Three weeks ago today I was delivered to my local vets so that my bad leg could be fixed. I was put under anaesthetic and the vet surgeon opened up my rear right knee. He later told us that my “cruciate had completely broken” complementing that with “he’s in a lot of pain” and they couldn’t tell how long I had been in discomfort. I had something called a TPLO (Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy) which I wont describe in case you are squeamish or have eaten your dinner recently. I was placed under house arrest in the vets overnight so they could observe me.
I arrived home the following day to see that I was still under some form of house arrest which was being dressed up as something for my benefit and to avoid any incidents or damages occurring whilst I healed. Lenny saw me wobble into the house and duly retired to his (one of my) bed to observe me from a safe distance.
To be honest I don’t remember much about the first couple of days due to being subdued by various pills, potions and drug patches to help the pain. I didn’t even realise that I was wearing what is colloquially known in the canine fraternity as the Cone of Shame. Imagine wearing a lampshade upside down on your neck and looking like a Frilled Lizard. Indeed, not a good look for a rufty tufty beagle. I did have the use of a surgical onesie, as well as a long sock type object called a Licksleeve. This covered my leg and meant that I couldn’t lick the leg or knee. What with the Cone of Shame, the Licksleeve and my onesie I was trussed up more fully than Hannibal Lecter.
It had even escaped my notice for the first few days that I was not allowed to go upstairs to my normal bed and that I had a parent sleeping downstairs with me. Again to make sure I didn’t do anything stupid, as if it would cross my mind to lick or chew the operation site. Lead walks in the garden, pills at regular intervals, rest, sleep and then more sleep were interspersed with food. Back to the vet on Monday and my pain killer patch was taken off which was a relief as it meant I could dispense with the onesie at least. I was given my first session of gentle physio and was checked over by the vet who performed my operation. All appeared well and I was allowed home, but I was still under house arrest.
Two more vet visits and I am feeling much better. I get physio three or four times a day whilst Lenny gets training elsewhere in the house. The parents are still swapping over each night to sleep downstairs with me until I am given the all clear to resume the normality of being a beagle. I have another week at least of downstairs rest after which I will be assessed further. I seem to be making quick progress with standing on all legs, building up my leg muscles and being more mobile and comfortable walking about. The infernal Cone of Shame is still there, although I noticed over the last couple of days that it is being removed more frequently. I am not chewing or licking my leg as much as was feared so it is hoped that with the wound healing, the fur growing back and my general mobility getting better, I can be without the Cone for ever soon. I even managed some “helicopter tail” for one of my parents when he returned home a few days ago from running chores.
So, why do they love us so much? When I was away in the vet hospital I understand that the house was quieter, there were fewer shenanigans and even Lenny missed me. Both parents were thinking about me and hoping that the operation would be successful of course. But in the first instance they wanted me back home in one piece. Now I am back there is still a great deal of upheaval in the house and I am still not allowed upstairs. I’m not resting as much as they would like and I am being kept from doing too much too early so I can repair my leg properly. They are very happy that I seem to be walking well now. It’s only been three weeks and I am feeling better every day.
One of my good friends, Zack, had the same operation on the same day. He too seems to be recovering well and we have promised each other that we would heal together, repair properly but not make it a race. I suspect his house was pretty quiet whilst he was away having his operation too. Even his brother would have missed not having him around for a day or so.
Maybe its the instinct to nurture that makes our parents feel sad and anxious when we aren’t around. We are very lucky that we are loved and pampered. Is it our cheekiness, our sense of fun as well as our ability to weedle our way into hearts to pull those proverbial strings? Maybe that’s why they love us so much.