Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 55: 21 February 2007

It occured to me this morning that I didn't post a Sam update... well, there's really nothing to report with him. He's done with his Doxy antibiotics so we guess that means that his Lyme disease has been defeated. We'll have some blood work done when he's completely off all medications and prior to his booster shots to make sure of that. He's still on 5mg Pred once a day, which should be reduced to every other day next week.

It does seem as though he's not leaking either as much or not at all when he sleeps. We're very happy about that, as well as having him need to drink so much water because of the pred.

Now that the weather has melted the glacier in our yard, we still sling him to help him up the three steps and then release him from the sling to walk around on his own. He's leaning still a bit to the left when he walks, just the back end swinging around ever so slightly, but he is starting to correct that. He still curls to the left on the backside when he eats or drinks, but he's starting to correct that as well.

He slept on the aero bed with hubby all happy and content, eating well, being a husky by annoying me.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that he's getting so much back to normal that I'm going to stop doing the daily updates. Although he has some more recovery to go through, we are now in the returning to normal routine and getting our sweet, considerate, and somewhat evil Sam back, so every day is becoming just a normal day with him... and for that we are ever so grateful to Dr. Schueller and his staff, the staff of the Catonsville Vet ER clinic, the folks at CVS, and everyone that has been reading Sam's recovery postings.

I will continue to post milestones and special events (like the meeting of the pups), but I don't see any reason to post "he's fine, took a poo, tried to jump on the table" when that happens every day now.

I hope my writing or our experience with Sam's recovery is helpful to someone who, unfortunately, finds themselves in a recovery situation. I only hope that they experience the same caring, concern, professional help, and support that Sam and our family has received from everyone.

So, back to posting gimpy dogs in need, educational articles, and yes, milestones for Sam as he cruises his way back 100% healed and husky.

thank you everyone


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 54: 20 February 2007

Sam got to sleep out of the crate with hubby last night. We put his cushy pillow in the living room, opened his crate (in case he wanted to go in... he didn’t), and a very nervous hubby slept with him loose all night.

No accidents, just a very happy puppy on his cushy pillow that was smiling and wagging his tail at me when I came downstairs this morning.

He’s trying too hard to get up the stairs and I’ve needed to lift him up. He keeps trying to jump up them, not walk up them, so we’ll need to try to slow him down so he walks up them and gets some strength in his back legs. It was still very slippery in the yard this morning, but mushier because it was in the 40s, so he was able to walk pretty much without the sling and even do his business without it holding him up.

Lunch was uneventful, although I thought he’d be happy about the bit of tuna water I put in his food. He’s pickier than he use to be and wasn’t happy about my mucking with his food mix. I’ve learned my lesson and will continue with his normal food mix from now on, guess he showed me.

I got home shortly before hubby, so I let Meeshka and Loki out, then back in, went down and got Sam out, and surprisingly he didn’t poo and wanted right back in after marking some spots. I figured he was hungry, since over the weekend he had free access to food and eats a lot throughout the day. I’ll need to come up with better ways to stuff his kongs so he has more food throughout the day. He did suck his food mix down pretty fast and I gave him some kibble to snack on for later.

While hubby was down with him while he ate, I let the pups out and chipped more ice off Sam’s regular path, then did poo duty for the rest of the dogs. The yard was getting a bit “full” and Meeshka had been glaring at me because her regular poo spot hadn’t been cleaned lately, so rather than face her wrath, I went out and cleaned up. After that there was some steam cleaning of the spot Sam chooses to have his emergency pees on (and the pee pads sometimes don’t always catch) and before we knew it, it was 7pm, so we ordered pizza.

I have a sink full of dishes (why I bought bakeware that you can’t throw in the dishwasher, I’ll never know, but that crap is going as soon as I find replacements), and nothing thawed, so pizza on paper plates was the answer to our food dilemma. Now we just have to remember to put the leftovers in the fridge and not in the oven... also known to husky owners as the large food safe. The microwave is the small food safe. If you don’t have huskies, then you probably aren’t aware of their amazing counter surfing abilities that will net them whatever happens to be on the kitchen counter that they want. Oh sure, you obedient breed owners are saying “just train them not to do that”. Well, for huskies, training them not to counter surf would pretty much be a lot like training them not to breathe. Oh sure, they wouldn’t do it while you were standing there saying “don’t get on the counter”, but the moment you turned your back they’d be up on the counter and eating your pizza, box and all.

So, to prove this, I give you tonight’s exchange between myself and Sam, who wanted the pizza on my table downstairs:

Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table
Sam NO, gently push down
Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table
Sammy, NO!
Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table
Sam, stop it
Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table
Sam, I’m serious, NO
Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table
Sam jumps and puts his front feet on the table

This goes on forever.

Which isn’t nearly as bad as Sam on the couch AGAIN when I came back downstairs with my pizza, but still.

About the time that I hear Meeshka and Loki running back and forth upstairs like wild buffalo and wooing (except that wild buffalo don’t woo), and the telltale sound of hubby letting them out... Sammy claws at the back door and woos “gotta go out now”. Of course you do, because its the most inconvenient time for you to go out, so of course you have to go out.

I go upstairs, bribe Meeshka and Loki to come back inside, go downstairs and leash Sam and out we go. He heads straight to his poo spot, so I know he’s serious. One poo. He starts walking back to the house, whips around and trots back to the sacred poo spot. Two poo. He turns a circle and Three poo. I know he’s done because he does his little victory dance and heads for the back door again.

After eating some more kibble, he’s down for the count and napping. Worn out from his illegal couch jumping, table jumping, pacing, and pooing. He’s had quite a full day.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 53: 19 February 2007

We started the morning like a normal work day, since we had to leave around 8 am to get to Sam’s 10 am appointment on time. Of course, we forgot that today was a holiday, so traffic was a lot lighter than we though, the roads weren’t slick at all and we got there an hour early Oops.

