They get a bath twice a year, whether they need it or not. Today however they needed it.
The dogs and I participated in the Furry Scurry today… it’s a 2-mile charity walk for the Denver Dumb Friends’ League. I was concerned about Lucy’s stamina since we were only taking walks for the week prior to the event, but she was a trooper. She even walked without her boot. Was she tired after the walk? Hell yes.
Lucy poses at Badger Creek
Lucy’s bandage was removed about a week ago and we’ve been taking progressively longer walks all week. She even played at the dog park one day at lunch. As a reward to her for putting up with two years of surgeries, bandages and limited activity — also rewarding Fabi for understanding our need to keep Lucy healing — we took a road trip this weekend.
I drove the girls down to southern Colorado to check out some potential camping spots for later in the summer. We hit Cuchara, near the defunct ski resort in the San Isabel National Forest. As I expected, it was still a bit too muddy to drive all the way up to the Bear Lake campground, but the girls had fun playing in the river and snow. After a couple of hours we drove back north through Westcliffe and eventually to our friends’ house north of Cotopaxi. Both of my dogs love the property and spent the rest of the night and much of the next morning exploring the rocks and trees and hillsides.
Sunday morning Robert and I drove the dogs up to a park where the Badger Creek grows larger with the help of several springs. It meanders through a small valley before beginning a 20-mile-long drop down to the Arkansas river. There are boulders and pools and waterfalls. It’s a wonderful area, albeit relatively unknown. Fabi and Lucy ran and climbed and swam . It was nice watching both dogs acting naturally… no casts or bandages or boots on Lucy’s leg. She did very well.
On the way back to Denver we did a little more exploring east of Westcliffe. I took a road through the forest along Hardscrabble creek and stopped to let the dogs play in the water one more time. Lucy ran around for a bit then headed back to the truck, hopping on three legs. She was unwilling to place any weight on her front right leg (the same leg we’ve been treating these last two years). I checked her out: no thorns, no cuts, no abnormal swelling, no obvious fractures. I hoped that she had just strained her leg too much after so much inactivity and that a good night’s rest would help her feel better. When we made it home she still wouldn’t put any weight on the leg and I could tell by her actions and body language that it was causing her some pain. I had some rimadyl remaining from her surgery so I gave her a tablet before bed. She snuggled up next to me on the pillow to sleep, and that only happens when she doesn’t feel well.
The next morning Lucy was still hopping around and didn’t seem any better. She went out in the backyard to lie in the sun as she normally does. When I checked on her a little later she had been licking and nibbling at the top of her scar from the last surgery to a point where it was bleeding, which told me that there was something wrong. I phoned the animal hospital and loaded up the dogs. After her exam and x-rays, the emergency vet said he didn’t see any change in the x-rays compared to those taken last week. This was good news. He did give her some pain meds and a new bandage with a splint to help recover. He also said he would have our normal vet/surgeon call us when he came back on Tuesday.
Lucy went to the surgical center for a check of her incision from the surgery to remove the metal plate from her leg. They also replaced the bandage and checked her lab culture results. Bad news: She has an infection of a type of bacteria that is very resistant to almost all medications. The only one which is capable of treating the infection is a very strong antibiotic that has severe potential side-effects, including kidney failure and deafness. She will have to receive an injection of this medication daily for the next week to ten days. The vet says that there is not a high risk of side-effects during this short dosage but there is a risk.
Let’s just say I am not in a great mood today after receiving this news. At least Lucy is keeping her spirits high.
Lucy’s surgery to remove the titanium plate from her leg was yesterday and it went well. She was very groggy from the anesthesia when I brought her home last night but today she is more alert and acting like herself again. I’ve had no issues so far getting her to ingest her medication, and the day has been very warm and sunny so she’s spent a lot of time in the yard sleeping.
The infection should subside soon with the removal of the growth medium (the plate) and hopefully in about six weeks she’ll be a “normal” dog again.
I took the dogs up to Guanella pass today to hike around in the snow. I’ve been ill for a week so I needed to get out of the house and be active in the sunshine. The girls have suffered, too, since I’ve been a lot less active while sick. Additionally, Lucy is having a surgery to remove the titanium plate on Monday so this was her last “hurrah”. Both girls had a great time running in the snow.
After the hike I drove up a few forest roads scouting out some camping sites for later in the year. One road was a single lane and had quite a bit of snow along the sides. I pulled over to let some oncoming traffic pass and got the truck stuck in about three feet of snow. The traffic passed me by without noticing that I was stuck, so I had to get my shovel and dig the wheels out myself. Luckily after about twenty minutes of digging and moving dirt and gravel under the tires I was able to move the truck out of the snow. Yay.
We made it home late in the afternoon and had a little nap. When I woke up I was thinking a little and realized it’s been ten years this month since the ex left me. That’s a long time to be single. Now that I have the dogs I’m not really alone but it still gets lonely from time to time. I decided to head out to a bar to be around some people. I like the place but I’d never been there on a Saturday night. I’m actually a little sweet on one of the waitresses and she’s normally very nice to me despite the fact that I’m older than her and ugly, but tonight she pretended she didn’t know me. I guess she has a rep to uphold with her cool customers. I don’t know.
I had some beers and chicken wings and suddenly all of the televisions in the bar were showing a UFC match. Wow. You can call me a snob but WTF is appealing about this “sport”? I finished my beer and beat a path to the door. Back home, my dogs were happy to see me and I went to bed early. That seems to be my place in life.