasn't bearing much weight on the bad left front leg when we stopped. I asked him if he wanted to go home and he turned toward home and was back to trotting.
If you didn't know that he had a bad leg (well a leg that is worse than his other bad legs), you wouldn't know it as he trots along. It is quite amazing really.
But every time he slowed or stopped I could see he was really avoiding using that leg.
Talk about a pit in my stomach.
My guess is his early morning upchuck was due to pain.
He'd had a fun day yesterday, running and romping through fields, doing his disappearing act long enough to scare me to death, only to emerge happier than one can imagine.

Later in the day he was beyond excitement when I went for a walk so I allowed him to come. He wasn't limping too badly so I thought how can it harm him.

We only got to to the top of the road when we saw a neighbor's pack out playing, Bugsy never seems to want to play with their two but they have a guest dog at the moment and it was clear from their first look that she and Bugsy were fast friends.
He played and played with her and then he just wanted to hang out there after it was clear his leg was giving up on him.
All four humans felt so sad to see him, so happy and yet so frustrated.
So strong and magnificent looking yet lame.

So today he had rimadyl and rest. I was happy to have a buddy at my side most of the day and we had a silly play session this afternoon. I must have lifted his good front leg 10x and the look in his eyes was, "please mom don't make me use this one"

He's resting now in his crate while I feel broken-hearted. I was so sure we were making progress, real progress. I have accepted that his limp and handicap is forever. But damn I hate seeing this level of pain.
I wonder if he's reinjured something or it was just too much.
Or since we can't swim maybe we are doing much walking.
Tonight I watched him run and his left (unrepaired) knee seemed gimpy.
Has that knee gone and causing him to overuse the front bad leg?
And yes I let him out to do his business and he decided to run zoomies.

To those of you who don't know him you must think, wow that dog is seriously screwed up. But he isn't, he is one of the happiest beings on earth.
Me however, I feel dark and sad and lost.
It seems so unfair that his body has failed him so.
I would give damn near anything to see him run again like he used to, he was so fast and so agile and pain-free.
What I wouldn't give to see him pain-free again.
Today I realize it will never be.
I will rest him for a few days, give rimadyl, and manage the insanity that will emerge because he is being 'rested'.
I don't really know what else I can do.
I'll watch him like a hawk and take him in for xrays if things don't improve.

I have a super busy month at work ahead. Today as we laughed and played with a silly toy I thought of how much I miss him and will miss him as I toil away.
Say a few prayers for my best buddy that he isn't heading into another ortho surgery. Not sure if I can handle it

Friday, December 6, 2013

Geese, geese, geese. He's got a one track mind.

What happened this morning at the lake is totally payback for my saying earlier this week that Bugsy's goose chasing was in control.
I fully accept my roll in the following.

It is an unseasonably warm day here today - 79* at 1:30pm.
And I have the fortune of working from home so I decided to take Bugsy to the lake for a short swim.
I was on a tight time schedule because I had a must-attend meeting this morning. So I hurried outside and prepped my car for carrying the boat, loaded up all our things, loaded him, the boat and off we went.
As soon as I pulled up to where I drop off the boat I noticed three of his 'favorite' geese on an adjacent boat slip. Well truth be told, I noticed them because he was completely freaking out in the car. It had been a while since he had been to the lake so initially I thought it was due to that, but then I saw them.
Oh my.
He was yipping, screaming and high pitched barking as I unloaded the boat and our things.
I moved the car over to a parking spot and considered what to do.
I had been able to shoo them away but he was completely freaking out so I was worried about keeping him under control once I let him out of the car.
Sigh. I really don't have a lot of time this morning............
I let him out and gave him stern commands to stay.
He didn't want to listen but he did.

With one hand on the remote for his e-collar and one hand on the handle of his lifevest I guided him to the boat.
His nose was in the air and sniffing ferociously.
If you think you can't sniff ferociously let me tell you, HE can!
His eyes were scouring the area for his favorite feathered friends.
I was fairly sure they had left the area, but lo and behold they hadn't.
They were tucked under the rental boats and about 6 ft from us.
*pardon me*  
The Beast actually listened to me for a good 30-45 seconds and stayed perfectly still.
OK yea fine he wasn't listening to me he was locked on to them.

Anyway y'all know what happened next.
I couldn't figure out how we could get into the water without him chasing them but good golly I didn't think he'd chase them like this!

He flew after them and darn near caught one of them. The more they fluttered and panicked, the more intent he got.
He was yipping, barking, tail straight up as he swam faster than Michael Phelps after them.
Oh boy, this isn't looking good.

I paddled as fast as I could to catch up to him.
I blew the whistle that means STOP,
Not even a glance.

I gave the warning signal for his collar,
Not a thing.

I gave a zap for the collar.

Oh dear. He is now about halfway across the lake and swimming hard.
Watching him, I can see he is confused a bit as there are swarms of sea gulls flying randomly and they are clearly distracting him from the pursuit of his evil geese but not enough for him to stop swimming as if he was in a race.
The water is VERY cold. I start to worry about that and I also take a glance at the time and UGH I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS!!

So I do what I deem to be my last ditch attempt at rerouting him. I paddle up next to him and block his ability to keep going in the direction of the geese.
Now I have to laugh a bit because he is doing all he can to swim through the kayak and definitely giving me a look to kill.
Sorry Bugs but you will not keep swimming to the other side of the lake!

He is thumping the boat, I am trying to steer him via the handle on his life vest but I have to keep paddling to keep my position.

So here we are in the middle of the lake, super windy, birds flying all over - each one potential prey - and my dog & I, well my kayak, having a brawl.
Oh Bugs.
I have to say that his next move was pretty darn impressive. I was actually making progress in pushing him back towards land when all of a sudden he dipped his head and went under the boat to the other side.


If only all of us had his intensity and single minded pursuit of success. LOL

Happily in the end I was able to push him off to the side where he came out of the water for bit to warm up and to hunt.
I mean what else would one do at the lake???

There were a few concerning moments on our way back to our launching spot and I did take a detour and abort our normal route when I saw his 'buddies' sitting on the boat slip they had been on earlier.

Oh and I made it home 10 minutes before my meeting was to start.

One of these days - he'll get ya!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Good times, and then work.

Bugsy & I just enjoyed a fabulous 4 days. The weather was cold & sunny, our favorite, and we took full advantage of the luxury of time.
I am beyond happy to report that he did the two longest walks he's done since July 2012. Yes 2012.
One of which included a play with a good buddy off leash and the other he had a wonderful hunt, killing three moles and treeing a critter.
In neither case did he wind up very compromised. He was gimpy for a while after the second walk but was ok in a few hours.
I was amazed.
I didn't believe he'd make it this far back.
He looked slightly gimpy this morning but it was subtle.
I am relieved & thrilled.
Sadly I headed back to work this morning,with a suitcase, and the poor boy was gutted. 
He literally was whimpering as I got ready to leave.
Back as soon as I can buddy, be good.
Trust me, we have good times ahead