Here we go again.

Doug is 12 weeks post a complicated luxated patella and TPLO surgery.  Two weeks ago we waved goodbye to our surgeon. As of last week, we probably had about six weeks more to go until he was free to zoom. We had just come off of pen confinement and needing to be leashed in the house.  Our rehab had finally picked up in intensity to really start building his muscle back up. He was sleeping upstairs again.

In other words, we saw the light.

This weekend, Doug tore his other ACL. I’d personally like to live in denial of this.  But Doug can barely walk now and his second surgery is today, so it’s apparently time to take a bite of this reality sandwich.

I sorta wish we had not seen the light or given him more freedom. To have it given, then abruptly taken away, has left him angry. He now sits in the pen and barks at me non stop. Not ideal, for either of us. 

I don’t really have the words to describe how hard it has been to keep Doug’s activity restricted.  I know a lot of people probably say that about their dogs, but the people around us can confirm that Doug is not, most dogs.  He is constantly in motion. When he’s being held back, he goes into destructive mode.  And as much as that drives me nuts, it is way more taxing on him to have to live the life as an inmate. These leg issues keep Doug from being Doug. He should be going in and out of the house into the yard whenever he wants. He should be running zoomies. Instead, he’s been in jail and on tie down and the moment he starts to taste freedom again, the jail bars drop back down.

He holds me responsible for it all, and it definitely impacts our relationship building. 

I am not sure how we will get through round two, but I know we will find a way.  I mean, we have no choice. Hopefully since this one should only be the TPLO surgery and not the luxated patella fix also (please God), it may be a bit easier on him.  Not sure about that but I am holding onto that hope.

If either Melvin or Jake needed this surgery, or even if they both needed it at the same  time, we’d all probably be high-fiving.  Staying still and resting was their goal in life. They probably would have cut their own ACLs if they knew it came with months of inactivity.  This down time for Doug, goes against his DNA.

I have had Doug for almost 11 months. It is estimated he ran stray for about 5 months. I’m hopeful he thinks jail-city is still better than being stray, but I can’t be sure. I’m trying to focus on the positive: we can afford these surgeries, he has good insurance, he’s young so healing is faster. But the truth is, my little family needs a win. 

Last night when I was laying in bed saying no, no, nope, no to this happening, over and over like a crazy person, I had a vision of Doug running stray.  What if he had not been found? What if both of his ACLs blew out and he was dragging his bloody stumps around? What if, God forbid, someone found him and decided he was not worth saving?

He came to me for a reason. One of those reasons is to be mended. We all know he will get that. Another reason could be to test the boundaries of my sanity. This surgery may breach that barrier, but who knows, it might help us get through round two!

Is he going to test my patience?  Yes, absolutely.  Will he pick back up on planning my death? Probably.

Will we make it through? Of course we will.  We are joy warriors.

 

 

The worst.

I had a migraine last week. It was terrible. Doug, was even worse than the migraine.

To recap:

  • Max would lovingly lay over my legs when I had a migraine and was sick.
  • Melvin would climb into the big bed, and want for nothing until I was able to get back up.
  • Jake would lay at Melvin’s butt forever, he had no clue I was even there (although a few times he would come into the bathroom, I’m presuming to be sure the person who could reach the food was still alive).
  • Doug’s pre-game, game-game and end-game is torturing me.

He was a maniac the day of the migraine. On a scale of 1-10 energy wise, he was infinity.  He also reverted back to trying to be my backpack, something he has not done in months (and I had not missed). He also, tried to chew my hair.

But the worst part was, and I was extra stomach sick on this migraine, every time I was crouched over the toilet, he would bark, at the toilet, ferociously. Like foam from his mouth would fly into my ear because he was so close to the toilet and in some weird toilet-attack-mode.

So, I shut the door. But he could still hear me getting sick, so he would just flip out until I opened the door again. When I would get up and walk out, he’d run in and bark at the toilet some more.

During migraines, I often write things down, either things that happen during the migraine that I want to tell my neurologist about, or things I need to remember, as I likely won’t have recollection of them after.

I woke up the next day to find this note:

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Obviously I won’t. But don’t tell him that.

For those of you anticipating the ‘other leg’ update. We see the surgeon tomorrow at 10am.  Until then, I’m in denial.

 

Graduation (of sorts).