It was icy there too, and Sam just couldn’t find the right pee spot, and he really, really loves that vet place and pulled us into the waiting room. There was a couple sitting there with their dachshund waiting for a swim therapy session. I herded Sam across from them and sat in a chair, and Sam did his girly squat and proceeded to shoot pee across the small waiting room and peed a river. The dachshund owners looked aghast, not sure if it was the river of pee or the fountain coming toward them. I knew better than to move him, because he’d just spray everything in the waiting room, so I just let him finish up and then we asked the receptionist if they had a mop. They laughed, and we blamed the pred.

Dr. Schueller saw him and was simply amazed at his progress. Despite Lyme, platelet count low, the extent of the rupture, he was thrilled beyond words at how mobile he was, his attitude, how good he looked, and his reflexes and movement. He declared him 70% healed and told us to slowly increase his activity level, slowly re-introduce him to the other dogs for limited and supervised visits, and that he can walk up a small amount of stairs, but not down them until he gained some more weight, got his muscle mass back up to normal, and in a month or two he’ll be 100%.

We’re to decrease his pred to 5mg once a day, then call them next week for the next reducing dose and to make sure he’s doing ok and give them an update. He’s rejecting some internal sutures, which he said is fine, some dogs do that. If we see them migrate out, we’re to just clip them with fingernail clippers to keep them short and not catch on things, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t get infected.

He also said that the urine leaking is most probably due to the pred and muscles not being as strong as before. The issue should go away once he’s off the pred, and if not, we can bring him back in for some testing to make sure its not nerve or spine related, but he was pretty confident that it was the pred.

When we got him home we allowed him to walk up the three back stairs to the outside, but he’s still on sling restriction, at least until the ice in the yard melts (hopefully tomorrow). Once the yard isn’t so slippery, then he’s just on leash restriction and we can walk him longer out in the yard. He took the stairs really well and didn’t freak us out. He may have issues with pooping where we’ll need the sling to help him, but he’s been doing that with minimal help lately. On the way back in, we cautiously let him try the stairs going down, but the fool decided just to leap down the three stairs. Luckily I still had the sling on him and hubby caught him before he landed, so we were able to give him a smooth landing. So... he can go up, but no going down.

Now that he’s allow to do steps, I’m thinking that hubby will finally allow him to be free downstairs while he sleeps, and I’m sure I’ll get to hear him complain about him hogging the bed. We still plan to keep him downstairs and segregated from the other pups for now. They’ll be allowed to visit with him for short periods of time, but due to the no stairs thing, it would be premature to move him back upstairs and then have to carry him up and down those stairs.

So, its business as usual for recovery, except he’ll now have more exercise in the yard, more freedom out of the crate during the night, and maybe even limited play time.

Of course, he was listening in to this whole plan, so when I went upstairs for something, after making sure the anti-puppy jumping on the sofa block was up... he figured out how to move that aside and I found him smiling and happy laying on the couch. Ok, fine, you can jump up, but no jumping down. When he decided that he had enough of laying on the couch, I helped him off.

I can’t believe we have 70% puppy now, we’re so relieved that he’s doing much better than expected, and that he’s well on his way to recovery. Sure, we’ll have some bumps here and there, but looking back at the Christmas day where we were in the Vet ER asking them if this was something that could kill him... I’ll take a few bumps, now that we have our happy, smiling Sammy almost back to normal.

7:00 pm
Sam survived a vacuuming. We didn’t vacuum him, we vacuumed downstairs because his little area was getting slightly nasty. He was crated during the traumatic event, and did well except for some screeching. He doesn’t care for the Dyson. Meeshka and Loki yelled at each other over empty kong bones. They’re going to need some tough love, since they’ve been pretty much left to their own devices for Sam’s recovery. I figured they might have some “issues” to deal with. Give a husky a foot and they’ll take a mile, so now they think they own the upstairs. I’ll have to teach them who the real boss is (they are, but lets keep that a secret).

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 52: 18 February 2007

Sam is now an aero bed hog. Last night I made up the bed and put a thick towel on his side of the aero bed for his leak problem. I spent the night trying not to roll off my little side of the bed, and Sam seemed to stretch out more and more until I was literally holding on to the flimsy side of the air bed. He’s so spoiled, but he slept all night on the bed and barely moved. The leak issue seems to be somewhat better now. I’m hoping its the pred or some muscles that he needs to tone, but regardless of what it is, or how long he has it, we’ll just steam clean more, clean his bedding as much as needed and deal with it. All we care about is happy, healthy, mobile, pain free, goofy husky, everything else can be replaced or washed.

We’re still having issues with the slippery back yard. Because its so slippery out there, I’ve had to support him in the sling a lot more in order to keep him from slipping and falling down, so he’s probably not getting the exercise he needs walking around out there. I’d rather he not get a good walk in than fall down and re-injure himself though. He is getting plenty of indoor walk time with me being downstairs with him and he’s able to walk all over the downstairs when he wants. Even without the Ace, he still sleeps a lot, and that’s actually pretty normal. He’s still in “routine” mode on the weekends: Breakfast, nap, lunch, nap, dinner, do stupid husky things until bed. That’s the usual routine around here anyway and its good to see he’s sticking with it.

He also didn’t seem to miss his Saturday going out for swim routine. I’m thinking he was dreading 5pm because that’s when we normally took him there, and then seemed very happy when that didn’t happen. Of course, I could be imagining that, but he did seem overly happy when we didn’t go anywhere.

Tomorrow is the long drive to Westminster to see his surgeon and his final spine check up. I don’t know if they’ll be drawing blood or not to check on the Lyme, or actually what they’ll be doing with him, but I hope we’ll be lifting some of his restrictions. I’m pretty sure that jumping on the couch and stairs won’t be lifted any time soon. He MAY be able to go up the three steps to the outside, but I’m sure the 10 steps upstairs won’t be anything he’ll be doing in the near future. For one, I wouldn’t trust his legs to hold him for such a climb. He’s still not 100% on the whole balance thing, and needs some muscle strength before that happens. I’m sure jumping on the bed is going to be right out, so we’ll be leaving the bedroom door closed when he finally gets his ok to come back upstairs. He has his own cushy pillow on the side of the bed that he’s very protective of. Ok, none of the other dogs want the cushy bed because they hog my side of the bed (or Meeshka hogs the air vent), so that’s not a problem.

