Things were coming along great with my investment condo and then on Sunday, I let my little spaniel buddy out in the back yard and he came back in with his legs looking a little stiff. I thought maybe it was because he kept sinking into the snow which was piled in the back yard — I could seem him sinking through the crust. I went off to paint the laundry room at the condo and when I came back in the afternoon, his back legs were almost crossed and he was quivering with pain.
The next morning his condition was worse and I rushed him to my vet who said it looked neurological and he thought Scout might have slipped a disc. So off we went to see Dr. Philip Jull, the only animal neurologist in town. Dr. Jull said he’d have to do an MRI to see the extent of the damage but he thought Scout had twisted his back and ruptured a disc and would need immediate surgery.
He said that Scout could still feel pain in his feet which meant he had a 95% chance of recovery if he was operated on quickly but the old guy was already getting worse. When I left the clinic, he could no longer stand and was dragging himself in a sitting position on the floor with his front paws, one leg pointing straight out, and panting heavily. If we waited and he lost sensation in his feet, his odds would have dropped to 50%, so I opted to go with the surgery and Dr. Jull and his team stayed several hours after the clinic closed doing the surgery. Great team; super impressed with the care Scout received and I owe a big debt of thanks to Dr. Jull for his quick action and commitment to Scout’s health.
Anyway – the good news is that the surgery was successful. Dr. Jull found a ruptured disc and one that had degenerated and operated on both. When I saw Scout on Tuesday he could stand again with a little help but was clearly in pain. Nonetheless, he gave me the stink eye for not taking him home right away. (He’s wearing a harness that allowed him to be assisted walking with handles on the front and back.)
But he could stand on his own, although he was wobbly. (That’s a Fentanyl patch between his shoulder blades.)
He came home yesterday and is walking (which is amazing) but had to be carried out to the car. I’m lucky to have such great friends: Eric Ritterath, from work, came to help me lift him into the car and carry him up the stairs at home to bring him in. As you can see, he was standing with almost no support from Eric at all.
Here’s my poor little guy at home with his surgical scar revealed. He was in a lot of pain, as you can imagine, and is on a regimen of different medications to ease his pain and help him urinate while he recovers.
He was anxious and distressed until I took the Fentanyl patch off last night; we think he may have had an adverse reaction to it because almost instantly, he was able to sleep and he’s been pretty much tail-wagging and his usually patient self since that patch came off. Here he is all tuckered out in the area I had to set aside for him: he has to be confined in a limited space for the next couple of weeks.
Dr. Jull says that Scout’s recovery is going well and that in 3-4 weeks he should be almost back to normal. Pretty amazing to see a dog that can’t stand to one that is standing and wagging his tail again in such a short period of time! Here is a shot of him today; he managed to break out of his confinement area twice and really wants to be able to roam. Dr. Jull says that’s good that he wants to do more than he should.
My good friend Jake Morgan built me a ramp today so that I don’t have to carry Scout outside to do his business, which spares me lifting him up and down the stairs — I was starting to feel my own back giving out! (The upper ramp from the back door was just cobbled together from an old cupboard door and a coir welcome mat.)
The vet bills on this were prohibitive ($ 7500 so far) so I’ll be doing some serious fundraising — my daughter, Jade, who is a talented artist, offered to draw people’s pets for $ 75 a sketch and we’ve been overwhelmed by the response – she’s had to create a waiting list. Here are some samples of her work:
I’ve received a donation of a beautiful piece of art from Frank Van Boxtel and a signed copy of Andrew King’s recent book, OAK ISLAND REVEALED, which I will raffle off when I have time to get tickets organized.
Here’s the lovely abstract painting of a peony that Frank donated (unasked for, I might add: he just contacted me and offered it — so generous!). Same thing with Andrew: he said as an owner of a senior dog himself, he wanted to help.
Tickets will be $ 5 a pop and all proceeds will go to Scout’s recovery. The painting is a 12″ by 12″ acrylic (isn’t it lovely?) . If you are interested, let me know, and thanks!
So with all that happening, I had to put my involvement in the condo on the back burner but my trades were terrific: they kept on working. Alex Martinez got the drywall repairs finished; Mark Dods finished up the electrical, which included installing new pot lights in the powder room, and installing some new lights, and Brian Barnes got the alarm system working again (the owner hadn’t installed it and didn’t know the code).
And some really great friends showed up on Monday to help Alex remove the old HWT and move in a new one (thanks Marc and Victor!). New cabinet doors have arrived and will be installed on Monday; I’ll paint the powder room this weekend and post all the pics then, this property should be up for rent next Tuesday or Wed!