Sasha's Concurrent Story, Part One

On December 11, 2006, CrackerDog Sasha went in for surgery to repair her torn right Achilles tendon. She had torn it while running after her frisbee the week before.

Sasha and I were at the park at sundown. I needed her to run off some energy. I was just going to give her a few more throws when it happened -- she abruptly stopped in her tracks and let out a yelp I had never heard from her before.

When she came home two days after her surgery, she cried all day long. Sasha had never cried for any reason before, so we knew she was in a sorry, sorry state. She was completely out of it from all of the sedatives they had given her. It was one of the saddest things I had seen as her "Mommy," and it broke my heart.

Needless to say, a lame dog was not what a twenty-nine week pregnant VDog wanted to deal with. Especially when I was the one who had to be home with her and her lame leg and our 40 million stairs.

Sasha had to be helped up and down the stairs with a towel under her hindquarters, lifting her up ever so slightly, so that not all of her weight was on either leg. This was no easy feat for either of us, Sasha fresh from surgery and me six+ months pregnant.

After one day of trying to get Sasha up and down numerous stairs (she was only allowed outside to go to the bathroom, and even then the trip was so challenging that we had to keep it to a minimum), Warrior made an early morning run to Home Depot to buy strips of sod, and a tarp to put the sod on, for the deck outside of our Master Bedroom (because here in California, even in December, the sod is all gone by 6am). It was a total Cracker maneuver, undertaken on the suggestion from our Cracker neighbor (and colleague of Warrior's), who had seen the idea in use for a dog across the street from him.

This is where Sasha and I holed up for the next week until my own unexpected hospitalization. We moved our entire living situation upstairs into our bedroom. I would make quick trips downstairs for bowls of cereal, yogurts, and microwaved food. We even set up our little TV tray and two chairs by which we ate our dinners. We moved our TV to the foot of our bed, along with our TiVo.

During the day, Sasha and I just hung out, me on the Internet and her sad in her bed. I ordered the bassinet, crib, infant car seat and stroller. I rarely ventured out as this required putting a cone on Sasha's head, which she hated, and involved much anxiety on both our parts.

I did go out to what would end up being my last OB visit on Thursday, December 14, for my 30 week check up. I was measuring the correct size, heartbeat was good and strong; everything seemed "normal." I had been excited because it was the first of my every-two-weeks appointments. I was making progress! But no, the next time I would see my Doctor would be the following Tuesday, the 19th, in Labor & Delivery at the hospital.

(Ok, back to Sasha.)

For the first few days, Sasha was so affected that she couldn't get up the will to eat. We hand fed her meals and put her plethora of medications in the tastiest stuff we could think of -- peanut butter, cream cheese, and finally, the wonder treat -- beef "pill pockets." The pill pockets are totally disgusting, and hand feeding your dog is not exactly pleasant, but at least it was minor preparation for Little Man's arrival. It was caring for a living being in a way that was very similar to caring for a baby -- doing everything for a creature that can not do anything for itself, even tasks that you wish you did not have to do.

It was an uncommonly nice stretch of weather, that week we were holed up together, so that made it more bearable. I remember having the door to the deck open with the curtains partially drawn, the sun warming my body and raising my spirits. I was taking in the situation as best I could, and trying not to get down about it.

Tearing the Achilles tendon is one of the worst injuries a dog can have. The surgeon said it is common in older Labradors and Dobermans. As far as we knew, Sasha was only supposed to be four, but she has always acted older, poor girl. The surgery sewed her tendon back together, and then the Cage cast was placed around her ankle, with pins going through her skin and bones. The Cage is basically like a miniature, semi-spherical bicycle rim and spoke set. It is disturbing and effective at the same time.

Once she had the surgery, we had to go back each week for bandage changes on the Cage. This lasted for eight weeks. After that, they wrapped her entire leg up in a splint that caused her to have even less mobility than with the Cage cast, which was eventually weight bearing (I didn't get to see that until after I came home from the hospital) and she had the unfortunate gait of Peg-Leg with it on. Which was actually pretty funny. But so sad at the same time. We were evil though, and laughed at her.

Sasha kept her Peg-Leg for four weeks, and then spent another four weeks in a soft wrap (kind of like a doggie Ace bandage). After ALL that, she got to go on very short leashed walks.

So we decided back in that first week of December, 2006, to do the surgery as soon as possible, since we were told the recovery was a three to four month minimum. "Great!" we thought, "Sasha will be pretty much recovered once we're ready to get out with the baby!" who was due February 24, 2007.

Little Man, however, had other plans.

Stay tuned for Part Two of both Sasha and Little Man's stories.

Btw, don'tcha just love my Cracker-style "Photoshop" job? Ya, I did that with MS Paint. Cuz I'm a Cracker. Totally.


dawn224 said...

LM had a kick ass due date!!

ImpostorMom said...

Sick dogs are the worst. Our first Aussie had several bouts of injuries and illness (one of which finally claimed him). He had this knack for hurting his foot and thus requiring daily soaks and bandages. Being a rather high energy dog the idea of taking it easy just wasn't gonna fly. It was a battle and I wasn't even pregnant much less have a new baby. Ugh.

Heidi Hyde said...

I'm hooked on this story. Poor pup-- I hope everything turns out well...of course we know ONE part of the story turns out perfect!


Unknown said...

Wow. You totally wrote on your picture. Your computer skills make mine look pooish. Poor puppy dog. I can't imagine. And, I get the "first" child thing with the dog. Ours was, too.

Al_Pal said...

Sometimes, MS Paint is really all you need. Nice job! ;)
Poor Sashie. I don't think I even knew that dogs could cry.
Whine and whimper, yes, but...canines are clearly not my area of expertise!
Ahh, Sash. Great writing--she's like the "B storyline" on The Cracker Family sitcom. ;p

Anonymous said...

Hi, expert on dogs here, and I have to say that is one "crackered" dog! All u need is a Little girl (as in a sister for Little Man), about three more dogs with problems, and four snobby cats....oh, but wait, that would be my blog! LOL! I have just recently been adding pics to my blog, so I am worshipping your skills right now.....visualize me in my pajamas on my knees at the tarded puter (that is what I call mine, since we live in the sticks and dont have access to wireless) Misty

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