We already have area rugs in the kitchen to cover the linoleum so he doesn’t slide around, and he’s actually very good at only walking on the carpets before the incident, so I don’t have any fears with the kitchen. The rest of the house is carpeted, so no worry there either. I’m sure with all the thinking, plotting, and planning something will come up, but we’ll improvise and handle that when it comes up. I just can’t wait for him to be a pack member again.

1200 pm
The usual Sam out, slide around on the ice, then back in for lunch and his after lunch nap. Meeshka and Loki are lounging in the sun on the deck. They want the cold weather, but the heat of the sun for their napping. Huskies are goofy like that.

7:44 pm
So far, my evening has been spent like this:

Sam, get down.
Sam, don’t jump on that
Sam, NO
Sam, get off there
Sam, leave it

Oh yes, he’s feeling oh so much better tonight. He just went outside for a very good poo (first solid one in a few days), and now he’s terrorizing me, so I bribed him with a bully stick. He’s certainly full of energy tonight, and even made an attempt to run down the fence line when the neighbor dogs were out and barking at him. Of course, I’m behind him, slipping and sliding all over the place trying to keep the sling tight in case he slips, and keep my balance at the same time. I managed to convince him to be a good dog and leave the other dogs along, but he made his point by sniffing at the fence before listening to me.

I can’t wait for the yard to thaw, and actually even though tomorrow is suppose to be cold, starting on Tuesday we’re suppose to be getting a warm up, with a predicted high on next Sunday at 65 degrees. This weather is nuts, that’s for sure. I’d much rather deal with some rain than this crappy ice stuff in the back yard.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 51: 17 February 2007

Last night I was very sleepy, so I went in, turned off the downstairs lights and got on the aero bed, all nice and covered up to watch some tv. Sam looked at me, I told him to jump on, and made room for him, and he did. Curled right up and the next thing I know its morning and he was still there, all nice and happy and comfy. I have to wash the covers again, because he’s still leaking, but a small price to pay for one very happy husky, getting back into the groove of the routine and getting to be semi-normal.

Hubby came down with the pups at one point, and when he brought them back in, Loki (always rude) went around the gate, so here I am with Sam, and now Loki in a big husky bunch, trying to keep Sam from breaking through the gate, and Loki from getting all the way through the gate, and they just acted as though it was one big mommy sandwich getting love. That was cool. Hubby, on the other hand, about had a nervous breakdown. He’s still in the bubble wrap stage, not wanting him jostled or bumped, not allowing him any time by himself, constant supervision, constantly staying close in case he falls or stumbles. He’s so cute. Apparently he has no idea that I pretty much let Sam be Sam right now, and except for blocking the couch so he can’t leap on it, or blocking the stairs so he can’t run up them, I’m allowing him the small leap onto the aero bed, letting him eat, drink, walk around, pace, and leaving him down here unsupervised for small periods of time, knowing all of the danger zones are blocked.

Its going to happen eventually, the whole freedom, the whole husky play thing, the whole Huskies akimbo, might as well move into it gradually and adjust as we can, rather than just give him all that freedom at once. I figure this way, I can see the reactions, see what may be an issue and deal with it right away gradually. I’m sure there will be screaming and differences of opinion on this, but that’s what happens. I’m all for leaning toward the side of caution, but I do realize that I have to let them all be how they are.

12:00 pm
The deck stairs have thawed sufficiently to let Meeshka and Loki out that way, so Sam’s little recovery area is back to its calm state. Ok, Sam isn’t calm by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s another story. Right now, for him, its nap time. Loki and Meeshka are outside, and I can only imagine that Meeshka is laying right on the ice and loving every minute of it, while Loki is staring at something. They will only play and run around if there’s an audience, so right now they’re happy just to be laying in the cold outside.

I haven’t aced Sam since... gee, I can’t remember, and he’s doing well in the crate without the sedation, and doing well out of the crate without the sedation, with moments of husky nuttiness as usual. I’m thinking that his days of sedation are over, and maybe I’ll save the last few pills for hubby during the husky reunion festivities (just kidding... sorta). I plan on letting him sleep on the aero bed with me again tonight, since we was such a good boy and stayed put the entire night. I wake up for anything dog related and would have woken had he jumped off the bed, and he didn’t. Just sprawled and enjoyed his night on the comfy air bed. I’ll have to change the cover because of his leaking, but that’s what washing machines are for, no big deal.

7:51 pm
I went upstairs to finish fixing dinner for us, having fed the pups and Sam already. I neglected to put up the piece of cardboard that blocks the couch and yes, you guessed it. There was Sam, laying on the couch, looking very pleased with himself. He wagged his tail furiously as I lifted him off the couch, then he tried to steal my dinner.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 50: 16 February 2007

Its been a busy day for Sam, what with the other puppies having to come downstairs to go outside, which they want to do every 5 minutes. The sheet of ice is actually getting mushy where the sun touches in the back yard, and luckily one spot happens to be where Sam poops. He refuses to poo any place else in that yard but in the back left corner of the yard. He now has some bare spots and some mushy spots where he can get good footing to do his business, and he’s a much happier pup about that.

The pups have sniffed him through the baby gate and were not impressed, which is a good sign. Hey here’s a dog... oh, its just Sam. Sam got a bit mad when he was locked in his crate for their grand entrance and exit, and Loki managed to squeeze past the baby gate and started eating Sam’s food. From his crate, Sam yelled at him and actually had his hackles up. Now, Sam raises his hackles for everything. Food time gets his hackles up, playing gets his hackles up. I think among other things, he’s got dysfunctional hackles. The funny thing now is that with the shaved area, he only has a tiny tuft of hackles. It actually looks more like a hackle. I was teasing him, telling him to get his hackle down... he didn’t seem amused.

He’s been doing stupid husky things all day, like trying to jump up on the table with his front feet to get kleenex, trying to run and play bow, jumping on the aero bed and bouncing, sliding around on the ice, and just generally being a pain in the butt between napping. Ok, he’s a good puppy, but still, he’s trying to give me a coronary by doing husky things.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sam's recovery Day 49: 15 February 2007

There’s nothing like waking up at 5:30 am, having no coffee, and guiding and holding up a recovering spine surgical dog on a sheet of ice while he pulls to find the perfect pee spot.

