If you read my last post, you’ll know that my 16-year old dog, Delilah, broke her front leg and is in a cast. I went through a real guilt phase over it, like I BROKE THE DOG. But, Her resilience is impressive. She’s doing OK — in some ways better than I am.
She's a tough kid.
This period of recuperation has given Delilah a lot of time to work on her new break-dancing skills, using her casted forelimb to propel herself around at at alarming speed. I’ve spent the last week effectively bubble-wrapping this creature in an effort to keep her from further injuring herself (and thus, my fragile psyche). I’ve deconstructed the sofa. I’ve built pillow forts. I’ve restricted my own movements so that I’m rarely out of arm’s reach and, multiple times, I’ve caught her moments before she hits the floor (again)*.
We went back to the vet yesterday to get her bandages changed because Delilah had managed to dance her toes free of the splint, causing them to get caught on the metal part. We were feeling pretty good about the new cast. I even took a little “new manis!” pic of us. I felt like I was really getting the hang of this caring-for-an-elderly-dog-with-a-cast thing.
This is really just an excuse to show off my new nail-painting skills.
We’d only been home from the vet about 3 hours when I noticed that there was a thick smudge of coppery blood on her bandage.
Panic. Mayhem. Pandemonium.
She didn’t seem to be in any pain and I couldn’t find a trace of blood anywhere else, but I was freaked out. Visions of infections and amputations flashing through my brain. The local vet was closed, but the emergency vet calmed me down, assuring me that I could probably wait until my vet opened in the morning vs driving the almost 3-hour roundtrip distance to have them look at it.
It was a double pillow-fort night.
I took her over to the vet today as early as they’d take us. They planned to keep her for the day again, in case there was any complications with her injury. I’d barely walked back in the front door when they called to tell me to pick her up. They’d thoroughly examined her and everything looked perfect. No swelling, no bleeding, no further injury.
“Maybe she stepped in something? Gravy? Chocolate?"**
Good lord. I’d lost another night’s sleep and almost driven up and down the coast of New Jersey because the dog stepped in some leftover food that I hadn’t gotten around to cleaning up yet. This reminded me of the time, in high school, that I’d forced my mother to take me the the emergency room because the World Book Encyclopedia had convinced me that the moderately uncomfortable pains I was feeling in my gut were definitely my appendix about to burst. It ended up being the most expensive gas attack I’ve ever had.
So, we’re fine. She’s fine. And, as a bonus, our manis actually match now!
So worth it!
Dog parents (and, you know, KID parents): anyone else have this kind of anxiety? Tell me about it, please. I need some reassurance that I haven’t totally lost my mind.
*The vet actually recommended that I get her a “Pack ’n Play” type pen, but this dog is so spoiled. There is zero chance she would stay in that thing for any length of time before scream-barking and violently hurling herself against the sides. Also, today is the anniversary of the infamous Attica Prison Riots.
**In retrospect, it might have been a few drops of balsamic vinegar. We had a delightful Caprese salad for dinner with perfect Jersey tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.