knits & plants

aah, the simple life. almost.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dog Days

This, Dear Reader, is an abridged version of Murphy's saga.

Murphy is our 2-year-old Springer Spaniel and surrogate child. On October 11, he was hit by a car on the road by our house. I'm sorry to say that he wasn't properly supervised at the time. I was in the barn getting eggs. We thought, since we didn't live on the road, and since he had never before shown interest in going down to the road, we didn't have to worry about it. We were wrong. The bastard who hit him never even stopped. His front leg was badly broken, as you can see. The surgeons, although wonderful, were guarded about Murphy being able to keep the leg. He had a surgery to pin the bone back together. Poor Murphy. He emerged with a leg bandage thicken than his head, and a partial-body sleeve. If it wasn't so tragic, it would have been hilarious.

Murphy came home a week later, but he had to stay as quiet as possible (read: drugged out of his gourd). He had to stay in a crate at all times. You can see how much he was enjoying it. Well, Oscar kitty did. Our lives totally changed. We had to ban visitors. We cancelled Thanksgiving. I got record amounts of knitting done.

On the xray, the two large breaks are pretty clear. What's harder to see is the third break right above his elbow. They only had this tiny piece of bone to connect to, and the pin slipped out. So there was another surgery to put in another pin to reattach the bone.

This time, we all decided that the best place for Murphy would be at the vet. He got special accommodations in their main procedure area. The techs were awesome. Glenn & I visited every day, but Murphy was unhappy. That, combined with the drugs caused him to stop eating, and stop healing. At the end of three weeks, he had lost 12 pounds. Skinny and weak was no good. We took him home again.

I don't have to tell you that by this time, we were all a wreck. So, a week later, when a pin detached and try to eject itself, we were all prepared for the conclusion.

Murphy went in for his third surgery in the beginning of December. They took the leg with no complications. I was there as soon as they opened again the next day. One of my favorite techs came running to tell me that Murphy was up, walking, and had walked out on his own three legs to go pee. It was truly amazing, I got a happy puppy greeting, and was allowed to take him out for a short minute to walk. They had told me how quick the recovery was, but I was still amazed.

Still, being back at the vet, Murphy wouldn't eat. Now at thirty pounds, he was close to the danger zone. Plus, he needed energy to put into recovering. His chart authorized the techs to give him ANYthing he wanted. They tried cinnamon buns. They tried chicken fingers. Glenn
brought him a sausage sandwich. Anything. No dice. After two days, with no sign of complications, they sent Murphy home early.

From then on, it was all recovery. In a day, Murphy had learned to get up and down the porch stairs. He went up and down stairs right away. He assumed his proper place in our bed straightaway. The second night home, Glenn cooked him venison until he couldn't eat anymore...over 2 pounds!

Every day since has had a good event. The day he got into bed by himself. They day he jumped into the snowbank and didn't get stuck. The day he got into Glenn's pickup truck without help. The day he went on his first walk. They day he weighed 37 pounds. The day his sutures came out. The day he romped with a friend's dog twice his size and held his own.

I never would have believed it, but Murphy truly doesn't know he is a poor wee cripple. His spunk has not been altered at all. He gets around just fine. He is still the happy, lovely creature he always was. We've just about got him back on a dog food-only eating regimen. There's so much to be happy for.

So. There's our story. Give your pet/kid/sweetie and extra squeeze tonight from us. It's good to have them all safe and happy under one roof.


At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Johanna said...

Oh, poor Murph! He's such a good puppy. I'm glad he's recovering well, and he looks so good in the last picture. What a hell these last few months must have been for you and Glen. I'm glad you came out of it well!


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