Monday, June 22, 2015

The new normal

Well it's been weeks of short walks and no squirrel chasing and the right rear lameness is no better really
Sure he isn't in screaming pain, but it is significant.
He rarely puts full weight on that leg, he has figured out how to run down the stairs while still protecting it.
Protecting it has put lots more wear and tear on his bad shoulder so now he is limping front and back.
Rimadyl and a Pepcid are every other day treats.
We swim 1-2x a week and he is physically a mess the day after.

We walk at 5 during the week, which he is so excited to do but is so hard on him.
I was walking him this morning, trying to smile as he, with his crooked gait, made his way down the street, working hard to trot because he hasn't ever thought walking was an option.
I stand and wait while he sniffs and investigates. I worry about how late it's getting and I stop myself because I think, "this is his activity for the day"
We have been mired in 100* weather so there are no other opportunities for fun outside until the next morning.
There isn't much training I can do with him inside as he still gets so hyper that he is a danger to himself.
I teared up this morning as I thought about my happy, vibrant boy who is trapped in a body that is failing him.
He has so much drive still, it's what allows him to do what he does.
The pain must still be severe, you only need to observe him to notice.

His nose and paws remain irritated, nothing helps.
I see hair loss on his tail and near his eyes.

I wish someone could tell me what is wrong with him.
I wish I knew what to test for.

In the meantime, I will walk him at 5am and we'll take as long as we take.
I will take him heron hunting, I mean swimming, at least once per week.

And I will enjoy his new found snuggliness.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How do you spell determined? B-U-G-S-Y

A brief update on the boy.
Not much has changed for the good or for worse.

He is obviously in significant pain, every day all day.

The epicenter is the right hind leg however ever since the CT scan he has pain in his left hock down to his foot. I don't know how much it hurts during his normal stuff but he is horribly worried if I attempt to touch the area and quivers as I massage or inspect it.

So at this point, he has significant pain in his right rear leg.
And his rear left hock to foot.
And of course the repaired left shoulder/elbow.
Leaves me wondering how long the front right leg is going to hold up.

If you came to visit him, you'd see none of this.
You'd be greeted in HIS way, wagging, whining, wiggling, joyously holding a toy in his mouth for you.
He'd be bouncy and oh so happy to see you.
Inside I know you'll be thinking, "gosh Karen needs to get a grip, this dog is fine"

But he isn't.

Each morning he wants so desperately to walk. So I head out with him.
His gait is awful.
It is broken, he is broken.
In body but Lord he isn't broken in spirit.
You can actually see him fighting the pain and broken gait until he can smooth it out and strut like he has always strutted.
Part of me smiles and part of me cries.
It is a mighty effort.
His intensity and determination is awe-inspiring.
So is the pride.
I try to shorten the walk and he will outright refuse or like this morning when we get to the crossroads and right means short walk and left means longer walk, he heads left cutting out the corner entirely.
Message to human; Not today, I'm going long.

The effort takes its toll. His tongue hangs long and the panting is great.
Once home it's time for pain relief and a nap.
His body needs rest and because he did his 'job' and surveyed his kingdom (the 'hood) he CAN rest.

And so now he'll nap for hours and I will ponder what is at the root of this and if there is any more I can provide.

I look at him with tremendous admiration and sorrow.
Simultaneously I feel so fortunate to have had this amazing creature in my life and heartbroken that the road ahead appears short and painful.

He however, has seemingly accepted this new level of pain as the new reality.
Heck he is even back to running up and down the stairs with the trademark leap off the last few which took quite some adaption on his part because that right rear leg is not capable of doing it in a normal fashion.
Sigh, I love this beast.

His focus and determination and joy are something to behold.
Just wish he wasn't having to fight so much pain