Baby the Wonder Dog – Home After Surgery

Surgery #1 went well, and is a success so far.  That’s right, so far.

I went to pick Baby up Monday evening.  I put several pillows and cushions in my medium-sized wire crate, thinking I could bulk it up enough that she would be able to lay down comfortably but not move around.

Not.

Baby was tickled to see Bridget and me.  She wagged her tail non-stop.  I was tickled to see her too but I pretended otherwise.  If I showed Baby how glad I was to see her it would only have excited her even more.

Dr. Cowan went over the discharge instructions with us, and had one of her young men show us how to use a towel to support Baby’s hindquarters when walking.  I asked how many times a day to walk her; Dr. Cowan said three or four.  She advised that the E-collar (hereinafter referred to as The Cone of Shame) was to stay on at all times.  I noticed that The Cone of Shame is attached to Baby’s collar – and is held together with staples AND duct tape.  Hmmm…  I didn’t ask – I’m not sure I want to know.  Dr. Cowan also reminded us that there are to be no baths until the stitches are out.  (This is kind of too bad in a way – poor Baby reeks.)  Then she had her young man carry Baby out to the car for me.  Bridget went along to sit with Baby while I took care of the final billing necessities.

When I exited the clinic Baby began to bark and JUMP UP AND DOWN in the crate.  Yes, friends and fans, she JUMPED UP AND DOWN in the crate.  She just had surgery 07/25 and by 07/30 she figured she was well enough to JUMP UP AND DOWN.

I went back into the clinic and asked if they could lend me some additional pillows (or cinder blocks, or Valium, or something) to decrease her range of motion.  I got a small pillow and a middle-sized ancient (slightly funky) teddy bear.

They did not stop Baby’s acrobatics.

With a sigh I headed for the local Dollar General, which is on the other side of Walnut Cove from the Animal Hospital.  Okay, sure, Walnut Cove isn’t a huge town… but it’s plenty big enough when one must cross the “business district,” the “school zone,” and “downtown” with a madly cavorting canine who just had knee surgery and is on complete restriction.  I bought enough pink and blue throw pillows at Dollar General to wedge around Baby keep her from any further break dancing and headed home.

This behavior didn’t improve at home.  

Baby was madly glad to see Charles, Peaches, Pepper, Damon, and the chickens.  She objected to being carried.  She objected to being held while the crate came in.  She objected very strenuously to being bundled back into the crate.  Bridget claimed two of the new pillows – one blue & one pink – and loaned me her old, large, Hello Kitty pillow in their stead.  This was sufficient to keep her from any additional jumping.

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Tuesday I was off work.  I went to Mona’s and borrowed a plastic SCHS crate.  This one is not quite as tall, wide, or long as my wire crate.  I waited until Tuesday evening to switch – I needed Charles to hold Baby while I dismantled the wire crate & assembled the plastic one.  

Baby didn’t WANT Charles to hold her.  She didn’t want to sit nicely at his side.  She promptly backed right out of her collar – Cone of Shame and all.  It’s a good thing I was right there to grab her, because there’s no telling what she’d have done to herself if I hadn’t.

Getting Baby into the plastic crate required muttered incantations, venomous threats, and strangled prayers.  And quite a bit of grunting, huffing, and grumbling on Baby’s part.  I shoved her in head-first and she almost turned the crate over turning herself around. 

I back her in now – I lift her hindquarters off the ground, using my arm to hold her up, and my shoulder and other hand to force her to back up using only her front legs.  

She’s convinced I enjoy pushing her around.

Baby’s not allowed to walk.  I let her out of the crate, snap the leash on her collar, grab the towel, and carry her outside.  She is set down in one spot and the towel is quickly slung beneath her belly, either end wrapped up over her back – I grasp these ends together and keep her weight lifted off of her hind legs.  I only release the towel for her to potty.  Then I carry her inside and back her into the crate.  When Baby tries to dash after a chicken, I simply lift her hindquarters all the way off the ground via towel sling and she’s SUPPOSED to stop.  She doesn’t stop.  She slings her weight to one side and another, peddling her hind legs against the air and straining toward freedom.

Walking doesn’t begin to cover it. However, for the sake of simplicity (and because it’s past my bedtime) I’m going to call this “walking Baby” even though she’s not doing much actual walking.

During the day when I’m at work Vannesa & Damon are in charge of walking Baby – I want her to walk at least once during the day while I’m out.  Damon hasn’t complained much – Vannesa “hates that dog” and doesn’t think it’s “fair” that she has to carry her in and out.  They both want to know why Bridget isn’t helping.  Truth?  I’m not sure Bridget is strong enough to handle Baby’s BS, and that’s the honest truth.

When I come home from work I like to put down my bags, take off my shoes, and – yes, I’ll admit it, I usually need to go potty.  I’ve got a one hour commute, folks.  Don’t judge me.

Baby judges me – if I don’t take Baby outside the instant I walk through the door she pitches a fit.  When we get outside she stands and looks around for several minutes before doing her business.  I don’t mind that so much – she’s cooped up the bulk of the day, after all.  I do mind the fit, though.  It’s a wonder the fool hasn’t blown her bloody knee before it has a chance to even half heal.

This too will pass, I tell her.  She doesn’t believe me.  She’s somewhat depressed at this point.  However, her appetite is as good as it ever was, so I’m not going to worry.

As for me, I’ll be glad when she’s allowed out of the crate.  It’s not the same to sit here blogging and not have her shoving her head at my elbow demanding attention.  I feel so guilty for locking her up.  I don’t tell her so, of course – it wouldn’t do for her to know.  She’d exploit my guilt shamelessly.  

Ah, well.  We don’t always like what’s good for us.  That’s true for two-legs as well as four-legs.

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