Saturday, January 14, 2012

dog infirmary, new saddle and a little retail therapy

Week 1. Day 4. 38 days to go… Not that I'm counting or anything. I know some of you reading this, or all my crazy Facebook posts probably can't relate. I imagine those are the people who don't have pets, or furthermore their pets aren't their children. So, just humor me for a second and imagine if it were your child having surgery, unable to walk on their own (or use crutches), or fend for them self in a way. Baxter is my boy. He has been with me pretty much my entire grown up life. I got him just a couple of years out of college where I could barely afford to pay my rent, student loans let alone vet bills and food and allotherthings grown up. Thankfully, shortly after (or actually during the process) I met Shane & within just a few months of dating Baxter pretty much had us both from the beginning to take care of him.

Everything about this surgery happened fast. Not the injury itself (that happened in August), but the final diagnosis (originally a torn ACL) of a torn/partially ruptured Achilles which was last Friday to the actual surgery that took place just a few days later on Tuesday. The whole misdiagnosis is a long long story, but it all doesn't matter anyway. I've finally (after far too long) switched vets to the most amazing vet I've ever met (also our neighbor in Mexico). She helped me get the right diagnosis and got me in to see the surgeon who is helping fix Baxter. She also did the most thorough exam including full x-rays that he's ever received. The best news was he is in amazing shape for a 10 year old, big dog. I couldn't begin to tell you how happy that made me as I've always worried if I started running him way too young. Little to almost non-existent arthritis in his hips. His spine looks great. Guess all the glucosamine/fish oil works?

The surgery went well, the tear was partial and because so much time had gone by it had started to heal on it's own (just not properly). The prognosis for full recovery is great. Baxter is is in a full leg cast for 4 weeks. It's changed out WEEKLY (and he has to be put back under each time). After 4 weeks they will switch it to a splint for 2 more weeks. He has to be confined to small areas or a crate and only let out ON LEASH for bathroom breaks.

The first day was tough. He had not quite figured out how to use the cast. It's big. It's heavy. We tried to get him into a crate in my office but he just laid down on the dog bed in front of it and passed out. Juliette got a kick out of the crate though - I'm guessing she was crate trained before we got her?
We had to brace the back of his hips using a towel to lift his weight up and get him around. He really struggled with peeing. He has figured out how to lift his leg and put all the weight on the good one, but sometimes the weight of the cast is too much so he almost falls over. Yes, I have had to actually HELP him hold his leg up, and YES I have also been peed on. I bring him water and have to hold it for him several times a day. His food gets brought to him. I may be over-cautious about this stuff, but the doctor gave me STRICT instructions not to get his leg/cast wet AT ALL or it would not be good. Smelly, infection… more cost to put on a new cast, etc… So, he's got the stupid girly Target knee high sock on for extra protection. The morning after our first day with him I was sore like you wouldn't believe. My shoulders/lats & back were trashed from basically carrying half his weight around and I was spent. I cried wolf to Michelle that I was "trashed" and needed more recovery to rest up for the half marathon this weekend. I knew it wasn't from the training - but the stress, the extra work and lack of sleep from the surgery was getting to me.

Thankfully, he is pretty good about just sleeping throughout the day. For the most part the two dogs just hang out in my office and nap (or bark at every noise) while I work.. so that's ok. We got this fantastic portable gate/barrier from a friend that we can bring anywhere. We quickly learned that the crates I borrowed would not work. The opening of them were just too small for him to get in and move around at all with that damn big cast so this gate has been perfect! Baxter is used to always being with us (in bed, on the couch…yah, yah.. I know…) so he just can't understand why he's not allowed to do these things anymore.
The first night was rough. I think he was freaked out.. put in a crate after not being in one for 8 years…. he cried all damn night. Each night has gotten better, but it doesn't stop him from first trying to pry himself onto the bed.

We are figuring things out. The portable gate is awesome as is bribery. We can pretty much move the barrier anywhere in the house - and here we were actually able to watch a movie while they entertained themselves. Normally, they just SLEEP or lay around.. but the fact that Baxter can't just cruise around the house is frustrating him to no end, and he lets it be known. Unless he's busy chewing on the bone! Juliette again is just along for the ride….
I'm very anxious to see what the Dr has to say when I take him for his first cast change next Wednesday. I hope he's healing well and all this will be worth it in the end! I know long distance running is out of his future but I'd be more than happy to get him built back up to doing a couple miles…. It will make us all happy! It's going to be a very long, very tiring and frustrating at times 6 weeks, but I would do just about anything for this guy and it is just breaking my heart knowing he's confused, in pain and struggling to be independent.

Onto all things happy now! Yesterday I got this shiny new coat in the mail! My friend in Spokane somehow got 2 of these sent to her so she surprised me with one in the mail. It's one of the super thick jackets. I didn't get any finisher stuff at CDA this year so it was sucha nice surprise!
I also did a little retail therapy myself. It has been a frustrating few weeks as my paycheck was over 3 weeks late. I had bills to pay & I'm pretty certain Shane was sick of footing all the bills, especially with the crazy expensive dog surgery (can I just say I'm VERY thankful this happened after we purchased our new bikes cause I'm not sure that would have happened….). Well, I finally got paid and needed a little time out of the house so as soon as Shane got home I headed to Lululemon. I wanted something new to wear for the race this weekend (oh yah, I'm doing PF Changs half… more on that in a minute - I just finally registered on Sunday). I got this super cute top that matches some running shorts I have. I'm not sure it's long distance run friendly, but to be honest I don't need much support, if ya know what I'm saying...
I also got this new color! It's bright and I finally have something that matches my e21 visor. It also just happens to match the shoes I'll be wearing Sunday. Gotta look good right? :)
This race wasn't a big deal to me… I just decided to do it because Shane signed up to help a friend pace to a sub 1:37 and qualify for the NY marathon. I did all the training with Shane over the past 5 weeks and have been happy with how it's gone so I decided why not! We had a huge run week in Mexico (~40miles) and why waste that. Also… who knows, maybe I can manage to chase Shane around for another 13miles and surprise myself? I bought this T-shirt at the expo yesterday not only because it's one of my all time favorite sayings… But, I have a feeling I'm going to be embracing it tomorrow.
And LASTLY, I am going to finally start the process of finding a new saddle (yeah for hitting one of my "it's a new year goals!" I was going to try this saddle out when I was building an Argon TT bike, but when I switched to the Scott it came with the Fizik Saddle so I gave that a go. I did a short spin with the new saddle today, so can't really say much about it, but I plan on doing a nice little review of the saddles I try out on this blog.
Saddle #2 is the Cobb V flow. Report to follow!


Anonymous said...

Good luck tomorrow! I can feel your pain in regards to taking care of Baxter. Poor little man! Good luck tomorrow, hope you surprise yourself like I know you can. Ahhh, retail therapy would be AMAZING... I'll just live vicariously through you. :)

mtanner said...

I get the "dogs are our children!" Mine is too. I can totally sympathize with you yet we wouldnt want it any other way. They are not pets, they are family members :)

Michelle Simmons said...

You are a good mama. :)
Have a SUPER run tomorrow!!!

cj said...

i agree with michelle - such a good mama. you mentioned supplements, which ones have you had your pups on? we recently started cosequin on our 18 month old, he snapped a metatarsal at 5 months. the arthritis already limits our runs to 3 miles. we'll be heading for surgery soon too. keep us updated on the healing process!

Kate C. said...

Poor Baxter! I love love love my Cobb saddle! My tush refuses to cooperate with anything else. I hope you love it too!