It’s been a rather long time since I last posted, but the good news is, our dog Samantha is doing amazing! We survived through 2am pill times, sleeping separate, and a recovering dog better than I expected. We read Logan’s story, along with a bunch of other posts on recovery time & we were concerned, thinking this was going to be a real process for months. In comparison to what we anticipated, it was a dream!
Samantha is pretty much a wonder pup (of course we already knew that!). It has been 15 days since her bilateral FHO surgery and she is ready to get right back into her routine. In fact, we’ve had to reign her in with her walk times & lengths so she doesn’t go overboard. She shows minimal discomfort when walking, and the only time she really has issues is lying down. We’re hoping now that the staples are out, that will be even easier. We’ve had no issues with feeding her (the special treats of meat & sausage helped but we weren’t above cheating a bit), and she had no accidents. NONE. I so thought I would be washing her bed daily, thinking in the fog of the drugs she wouldn’t tell us in time.
The hardest part was the sleep, especially for me. I don’t do well with going right back to sleep after walking up in the middle of the night. We also slept separate, since using the e-collar in an RV was impossible. What we did was fold out the couch bed and Keith slept there – this allowed Keith to be in one of her sleeping areas, making sure she didn’t go staple removal crazy. I slept in the bedroom, where we had another bed for her. Over the course of the week, we both woke up a few times to tell her no, but she really didn’t do too bad.
She had her first therapy session yesterday, walking in a specially made water tank to help recovery & mobility. Water provides buoyancy, taking 85% of her weight of her hips. It also provides resistance, forcing her to use her legs and build up the muscle she needs to continue to walk well. We’re noticing some weakness still, but that is expected & should continue to improve.
We’ve been insanely impressed with the people at South Paws, from the moment we decided to do the surgery in a strange city for our beloved girl. Not only did the doctor take the time to answer our many, many questions the first visit (and the other doctor on a follow up visit because we had, yep – more questions), but the entire staff has been nothing but friendly and helpful through the entire process. It’s nice to know your furry kid is taken care of, and I like how they really have involved us every step of the way. One of the surgeons saw Samantha walking outside as we were waiting for her therapy to begin and he was amazed with how well she was doing. Samantha has charmed the staff being such a sweetheart (of course!) and it’s nice that everyone knows her name. Sometimes it’s the little things that make you feel good. The only thing I would change are those darn slippery floors! (Horrible because they specialize in surgery and with all the lame animals that walk through, Samantha can’t be the only one that struggles with a slippery floor) That minor quibble aside, we are so, so, so pleased with her care. 5 more therapy sessions, a doctor signoff and then we can hopefully start heading west!
Now that she is better, we can do a little bit more exploring of the area, instead of being ‘stuck’ in the RV. We still need to ride more of the Trace (our first attempt was met with a downpour), take a swamp tour, visit the Big Branch Marsh Wildlife Refuge & tour the Stennis Space Center. I also found another potential 5k, since I missed the Festival of the Bonfire one earlier this month. Samantha is already ready for the ride, since every time we take her out she is right by the car, ready to explore as well. Even if we don’t get to as many things as I would like, most important to us is our girl is better. We are so thankful to have the time & savings to do this now, and having her pain-free is worth having to return to work earlier than expected.