Its REALLY icy out in the back yard, so frozen that you don’t even break through the snow, its like a glaze of ice out there. Sam has slipped a few times, but I’ve made sure that I’m holding his sling up enough to where if he even loses his balance, his back stays straight. Of course my balance is questionable, but as I go down, I’ll be sure to keep that sling nice and steady. There doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight for the ice to melt or get mushy within the next few days, so we just have to be very careful out there with him.

Since I was a dork and didn’t scrape off the slushy snow on the deck or deck stairs when it was still slushy snow, its now a treacherous potential bone breaking slippery hazard. Because of that, we’re now forced to let the dogs downstairs and out the back door. This means going by Sam, who really, really wants to join then out there for a good romp and play. Yeah, not on your life $10,000 dog. I swear, these dogs just don’t appreciate the things you get them. Does he think that spines just grow on trees?

At the 8 pm dogs go out time, Meeshka and Loki dashed right by him behind the baby gate and paid him no attention (they had pee emergencies). On the way in, Loki stopped at the baby gate and they both had a tail wagging sniff, but then Sam started yelling at him. Maybe he blames him for the whole spine incident, even though I told him that I saw the whole thing and for a change, Loki was not involved at all. Regardless, they decided to yell at each other, so that’s perfectly normal. Sam doesn’t really like Loki anyway. Meeshka shoved her entire fluffy head under the railing and gave him a good long sniff. I think she does miss him. We’re still not sure how we’ll be re-introducing him to the pack again once he’s cleared for pack duty, and no matter what we do, I’m sure we’ll be total nervous wrecks about the whole thing, but it will all work out... we’ll just drink heavily from now on and bubble wrap him. Put sensors on him so if he gets bumped or jostled.... Ok, maybe we’ll just keep them all separate for the rest of their lives and put them in display cases. All right, it’ll be fine.

Now begins phase II of the freak out... restrictions being lifted. Join us as the humans go stark raving insane with fear and trepidation over the re-introduction of husky pack life in the next installment of Sammy, the fragile husky. Next thing you’ll read is our getting rid of all furniture and sleeping on the floor to keep him from trying to jump on things. EEEEEEEEE!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sam's recovery Day 48: 14 February 2007

Walking in a crunchy and slippery winter wonderland out there with Sam this morning. He loves the snow, sleet, freezing rain, and even got so rambunctious after a good poo that he slipped right out of the sling when he tried to take off running. Luckily he’s leashed, so I could reel him back in, but he’s certainly feeling his oats in this weather.

The kitchen door is frozen shut from the weather, so I had to bring the pups downstairs so they could go out the downstairs back door. Plus I wasn’t crazy about letting them out on the slippery deck and slippery deck stairs. I don’t need another broken, ruptured, torn anything right now.

My office is closed today, so I’ll be spending time downstairs with Sam doing work, and then spending some time upstairs with the pups while Sam is crated for a bit. The big “if” is the weather, as we’re suppose to get more freezing rain and then 40 mph winds, which will probably mean power outages and mass chaos, cats and dogs sleeping together and all that. Hubby’s office is on a two hour delay, but he’s standing by in case his management catches a bit of sanity and closes his office. Its so horrible out there that its like an ice skating rink highway, and I’d rather he didn’t have to drive, even the 7 miles to his office for the day.

I haven’t Aced Sam since yesterday morning, and won’t Ace him today since I’ll be home. He’s still pretty mellow. Gets a bit worked up because Meeshka and Loki are in full snow mode upstairs, running back and forth and wanting to go out. He’s currently laying in the computer room with me taking a nap, which is a good thing. If he does get overly worked up, I can Ace him, but I’d rather save it for when we have to go to work. I’m sure he’ll now be fine in his crate while we’re at work without it, but like to have some on hand just in case.

Sam did very well today, he had moments of stupidity where he’d try to jump up to get something, and I did catch him trying to climb on the couch at one point, but other than that, he’s been a good boy. Still eating well, walking better, but he is having some slipping issues on that icy snow out there, but aren’t we all.

Today we had freezing rain, which settled on the trees. At one point hubby and I were out walking him for lunch and the wind picked up and started knocking these ice shards down on us. Hubby got hit on the hit with some, luckily there was no damage, but then we worried about them falling onto Sam’s back, so we kept him near the deck and away from the trees until the winds had blown the shards off the trees.

Loki and Meeshka have been play-play pups because of the snow, so they’ve managed to run around upstairs and get Sam all riled up. He so wants to go up there and be with them, but we keep telling him that he’s not well puppy yet and can’t go up there. I’m thinking that we’ll most likely have to keep him leashed upstairs and still semi segregated from the pups so he doesn’t take off running around like a loon when they get going, and try to do stupid things like jump up on the bed. That will be a difficult thing for him, because he LOVES lounging on the bed.

He’s having either puppy dreams or muscle spasm when he sleeps. He was twitching and going on under my feet just now, so I gave him a quick back leg massage to see if that would help him out. He’s lounging under the coffee table (his favorite lounge spot down here).

OOH, I almost forgot to give him his pred and antibiotics! He really loves those milk-bone chicken drumstick treats, and actually low crawled out from under the coffee table in order to get them. Now he’s chowing down on his kibble. He get moments of ravenous hunger, so I keep food in his bowl, make sure he’s got kongs in his crate to eat on throughout the day, and generally feed him pretty much when and what he wants.

After a good poo on the slippery snow and ice (I helped him balance this time, didn’t want him to slip), he came in and wanted a kleenex to rip up and eat. For some reason all of my pups like eating kleenex. Rather than him eating a whole box of kleenex, I gave him a bully stick to chew on instead. He’s happy now.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Ok, just had to share this Sammy swim moment with everyone.

Sammy is doing great today. I actually had to remove my leftover food plate off the table I'm typing on because he was trying to jump up on the table to get at it. Yes, he's full of energy and husky spirit once again, demanding, into everything, and generally a pain in the butt. Its good to have him back.