Doug had surgery nine weeks ago.  Nine LONG weeks ago.  We had a setback at week 4 and he has been on limited-limited activity since then.  To be honest, I’m not even sure what that means. But today, 9 weeks in, we had our 8 week check-up (calendar math is not the boss of us) with the surgeon including a 2nd round of x-rays.  The good news is: Doug’s bones are fully healed!  Wooohoooooo!  Does this mean he can resume zoomies? Uh, no. He still needs rehab to build up the muscle mass that he lost (and in some ways never had). But it does mean that we can go into full-rehab-beast-mode!

Doug starting water therapy (finally)!

You guys know the struggles I have had to keep Doug calm. He’s been on the tranquilizer Ace for some time now and either I’m going more insane or it is having an opposite effect on him.  I have been reading up on it and in fact, I think that is what is happening to Doug.  It is actually making him more hyper.  All of the stories I hear of animals on Ace where it is working are along the lines of: the dog was immobile, drooling, very lethargic. The words I would use to describe Doug on Ace are: uncontrollable, crazy, hyper. Now that we are coming off of restricted-restricted activity and will likely just be on singular restricted activity, I can probable stop giving him the Ace.  Or I can stop since IT FAILED US.

Examples of Doug on Ace – as you can see, he is as subdued as a pumpkin.

 

I am sad to report that Doug, like many who find themselves in the prison system at one time or another, has found himself incarcerated once again. He is just not a dog that does well on a tie down, mostly because necks break and he does not seem to care about that risk.  I however love his fat neck so, the jail cell is back out in the center of the room where it can haunt my decorating soul full-time again.

No seriously, his neck is deliciously giant. IMG_5307

Hello old friend. Neither of us missed you. IMG_5267

Where the heck have we been?

Here are some updates to get you all caught up.

Yard Dog:

Doug loves being outside.  I had this glorious vision of summer, I’d leave the doors open and Doug would travel from inside to outside, napping, playing, being a dog.

Since surgery, Doug has needed to be in his jail cell or on a leash, 24/7.  I mean we have setbacks from not even doing anything (but not from doing nothing). But for all of you that fear that the yard dog doesn’t get his fill, oh contraire. He does, it just happens to be on a lame tie down.

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Rehabilitation:

We just hit 2-months post surgery.  We were supposed to have a three-month recovery time. That has now stretched into infinity six months. Doug has been on limited activity (from his already limited activity) and we are now coming off of that (hopefully).  We have our two month X-ray on Tuesday. Fingers crossed that he is back on track and we can resume hard(er) core rehab.

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We are rocking the boot on his good leg!

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We were recently granted permission for him to do steps once a day so now he sleeps super soundly back upstairs (still in jail though)!  Ahhhhh, the little victories are so sweet!

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Vacation:

Most of you probably saw the video I posted on our Facebook page about my little inmate being excited to see his favorite warden return from vacation. I decided that upon return from vacation, I would grant him release from jail (with gradutaiton to tie down). At his parole hearing I asked that he keep all four legs and tail attached to his body and keep paws on the ground. This was him during minute one. He’s not allowed to jump, so yeah, it’s going great. Also, apparently death stares continue beyond the jail cell, so that’s fun.

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Bob:

She’s still kicking it in the hood. Doug clearly does not have the 360 degree eyesight that Jake did.

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Have a great day!!!

Letters from Heaven. Letter two.

Doug, It’s me, Jake.

Bro, I know what it’s like to be an inmate. She kept me locked in the mudroom for twenty years when I first came (she will say it was two weeks but it felt way longer).  She called it two-week-shutdown, I called it bullcrap, am I right?! Melvin claims he was kept separate from Max for a few weeks too but I don’t know, she let Melvin roam the WHOLE house when I lived there.  The WHOLE damn house!

Anyway, I saw you had surgery and your leg is wonky.  Uh, welcome to my world!  You are more like me than everyone thought! And uh bro, we saw you the other day when you were pooping and you fell into your poop cause your leg gave out.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH!  Max and Melvin even laughed.  That was too funny!  Also, been there, done that.

Remember in my last letter when I told you there would come a time that she would have to carry you.  I watched her lift you out of the car the other day.  She’s always so careful and gentle.  She kissed the top of your head to keep you calm. She did that to me too.  I closed my eyes and I could still feel her wrap her arms around me. I could still hear her say ‘I’ve got you bud’. You’re so lucky to have her taking care of you.  Heres a little secret bro, she cried the first few nights you couldn’t sleep upstairs. She’s so sensitive.

