I knew my dog was having fairly extensive surgery.
What I hadn’t anticipated…in any way…was her deep desire to tell me “what had happened” when I gathered her up from the vet the next day.
Quite some time back, Zuke banged her knee running up a set of steps. That event, was quite possibly the “first” tear in her cruciate…that would eventually, over time, completely give out.
On Wednesday, I took our family pet to South Shore Veterinary Hospital (chosen for their fabulous Dr. Ted Scoville.) Zuke made out fine through surgery. A procedure where they drill an eye hook in one knee bone…another in the other knee bone…then string them together with a filament similar to fishing line creating a “fake” ligament…allowing the knee to be sturdier and sort of, kind of, if all goes well…like new.
The following day, after a night spent in our home without our darling girl and a morning that just seemed strange not to have her greeting us as we woke from our slumber…Bones and I headed out for the hour long drive to pick her up.
It wasn’t her physical appearance that surprised me, though admittedly, she looked awful! It was her crying that got me…the moment she saw me. Pure sobs and this strange low wailing I’d never heard from my dog before…a dog whose only noise is her horrific snoring…who never growls and only barks when Bone’s is counting (leading us to believe she has a strong dislikes of math.)
“Give her a minute,” Dr. Scoville said, “she needs to tell you what happened.”
I felt weak.
My noble beast who listens to all my stories…who knows when to curl up next to me on the couch or stay out of my way…my pup who knew I was stressed just the day before bringing her to the vet but had no sweet clue what was happening…she needed to tell me, in her own words, what she’d been through.
And when she was done…when I assured her I understood, that she was going to be fine, that I was sorry she was hurting and she was the best girl ever…when she was comfortable with the fact that I was there to pick her up and bring her home…she told Bones.
Zucchini repeated the story a few hours later when she was settled in her bed and Spider-Man arrived home. Then, that evening, when a few girlfriends arrived for a visit…one-by-one she told each of them what happened and received their words of comfort.
Yesterday, she told The Tall Blonde as they curled up on the floor…and last night, she couldn’t help but tell another friend who dropped by…who gave her extra pats and listened intently to her very sad tale.
Our sweet little girl had what amounted to pretty extensive surgery (far more dramatic if you listen to the way she tells it!) She’s healing, and over the next six weeks she’ll go through the process of getting back on all four legs. She’s on plenty of pain medications and is finding multiple ways to avoid taking her antibiotic pill…dropping it to the floor just as soon as I think she’s swallowed it. She’s by our sides constantly…or we’re by hers…it’s hard to tell.
Zukes had a rough few days and she’s going to be just fine. But if you drop by for a visit, be forewarned…she has a pretty sad story to tell.
A HUGE thank you to Dr. Scoville for being incredibly patient with me on the phone and helping me make the decision to come to your lovely clinic…but mostly, for putting me at ease. Thanks to Janet and Krista and all of the amazing folks who helped out while Zuke was in your care. And whoever answered the phone the night I called to reassure me and let me know my girl was snoring…from the bottom of my heart…thank you.