We're expecting some "weather" tonight, but we aren't sure what because non of the weather people around here have a clue. We're hoping that its bad enough to close the state of Maryland, but we won't be that lucky and will probably have to crawl along the ground on ice with Sam to make sure he doesn't fall down. Who knows, I guess we'll see tomorrow morning.

In the meantime, he's in here trying to look all cute and helpless so I'll give him whatever it is I'm eating (which won't happen) and pacing around looking for devious things to do. We confirmed his 8 week appointment for Monday the 19th, so we're hoping that some of his restrictions will be lifted and we'll get the pack back together... once he's bubble wrapped and safe.

P.S. just as I posted this, Sam found a nice piece of paper to shred angrily since he didn't get my leftover food. Yep, he's back in husky form.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 45: 11 February 2007

This morning as I slept, Sam quickly woo’d to me at 6:30am. “Um, excuse me, but I need to pee and I’m a little hungry as well”. I let him out and let him pee, then he ate some kibble. While he ate, I got back on the aero bed and watched him.

When he was done eating, he walked over and sat down next to the aero bed and gave me that “gee, that bed looks awfully comfy” look. I told him to get on, and he walked onto it. Its no higher than a street curb, so it wasn’t like he was jumping on a sofa or real bed. He quickly made himself comfortable next to me and slept. He looked like he just won the doggie lottery, so pleased to be on a bed again, a little piece of normal in his life.

We have noticed that he leaks a bit when he’s sleeping or laying down. I can’t remember if I mentioned this in another post. I’m not too concerned about that at this point, since I don’t know if its something that is being caused by the pred, or something that may be connected to the incident and surgery, so we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ve dealt with leaky dogs before, its not that big of a deal and that’s why we have mini steam cleaners and big steam cleaners and puppy pee pads and carpet towelettes and Zero Odor and carpet that will get replaced if we ever sell and move. My concern is that if this is something that is long term, it will need to be watched carefully as it may cause urinary tract infections more frequently than a dog that doesn’t leak. He leaked a little on the aero bed, but the pads are washable, don’t care. I’m actually all caught up with laundry for the week for a change.

Around 8am, the other dogs burst out of the bedroom where they had been hassling poor hubby all night. Apparently they don’t just plop on the bed and sleep through the night with him like they do with me. They (according to hubby) torture him all night. With the rumbling herd upstairs, Sammy felt it was his turn to eat and go out, so after the herd had their turn outside, we went out with Sammy. He managed to poo all by himself this morning with no support from me, which is a very good sign in my book.

We had someplace to go to around 9:30, so I bribed him into his crate with a kong and cookie and he was fine with that. I’m back downstairs with him for most of the day, although I really need to go spend some outdoor quality time with the pups, and also scoop the yard which is out of control at this point... shame on me.

I locked Sam up in his crate while I did some housework. He was content to be in there with his kong and cookie while I did what I needed to do. I did get to spend some time outdoors with Meeshka and Loki, and they played. They require an audience in order to play, otherwise they just lay on the deck and watch the wild life go by. After my chores were done, I let Sam out, and he was in no rush to come out, now content with knowing that his crate restriction times are shorter now that he’s improving so much.

Moving my laptop downstairs so I can do certain things has also helped with my schedule. I feel less stress giving him time out, then locking him up to go upstairs. Should have thought of this sooner, but oh well, it’ll work out well now. One of the things I needed to do was strip off the sheets on the aerobed because he leaked on the bottom sheet, and wash those, so I pulled the covers off and threw them in the wash, came into the other room for a minute and realized that Sam wasn’t following me. I went out and there he was, sprawled all over the aero bed all comfy and happy. I just let him be. Sometimes you have to give him a little victory. He got lonely soon enough and came in here with me. He’s so cute.

Sam got up and walked into the other room and stayed out there. I went out to check on him and found him staring at his water bowl... so I filled it for him. Sometimes I wish he would be a bit more vocal about his needs, but I’ve learned to check and see what he’s staring at. Hubby is a little more oblivious to the staring, but Meeshka always seemed to watch out for him. I’ve noticed that Meeshka will come into a room wooing and clawing about something, then lead me into the kitchen, where Sammy was staring at an empty water bowl. I love how they work together sometimes. Of course, not the times they work together to steal stuff off a counter, or someone’s plate, but that goes along with the husky territory as well.

I had to share this with everyone. For those of you who aren’t husky owners, this probably won’t mean a lot to you, but for husky owners, you’ll know what I mean.

I brought my dinner down to eat with Sam in the computer room. He smelled it and was immediately interested in my dinner. Since we JUST got his BMs to a normal consistency, as much as I wanted to spoil him there was no way I was going to share with him, and told him so. He was not at all happy about my not sharing with him... so he found some plastic shopping bags on the floor and proceeded to rip them to shreds. Of all signs of progress, of all things he’s done, the fact that he’s getting on the aero bed when he knows he’s not suppose to, and he shredded the plastic bags in front of me signifies that our husky Sam is indeed feeling much better and more himself! I almost cried, seriously.

Another milestone, Sam woo’d softly to let me know he needed to go out. I really do think that he’s coming around back to normal more and more. He’s still on the pred, and the doxy and he’s still getting Ace to keep him mellow, but he’s showing more and more of that true husky spirit again. This is a great thing, because its so abnormal to have a mellow, well behaved husky. We’ll have to be on our toes from now on to make sure he’s not doing devious things again, but its such a relief actually. Their spirit and independent thinking is what really bonds us with this breed, frustrates us, endears us, wraps us around their paws. I can’t wait for the pack to get back together again and be whole again. I miss all of their evil pranks and husky attitude. You really miss the things you once cursed about!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 44: 10 February 2007

We got to sleep in this morning, which is nice. Today is Sam’s non-Ace day because he has swim this afternoon. I’m camped downstairs for a bit with him to give him more and more out of crate time. He’s getting stronger in the back end, this morning during his morning outside backyard walk, I totally let him walk on his own, and there is less leaning toward the left when he walks. He did stumble once when he tried to climb on something, but that’s understandable, and he did right himself quickly, which is a good sign to me.