So, um, dork, maybe, stop with the death stares.  I mean she spends hours a day trying to keep you entertained with puzzles and frozen smoothie Kongs and shin bones from real cows! I never got no real cow shin bones (I mean I had tic-tac teeth but so what!)  I mean, don’t scowl at the hand that feeds you dude. We get that you’d rather be out running zoomies but we think you are really lucky to be there with her. Trust us on this, just breathe these moments with her in.

Life here is pretty glorious.  I pretty much just smell and stare at Melvin all day. You will have to take my word for it, he smells so delicious.  I really like Max too.  He’s so chill. He’s like Yoda, do you know who that is? People say I look like Yoda but Max actually is Yoda.

Melvin’s doing great.  He spends his entire day watching her. Their connection is something that everyone here is in awe of. Its like she can reach up here and touch him and at the same time he’s there beside her. He won’t even write one of these letters, something about it being too sacred. I don’t know, I’m not a rules guy so I do as I want. So anywho, I stare at Melvin, Melvin stares at her and Max is Yoda. Also, there is endless peanut butter.  But don’t be thinking it’s so great here that you need to come, the current plan is that you won’t be here for 14 more years. Don’t worry brother, we’ll be waiting for you.

Pretty sure after my last letter we decided you wouldn’t destroy any more beds.  I may not be there to physically jump you (but if I was I would jump on you so hard) but let me try going about this another way…we have some pull up here as your guardian angels. Now I’m not technically allowed to threaten you, apparently heaven is all about positive reinforcement, but um Doug, I’m Jake. I act first and worry about the positive reinforcement rules never. STOP DESTROYING BEDS. 1. I left a sleep legacy there. You are tainting it. 2. When you stress her out you stress WWE Jake out and don’t make me go all HULK ON YOU!  I’m being told to calm down. UGH.

Lastly. WTF is going on that you let a cat join our family.  I mean seriously, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUDGE? We don’t take in cats, we eat them.  There is no grey area here, Doug. Cats = food. This is embarrassing. Birds landed in our yard, I ate them. Bunnies hopped on by, get in my belly bunny cause Jake gonna eat you. Frogs hippy hopping, my tongue was their final lily pad.  But you? A cat walks by and the next thing we know is she has a rabies certificate for it and you’re calling the damn thing sister. Epic fail, brother, epic fail.

Ok, I gotta run.  We got a peanut butter eating competition against Corbin, Rufus, Dixie and Chilly.  Team Holupka all the way bro!

love, your favorite brother, Jake

 

These are a few of my favorite things.

Here are few of my treasures in the house.  I’m not sure what was up with my camera making everything look beige.  But you get the gist.

My most favorite photo of my guy. IMG_4636

 

My daily remider. IMG_4637

 

My superheroes. IMG_4639

 

My favorite guard dog butts. IMG_4641

 

A canvas I had made on ETSY. IMG_4644

 

Doug’s first framed photo! IMG_4647 (1)

 

Our Yellow Brick Home Pet Portrait treasures!IMG_4649

 

And the book I had made of the all the Instagram memories I have of Melvin and Jake. Sneak peek video below. IMG_4651

 

 

The other leg.

Doug is a lot like Melvin (the early days Melvin) ethusiastically.  But his hind legs are 100% Jake.

We have the ongoing saga of his newly rebuilt leg. That one takes us down the inmate path where Doug is jailed and I take his tranquilizers.

We also have the other leg. It now has a stage one luxating patella. It also, likely from several months of compensating for the other leg, hyperextends in the hock area.  The best way for me to describe this to you in a way we all understand is that his ankle area on the good leg, pops forward when he uses it.  Ankles probably should not do that.

Enter in the new brace.  When I tell people about the new brace they just assume its for the newly rebuilt leg and even when I try to explain it’s for the not new leg, they still say ‘yeah, it’s for his surgery leg’ and I say no, it’s for his non-surgery leg and then we all just agree to disagree but still agree that both legs are problematic. Then I get the vodka back out.

Here is Doug, and his new leg brace. He’s tried to eat it 4,672 times (we just got it on Friday) (bottom two videos). I break into a full sweat getting it on him. But look how nicely it accentuates his juicy thigh!

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