ONE WEEK UNTIL ROYAL’S STAPLES COME OUT!!!
So for those of you who don’t personally know me you probably haven’t been following our story since Royal’s break in November. It has been a long road. We came about an inch away from losing Royal when this mess all started because of funding we almost surrendered him. My mom actually opened up a care credit in her name (neither one of us had the credit at the time due to circumstances in our past, mine being identity theft. My fiancée was a foster child adopted by a sweet elderly couple that both passed away within the last four years so he’s been completely on his own since) and saved our sweet boy. The alternative was surrendering him. I’m sure it’s an issue pet parents have faced without such a happy ending. My heart goes out to those pet parents who did the right thing for their fur babies if they weren’t able to afford treatment themselves. Life happens. People get laid off. Businesses close. People get sick, sometimes even chronically ill. It doesn’t make them bad people for not being able to afford a $5000 vet bill suddenly when their fur baby breaks a limb, tests positive for cancer, ends up with any other array of health problems none of us are prepared to handle mentally or emotionally usually when it happens. But we adjust. We do what we have to for them because we love them and want what’s best for them. The day his leg broke, our vet put a rod and two pins in his leg to try and save it. We were optimistic about the results. It was a hard first few weeks. Royal came home in a stiff cast he couldn’t get wet. The first few days he couldn’t even walk outside to use the bathroom. We had to express his bladder a few times he was so weak after the first surgery. I cried, more than I’ve ever cried. He had five different medications he had to take. He couldn’t stand not being able to sleep on our bed so we made a bed next to him on the floor and took 12 hour shifts making sure he had round the clock supervision. We made him hamburger, chicken, anything we could to spoil him and make sure he ate. He had a lot of accidents the first couple weeks. We had to carry him everywhere. I questioned my decision more than once, asking myself if we had done the right thing putting him through all of this. A few times early on he would whine and try to lick at his cast (we are literally sitting next to him 24/7 so he only wears his cone when we are out of the room or sleeping) because he didn’t understand what was going on. As time passed he adjusted, slowly. He got an infection in his paw. We were at the vet every single day they were open for awhile. Some of the tissue had died but we managed to fund a surgery to remove the dead tissue and put a few sutures in to promote healing of the tissue still good (this is the paw on the leg with the break. The break was above the elbow pretty close to the joint). This was probably about a month in. At one point, he was starting to get around ok, he slipped on the ice out front of our place and the rod poked through his chest. I freaked it and rushed him back to the vet. They did another x Ray immediately and it looked ok initially. But about a month later an x Ray from a different angle they hadn’t done before showed how poorly it was truly healing. January 3rd we found out royals leg was going to have to be amputated. When my fiancée and I went into the vets office that day we thought we were just picking him up from a routine appointment and that everything had been going well. I immediately blamed myself. The truth is we don’t know exactly why it didn’t heal right. But it’s no ones fault. If there are any complications the most important thing is to not blame yourself. It doesn’t do anyone any good and there’s a lot of evidence out there suggesting dogs can sense when we are stressed and it stresses them out as well. If you do feel guilty concentrate on what you CAN do to help your fur baby, not what you can’t. We were in the vets office so much in December I baked the office staff Christmas cookies for taking such care of Royal. He’s become a bit of a local celebrity of sorts with everything that’s happened. Today he had one of hopefully his last appointments. Royals leg was amputated January 5th, 2017. It was a hell of a way to start the new year. Today royal’s drain came out though!!! And his 26 staples and 4 sutures come out next Thursday. I had to write a post about how far we have come. I hope it helps another pet parent out there dealing with the same anxiety and guilt my fiancée and I have both grappled with since November. All of the tears, the late nights, the endless vet visits and bills, making them take medication, the exercise restrictions, will all be worth it in the end when you see their personaliy start to shine back through. Royal has always had a bad habit of jumping up on people with his front legs to greet them. For the first time since his break, he did it today when he greeted a new neighbor to say hi. I almost cried right there because I never thought he would do that again. So many things I didn’t think he could do he already has although we have to prevent him from running excessively or doing anything outside minus pottying, I know when the time comes he’s gonna be back to our same sweet boy we brought home in November. I attached some photos pre op of the day we brought him home. The bottom one is of him today hanging out with his feline friends Josie and Loki. Remember pet parents, optimism is the ONLY way we have gotten this far. Try to stay positive and take small steps to reach that milestone. It won’t happen overnight but your Tripawd will surprise you more than you know. Ours sure did. Thanks for reading.