He’s also showing a lot more interest in outside things. He kept trying to run to the fence when the neighbors dog was walking nearby on the other side. I had to leash him in to keep him from running. He’s sniffing things and being more of a normal dog, which is good to see.

He downed his gruel hungrily, and is now chewing on his stinky bully stick right under me. Dang those things stink.

We have to break the news to the swim people that he can’t get any of his boosters until a month after he’s weaned off the pred, so I hope they’ll allow him to continue to swim without the bordatella. If not, then we won’t take him. I’m tempted to not just say anything to them, out of sight, out of mind, don’t ask don’t tell. We’ll play it by ear.

One thing to take into consideration in the recovery, is transferring the “patient” mentality to “dog” mentality. We’ve been treating him with kid gloves, letting him get away with things we normally wouldn’t allow, not making him do normal training types of things. Its time we switch to a more structured puppy behavior with him, to retrain him that he needs to go into his crate when we tell him, he needs to signal when he needs to go out (with the understanding that he’s still on pred and his bladder is still under a lot of pee stress), that he needs to listen to us when we say “no” or “sit”. We’ll have to integrate him back into the pack, so we don’t want his behaviors to rub off on the other dogs, and we want him to realize that he’s under the same rules as they are. This integration may be coming as soon as a week, as his 8 week recheck is coming up on the 19th.

I’m pretty sure that his stair climbing and going down won’t be coming as soon as next week. I’m pretty sure that he’ll be able to be leash walked without the sling, he’ll probably be able to go up the three stairs outside with the sling on initially, and everything will be done at super, super slow speed, but it is both exciting and scary to integrate him back into the pack, and getting back to semi normal once again.

Sammy has spent all day out of his crate, as I’ve sat up the laptop down here to give him a one day pass on the day’s crating. Meeshka and Loki are pouting and refuse to leave the landing, even though we’re both in the other computer room and out of site. I will definitely have to go out and play with them later, but I’m sure they’ll still be very mad at my silent treatment of them and will refuse to play (even though they really want to).

Sam has been doing good, not being too rambunctious or evil being out. He’s mostly lay around, taken naps, chewed on his bully sticks or walked around snorfling for scraps and treats. He’s supervised my laundry runs, and has very helpful trying to finish my tuna sandwich because he thought perhaps it was too much for me to handle. He didn’t get any, much to his disappointment. Its actually been a sorta productive day for me, getting the laundry done and concentrating on Web work that I’ve been procrastinating on, also cartooning for a friend. Oddly enough, the Sammy recovery experience has allowed me to realize that slowing down, not piling too much into a weekend, and just spending some quality time with all of the pups is much more relaxing than what our old routine had been.

I’m also finally getting over this rancid flu thing. I didn’t take any medicine last night and survived, and today I’ve only taken a Sudafed PE for some congestion. My brain doesn’t feel like oatmeal anymore, so that’s always a good thing, that whole thinking clearly thing.

Sammy went for his swim, he was very eager to get out of the house, eager to get into the swim building, not so eager to get into the swim area, and really not so eager to get into the pool. He did well again, three sets of laps with rests in between sets, but was more than willing to get out and go get rinsed and dried off. I got to experience the rinse and dry session, which pretty much means you end up getting more wet than Sam does.

Unfortunately the swim place can’t let Sam back until after he’s had his bordatella shot. I certainly understand their position and their reason for having such a rule, as they can’t have Sam potentially giving their clients bordatella and all, but since Sam can’t have any shots of any kind until after he’s been weaned off the pred for a month, that means that today was Sammy’s last swim until he can get his boosters. I’m fine with that really. I don’t want to compromise his immune system, he has Lyme, so he just can’t so swim there. We’ll find other ways to help him gain back his strength until he can get his boosters and return to the pool, if he even needs to return to the pool.

While his once a week swim sessions were no doubt good for him, I can imagine that he would actually require something more along the lines of twice or three times a week to be any beneficial to him anyways. So, it was fun while it lasted... well, maybe not to Sam, who still has that same terrified look in the water that he did the first times, but I’d rather err on the side of safety when it comes to him immune system and health, than risk it for a once a week exercise session.

Without any Ace, poor Sam has been zonked out from his swim for most of the night. He was really cute and hopeful earlier when he thought he was going to get some of my chicken casserole, but I resisted those cute brown eyes and didn’t give him any. He want over and sulked on his big cushy pillow. Pretty soon we’ll be waking him up and taking him outside for his final out for the night. He’s had a rough day of being out of the crate all day, then going for a swim. I hope he’s enjoyed his freedom. I’ll be spending some more time with him tomorrow so he’s not locked up all the time, but also have to give the other dogs some quality play time as well. I’m sure they’ll be claiming abuse and neglect because I’ve spent all day with Sam, but they’ll just have to get over it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 42: 8 February 2007

Sam continues to have a pretty robust appetite despite starting back on the Doxy. He does have a bit of runny stool, which we’re not too keen on, so we’re trying to convince him to eat some blue buffalo with pumpkin, but so far he’s not cooperating.

This morning when hubby went to give him his morning before we go to work kong, he dashed out of his crate and skittered around the downstairs in a burst of freedom and energy. He did NOT want to go back into the crate, not even when bribed with the tasty kong. I had to go down there and try to convince him that it would be in his best interest to go into his crate, but he skittered off and then peed for a good 15 minutes (ok, it just seemed like something out of the Austin Powers Cryogenic thaw scene), before deciding that he could now go into the crate and eat his kong. I figured he had to go. One of the “good” side effects of the pred is that he drinks a lot of water, which is recommended on the Doxy pills, so its a good thing, and a bad thing that he drinks a lot. Lucky for us we’ve been strategically placing the pee pads in places where he’s most apt to go, now that we’ve figured out the average PSI of the squatting to pee male dog on pred. Its all an elaborate mind game with him, since he refuses to pee on the pee pad, but on the pred the flow shoots out pretty far and invariably he actually does pee on the pee pad. I’m sure he’ll be figuring out that soon enough and be shooting it across the room.

