. I had been suffering miserable guilt the last month, and now it is gone. Funny how that always seems to feel better than no guilt to start with.
Some months back, my dog Hazel had to have knee surgery. She had torn her ACL. I was surprised, but our vet is an explainer. he took out his diagrams and taught me. The dog ACL has the same function as that of any human sports hero, but with dogs it is under more tension and it is more likely to give out.
So the vet went in and made a surgical repair. Essentially he removed the torn ligament and replaced it with braided fishing line.He said, in time that the line would break, but by that time her body would have made strong replacement connections.
For a time, after she came back from the vet, she did well. We had to be careful to limit her running, but she seemed ok.
But in the last month she had been limping badly. And it seemed to be getting worse. She got to the point where she held that leg up, and did not use it at all. I was pretty sure she had torn it again, and that it was my fault for not limiting her activity enough. We have stairs to the apt. and she is 75 lbs. I cannot carry her up a whole flight. And I knew that the extra work on the good leg was likely to cause injury there. And, every time I walked her I felt that people were looking at me, thinking she was neglected or worse.
But the operation had been ruinously expensive. It had cost the equivalent of a month's rent. We have no savings at the best of times.
So I waited, and Hazel limped, and she looked so sad. And I lay awake at night, knowing I was failing someone I love.
I got to where i just could not stand it. Yesterday I took her back to the vet. I was ready for him to tell me that she needed the surgery over. I was ready to argue if he said her life was not worth living. I was resigned to the idea she might never get better.
I got the same vet. He checked her leg. She was lying down by this time because she had swooned in terror. But he was deft and kind.
And he said that her knee had not come apart again. The connection was strong, in fact the fishing line was still in place. He gave me doggie motrin for her. (It is called Metacam.) And he gave her a joint supplement. He said we should go with watchful waiting.
We brought her home. We gave her the first dose last night. The vet said that the improvement might take up to a month.
This morning she was using all four. She has only a very slight limp. The sad frightened look in her eye is gone! Mike took her out, and she checked her whole perimeter. There has been plenty of dog email (peemail) during her absence.
There is some sort of lesson here for me about optimism. Or guts, or doing things right away. I will figure that one out later. But she wanted to chase a squirrel this morning. But I will figure that out later. I am just happy right now.