So we’re a little more than three weeks post op at this point, and today was the first day I felt like I had my dog back, at least a little. R is pretty much weaned off his gabapentin at this point. We take an NSAID at night, but that’s it for pain meds. Which probably helps with him being a bit more himself. And, also, that he’s just continuing to heal. The past few days he’s started lying on his incision from time to time. So that’s probably just hurting less too.
Today was a great day. We walked our favorite ‘short loop’ in our neighborhood. It’s probably a little less than a half mile. I wasn’t sure about it because once you get out, you know, you have to get back. But I had R’s sling and, really, if my boy needed it, I’d find a way to carry his 60lbs back. (I’ve always told R he’s lucky his owner is young and fit. As a pup he pulled me right off my feet a few times and I kept telling him how lucky he was he didn’t break my hip or something, with antics like that.) So we did the loop. We have to stop and take breaks on our walks, but I don’t mind. Frankly, when he’s hopping along it seems like it’s actually easier for him to get some momentum going and go at a good clip. Like, I’m almost jogging to keep up. So stopping every once in a while suits me alright. And –
It’s an opportunity to kneel on the sidewalk for a minute and scratch his bum and kiss his ears and make his little tail wag and… That’s never wasted time. I think those memories, kneeling next to him under the big old trees in our neighborhood, sky and dappled green and sunlight… Those are going to be memories I’m glad I have.
And I’m just glad that he seems glad again. I got to see his puppy grin a dozen times today. He grins, I grin. Good day.
We also played our first round of ‘soccer’ since surgery this afternoon. For some reason R doesn’t seem to get the same joy out of fetch these days, so I broke out our old soccer ball. Yep. He still loves that. He was hopping around, tail wagging, at a full run, getting that ball and shaking the hell out of it and seemed to be totally delighted as I chased him around the yard. I pretend to ‘catch’ him and then he slips through my grasp and escapes with that darn ball, and I have to chase him all over again. He always seems so proud of himself, trotting along with his prize.
He makes me laugh.
And then, and then…
We played a rousing few rounds of tug tonight after dinner.
I’m going to have to consider if I need to bump his food back up a quarter cup again if we keep up this new exercise regimen. I had it about 1/2-2/3rds cup down while we were pretty much on bed rest. But today was a day. Today we actually moved a little. Today we had some fun. Might need a few extra crunchies to go with.
I’m so relieved and so thankful that it seems like this big, scary surgery did buy us at least one more good day, right? Like, I got that day today. I’m hoping we get another few months of those days, but I was so worried we weren’t going to get any, that the end of R’s life was going to be healing from surgery. Today, now, I know there was at least one good day. To me, at least, it’s now officially worth it. To have gotten today.
Hope R feels the same.
I think so. If anything, R is more cuddly post-surgery than he was pre-surgery, I think. Part of me wonders if that’s anxiety or something. Like, he can sense he’s more vulnerable with three limbs than four and there’s some instinctive need for assurance and staying closer to ‘the pack’ given that… But then that doesn’t explain how he just wants to stare up at me while I pet his ears and scratch his little cheeks.
So I’m going to take it as affection and choose to believe R’s happy to be here too.
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