Lunch time was uneventful, except that he decided that he wanted to lounge and be fed small bits of kibble at a time while being massaged. Stop the massage, he stopped eating. Massage, he eats. I spent my lunch massaging him so he would eat, then ended up feeding him all of the crust of my sandwich (hey, I don’t like crust anyway).

He was nice and calm and quiet when I got home and let the healthy pups out. He was nice enough to wait for hubby to get home before starting to complain about being locked up and wanting out. The moment he got out of the crate he decided that he was going to eat his lunch gruel (that had been untouched for lunch) before going out, which meant he didn’t want his dinner gruel with pumpkin after he came back inside. I’m sure he’ll find that to be a tasty night snack when he goes out for his night time break. He did want to be massaged while he snacked on kibble on his cushy pillow, so I obliged, and also gave him a moist toilette rub down because he was getting a bit gamey from the firehose pee sessions. His aim leave a lot to be desired, and usually most of the pee ends up on his front legs. He’s not pleased about the moist toilette cleaning sessions, so I have to pretend that I’m just massaging him and happen to have a moist toilette in my hand while I’m massaging.

He took his pills well, only glaring at me a little when I was done and demanded more dog treat steak things, which I gave him. I even gave him some under the coffee table relax time after the pills, where he chewed on that foul smelling bully stick thing. As I was about to go stark raving insane with all of the “Anna Nicole Smith” specials already popping up before her body is cold, I enticed him into his crate and made my escape upstairs. We were fine until the pizza delivery guy came, and then he realized that he was being left out of the tasty food in a box fun and started complaining. We’re just letting him complain at this point since we know he’s eaten, peed, poo’d and is just being a brat.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 41: 7 February 2007

It snowed, but not enough to give me a freebie day off, just a two hour delay. I figure that by the time I actually get to work 2 hours late, find a parking spot, walk into the building... it will be about that time to come home for noon puppy duty. So I’m doing some work from home and going in after the noon routine.

Sam is being mellow relax puppy lately. Hardly complaining in his crate any more, eating up a storm, lounging on his cushy pillow during his out of crate times. In the back of my mind I’m wondering if its because he was off the Doxy and still needs it to beat the Lyme affects, or if he’s just resigned himself to a life of luxury and lounging, or he’s still a bit wiped out from the swim. With him its hard to say, since he’s never been a real complainer, husky terror (ok, sure he stole a whole rump roast one time, and yes, he does steal rolls of toilet paper, and sure, he ate his ear medicine tube because he didn’t want us to squirt it in his ears anymore), but generally if he wants something, he’ll stare at it. He doesn’t claw, yap, or whine like Meeshka and Loki do, insisting on something. He just sits and stares. You just have to know Sam language to figure out what he wants.

If he’s staring at the ball, he’s hoping that it will magically come to life and throw itself down the hall three times so he can run after it. After three times he gets bored. If he’s staring at a door, he needs to go out.
If he’s staring at the empty water bowl, he wants water. If he’s staring at the empty food bowl he wants food. If he’s staring up at a light, chances are there’s a hornet in the house and he’s staring at it. He’s very good at spotting bugs. So, if Sam is staring... you need to pay attention to what he’s staring at.

This is very different than Meeshka’s clawing of your leg, which could mean I want: food, water, out, played with, scratched, or I’m just being annoying. This is very different than Loki’s yap yap (I need to go out) yap yap yap (I want to play), yapyapyapyapyapyap (I’m just being annoying).

With Meeshka and Loki’s approach, you generally get alerted to their wanting something. With Sam, you just get a feeling that you need to look at him, and if he’s staring, go do something about whatever he’s staring at. Sometimes the staring doesn’t get your attention, and he would sit next to you and gently make a small noise, as if to say “um, excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you, but you failed to notice that I was staring at the water bowl in the other room, so if you aren’t busy and if it isn’t inconvenient, could you please put some water in there for me... at your leisure of course”. He’s one of the most polite huskies I’ve ever known.

So, it freaks us out a little that he’s behaving so well in the crate right now. Is he not feeling well, was the swim too much, could the Doxy be subduing him, or did he need the Doxy to feel better. Those are the fun festive things you go through with recovery. Are we doing things right, are we over doing something, under doing something, feeding too much, not feeding enough, giving pills at the right time, giving the right dosage, sedating him too much, not sedating him too much, allowing too much movement, not giving him too much movement, crating too much, not crating enough. Even when things go well, a zillion things run through your mind and drive you insane.

Sammy went out for his lunch and after his obligatory massage, he chowed down on his gruel and demanded his peanut butter kong and cookie, which he got. He was happily licking his kong when I went to work.

I stopped off and got Sam’s new Doxy pills, which are MUCH smaller than the capsules, much to his relief. He was very quiet while I let the other pups out and did some stuff until hubby came home. He got a little impatient waiting on us, so I let him out and he wiggle butted around for a bit, trying to tell us to hurry up so he could pee. I noticed that Meeshka has decided to poo on his favorite poo spot, but that didn’t stop him from going there as well. She’s devious, I know she did that on purpose, as she has her own little poo spot in the yard. I probably need to scoop the yard, since she won’t go if her area is “messy”.

Hubby stayed down there with Sam while he ate and relaxed because he got sucked into a bad movie and had to watch the end of it. That allowed me to go up and spend quality time with Meeshka, who was throwing major tantrums and flinging her kong all over, and also make something hot for dinner. Hubby ate downstairs with Sam, I’m not sure if he shared his sloppy joe with him or not. Regardless, he’s now in his crate and not very happy about it. He’s not totally unhappy, just random yips coming from down there.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 39: 5 February 2007

Bundled in many layers, we took Sam out for his morning stroll. He’s still pretty mellow this morning, don’t know if its still from the swim, or he has an upset stomach from the roast, and then hubby fed him some chicken last night. I’m guessing upset stomach because his emitting some odors from back there that are most foul.

