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The old debris of our mistakes (and worse,) feels cleared away. In the inhalation of the infant year we still have time to believe that we will be better, kinder, wiser. 

. 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.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2012 05:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank goodness! I was expecting a sad ending to this post and was already half crying. Very glad she's doing better. Poor doggie!
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Happy ending this time. She deserves it. She is the best dog ever. (All dogs are the best dog ever. Math fact.)
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Oh thank Heaven! *hugs you and Hazel* I am so glad she's recovering.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
Thank you. I was so scared to hear the verdict. Now I am just glad its over. Wish i had not waited so long.
Jan. 1st, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
I'm very glad she's improving and that it didn't involve another ruinously expensive repair! Happy New Year to you AND Hazel.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
She is a dear girl. In the contest over who to disappoint, my landlord loses. (I am sure she is a dear girl too, but I don't live with her.)
Jan. 1st, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Poor Hazel and poor you! What a worry it must have been for you. Although I can't believe you would ever knowingly fail anyone you love. I'm so glad (for both of you!) that she won't need another operation. I can still remember how woeful Hazel looked in that picture you posted of her after the operation. I don't know how ibuprofen works on dogs but it works wonders on me!! Here's hoping she makes a full recovery and a very Happy New Year to you all. *hugs* A x
Jan. 1st, 2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
I know-- such a simple solution. If they sold the dog kind OTC I would have tried it long ago.

As far as woeful-- she looked that way yesterday. I know she thought we were going to leave her again. It would be way more easy if dogs spoke as we do.

(Cats may be another story. My mom always said that if cats spoke English we would not like them so well!)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
such a simple solution
Tell me about it! I had real trouble with my hip several years ago, the first doctor I saw was all doom and gloom and hospital appointments, the second prescribed some ibuprofen and after months of not being able to walk properly I was sorted within a couple of days!

It must be such a relief for Hazel not to be in pain anymore. Big relief for you too! I'm sure if she could speak she would say a huge thank you! I suspect your mom was right about cats though... :)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:58 am (UTC)
I had a good friend who broke her hip in high school. (A horse fell on her.) She had trouble for years. And it is placed so that when it gets painful everything else gets wracked trying to compensate.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:14 pm (UTC)
*hugs* *big hugs*
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )