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!!!

Super Kindergarten.

It’s the end of the school year, kids are gearing up for no more school, summer break and graduations.

Not my kid though, Doug is being held back. He’s going into Super Kindergarten/summer school.

Doug’s healing is slow going. In fact, we have had a bit of a setback. His knee has a lot of swelling and it’s pushing his kneecap back out. To be clear, back out is the wrong direction. Also, on a separate issue, one of his TPLO pins is cutting into his bone a little.

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Awesome, right!?

At our appointment last Friday they called me into a room.  Nothing good comes out of being called into a room. The surgeon said that we should cut back on activity for four weeks. Cut back on activity? What activity? Please explain yourself. What he was saying, as my soul was screaming NOOOOOOOO, is that Doug should not progress right now. We should not increase or change anything for four weeks. That adds four weeks to our total recovery time.

That would take us to 20-24 weeks.  Otherwise calculated as five to six months.

We are at six weeks now. My guess is, that come two months, Doug will be strategizing how to make wind chimes out of my bones.

He is a prisoner in a world that won’t let him run. Or jump. Or do stairs. Or run. Or run some more.

He’s most definitely planning my death.

We followed up our surgeon appointment with a therapy session.  We were hoping to start water therapy but with the activity setback, therapy will need to be low-key for the next four weeks.  They put some numbing gel on his knee and did some laser work.  I wish there was numbing gel for my hopes and dreams for Doug’s summer.

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He’s still super adorable though!  And trust me, there is a death stare under the doggles. IMG_4496

Be sure to join us over on Instagram to see the photo journal of Doug’s time in jail. We can be found @Dougholupka.for.president

Inmate update.

Doug could not hate life more right now if he tried. Death stares now include not even bothering to look at me. IMG_4217

We saw the surgeon for our first post surgical follow-up and he said Doug looked great.  They took the stitches out and told us we could wave good-bye to the cone. Yay! Then he asked me why I wasn’t using tranquilizers on Doug.

Doug was on tranquilizers at the time.

Welcome to my world.

He sat down and I knew it wasn’t going to be a moment I would cherish later.  He said that the TPLO part of the surgery was easy and smooth, however the kneecap repair was far more extensive than they planned.  Due to that, Doug was likely be looking at 16-20 weeks of recovery time.

My soul died, just a little. Mostly for Doug but some for me too.  In this situation, 16 weeks is 100% in the dog years type of counting.  It might as well be forever. Especially with a dog whose body laughs at tranquilizers.

Yesterday, we had our rehab consult.  The doctor there also asked me why he was not on tranquilizers.  Just stop, people.

Doug was assessed.  He was stretched. They pulsated his muscles with some magic wand. He did some cone work and they taught me how to do our ten or so, at home, therapies.  We were also granted three, 5-10 minute walks a day!  Wooohoooooooooo!  The inmate can finally leave the house.

I then posed the 16-20 week question to the rehab doctor.  She said ‘at least’. Then she threw in, I’m a little concerned about his good leg too.

I immediately went to vodka.com to up my order.  The good news is, therapy zonked Doug out.  We will do therapy 1-2 times a week there and will also start water therapy and that should drain some of his energy too.

It’s about time you let me leave prison. You are the worst warden-mother. IMG_4264

Checking his range of motion. IMG_4266

Pulsating his muscles.  I honestly might have gotten that wrong. IMG_4267

Forcing him to use his new leg (this is also the point where questions were raised about his good leg).  IMG_4270

Laser therapy. Doug is probably the only dog who prefers to stand for laser therapy. IMG_4280

We are three weeks down!  13-17 to go!

 

 

Kryptonite.

I had a home visit a few months ago with a rescue group I wanted to be approved for.  I had many conversations with the adoption coordinator about Doug and how crazy very exuberant he is.  I explained to her how he never really calms down, even when he is still, he’s gearing up for movement.  I told her these things during the conversation about how when I add the next dog, I don’t want two Dougs.  She assured me she had seen it all, she’d been doing Pit Bull rescue for 20+ years. She came and met us. Her exact quote after the visit was: I never in my life have met a dog as energetic as Doug. He is awesome, but he is by far the most hyper dog I’ve ever met. 

Told you so!

Despite only being 12 days out of surgery and having at least 10 weeks of rest to go, he thinks he is fully healed and he now tries to do a modified zoomie in his crate, along the edge of the bed.  It’s like tightrope zoomies, IN A DAMN CRATE. When he is in the x-pen, he wild ponies up on his hind legs.  To say this is against every thing the doctor said he SHOULD NOT DO, is a grand understatement.  I mean HOW do you keep a dog down, literally down, on all fours.  Should I put bricks on his back?

After he runs the zoomies in the 4×4 space (and after I plead with him to stop (no, NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!) he resorts to ramming the crate or pen door.  Like a bull.  Like a bull with a broken leg who is supposed to be resting.  Every time I go in to spend time with him, it’s like an ultimate warrior cage match.

He has been doing all of this, since day 4  post surgery. I mean even superman could be held down by Kryptonite.

I am not a dramatic person. If I say Doug is crazy, he’s crazy.  I’m very matter-of-fact. Trying to keep Doug calm has made me drink cry.  It’s brought actual tears to my eyes.  I legit hid from him at one point because I just couldn’t fight the fight anymore and I needed a break.  My hiding, only rev’d him up more.  Hide and seek, fun!

I feel like the vet surgical community failed us when they sent us on our way post surgery with a see you in two weeks, keep him calm and off that leg.  Pretty sure they threw in a wink and smile for hurtful measure. I had tried to explain that Doug was VERY energetic.  That there was no way to keep him calm.  And I’m sure they hear that A LOT from owners who don’t really know what true, nuclear energy looks like.  I watched as our surgeon’s eyes glossed over when I explained to him that while I was VERY committed to Doug’s recovery, Doug would in no way, shape or form be at all committed to it.

He said to me…Doug will realize his limitations. And then he tried to send me home without tranquilizers. Uh no, nice try.

Sadly, the tranquilizer we were given was no match for Doug. I get it, Excedrin Migraine is as about as powerful as a tic-tac when it comes to my migraines. Some medication just doesn’t stand up to the challenge before it.  Doug’s current tranquilizer is one of those things.

I am willing to do the hard work. I kept Jake in a cone for six weeks after his eye surgery. Six weeks in a heavy cone for a dog with a compromised spine could almost be considered abuse (which is why I ordered that ridiculously expensive head mask – remember that???), but saving his eye was important for his well-being. In the end, it was the right decision. Well, it was the right decision before knowing he had terminal cancer.  Had I known about the cancer I would have had the eye removed and let him live as struggle-free as possible. Ahhhhh, hindsight, you’re a bastard.

Speaking of hindsight…Jake had it. IMG_5422

Keeping Doug calm is up there with juggling sand. Impossible.

I’m OK with Doug continuing to hate me as I try to get him through this timeframe intact and with 4 healthy legs at the end.  This phase in our lives will be all but a blip. We are going to try a new tranquilizer. And if that doesn’t work, we will try something else. If nothing else, all our trying will pass the time. Right?

He is still planning my death. Thankfully, the cone and donut SHOULD come off tomorrow when his sutures come out. IMG_4149