Even after his morning massage, he just lay there, but we finally got him to get up, and then he was hungry and ate. He got his pred and Ace and tucked into his cage without a peep. I’m guessing he’ll sleep pretty good the rest of the day. Hubby is staying home from work sick, since I gave him back what he probably gave me. I’m going in to see how it goes, armed with dayquil in case I take a turn for the worse. I’m sure I won’t be very productive today, but seeing how I’m in a work lull between writing assignments, that’s fine with me.

Since hubby stayed home, there was no reason for me to shlep a zillion miles in sub-zero winds to my truck to come home and help with puppy duty. He reported that everything went fine with Sam. He peed and immediately wanted back inside because it was too cold for him.

When I got home, we took him out around 4pm because he heard me coming inside and wanted out of his crate. He was a bit more tolerant of the cold and did his business. He’s a bit more unsteady on his back legs today. I’m not sure if we overdid it at the swim this weekend or not. We’re still waiting on the call back from the vet to see if we down him to 5mg pred now, and ask whether they got the blood work back for him.

He just got hungry and ate a small bowl of kibble and had trouble keeping his balance while he ate, so I propped him up while he ate the kibble and got a drink of water. He’s back on his cushy pillow. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning, then I’m spending the rest of the day at home because I still feel crappy, and I plan on spending most of that time in bed resting so I can kick this flu thing.

Ok, sorry for the late post, we both went to bed early and actually all of the pups were very accommodating in letting us sleep in.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 38: 4 February 2007

Sam slept contentedly in his crate last night. I was actually more tired than he was thanks to this lingering flu-fest. I woke up several times last night and he was either watching tv, chewing on his bully stick, or sleeping.

I’ve discovered his little bully stick secret. I had assumed that since I couldn’t find the last 2-3 bully sticks that he had eaten them. That’s kinda odd because the first one took him several days to work through, while the last few didn’t seem to last long at all. Well, in the wash this morning I discovered one of them. They don’t wash well, that’s for sure, and I’m glad it was in with his crate towels, because I can only imagine the lovely lingering odor of it (my nose is stopped up, so I can’t tell if there is one on those towels).

I then raided his crate, and found the rest of them, well hidden either under the cushy pillow, or the towels, or even under the crate tray. He’s very devious.

He seems pretty stiff and sore today from the swim last night. A bit more out of control on the back end, but that’s to be expected. He did have a pretty good session last night, so I imagine those little muscles are complaining. Everything else seems fine, and he had a good appetite this morning. Took his pred and Ace with no problems at all, and went willingly into his crate for a nap. Pretty much didn’t hear a peep out of him.

Lunch time. I took some laundry down first and he was fast asleep. My banging around in the back room woke him up though and he was standing up, patiently waiting his turn. Today I tried the A/D gruel, since that’s suppose to be high calorie and good for him during his recovery. Despite the fact that its suppose to be ultra tasty, he just didn’t like it. Back to Blue Buffalo gruel for him for dinner then. He took a good poo, and even though he’s sleepy from the exercise and the Ace, he’s squatting better by himself. He was raring to go back inside when he was done, and lay down to eat his bowl of kibble. I gave him a nice massage, which he really seemed to enjoy, then gave the A/D gruel another shot, but managed only a few licks before he gave up. I sent him off to his crate with a Cesars stuffed kong which he went to town on. I’m guessing shortly after he finished that, he fell asleep, because I left to go get more kibble from Petsmart and I didn’t hear him stir when I opened the door.

Sam and I went out for a casual stroll and marking walk in the back yard. He’s still tired and a bit groggy from the ace, so he just wanted to stand around and sniff the air, so I let him. He came in and started in on his kibble. By the time he finished, he was laying down, he just kept sinking closer and closer to the floor he was so tired. I gave him a nice massage and that got his appetite going to finish up the gruel bowl. The superbowl was coming on, so I stayed down there for a while, and he napped under the coffee table, but came right out the moment I brought our dinner down. It was roast. He could barely stand before the roast, but once he got a sniff of that, he was raring to go. Yes, of course, he got some, and so did Meeshka and Loki (who were throwing a tantrum upstairs).

Ok, as promised... here are Sammy swim pictures.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 37: 3 February 2007

Today is swim day, so that means no Ace.


We kept to our morning “work” routine this morning because hubby had to go take a final exam for his class. There’s just something tragic about having to wake up to an alarm on Saturday morning.

Sam is in good spirits today, and his bout of mushy poo has cleared up. I’m still trying to figure what might be causing that, and I suspect it may have been the Doxy, which he’s done with.

Today, with his morning croissant he only got 1 pred pill... which totally confused him. He still demanded his full ration of croissant though. As hubby left, we spent some quality out of crate time together, and then he had to go in as I had (once again) piles of laundry and other things to deal with. He was not happy at all.

The howling and mournful wailing at Day 37 is quite different than howling and mournful wailing at Day 5.

Day 5: oooooh, the poor thing, he’s probably in pain, and scared, and lonely and I feel so horrible having to lock him in that crate all by himself

Day 37: yeah, yeah, keep shrieking husky boy, you’ll get out of there soon enough, you can’t fool me.

This is after 32 days of being fooled by the mournful wailing, only to go downstairs and expect to see a curled up, in pain, tortured husky, and find an upright, wagging tail, smiling “fooled ya again” happy Sammy.

Which is what I expect to see when we go down in a half hour for lunch. Meeshka has decided on her own that her lunch needs to be at 11:30am on weekends now. I have no idea where she got that idea from.

As I expected, Mr. Sam was sitting happily in his crate wagging his tail. He did have a pee accident in there, but since his “I have to pee” wail is similar to his “I’m just wailing for attention” wail, we can’t tell the difference. It may sound cruel, but if we let him out every time he wailed... he’d never be in the crate, and he knows that. We try to make sure that before he goes back in the crate, he’s had the opportunity to pee (especially since he’s still on pred), but can’t do a whole lot if he just won’t go before getting put back in. His crate always has a big, thick towel in it, along with his cushy sheepskin pillow (of which he has 4 so we can wash them when they get soiled). That way, the towel soaks up the moisture and there’s minimum of it on Sam. He’s very good about pushing the towel to a corner if he’s messed it.

There was some initial complaining going on after his out of crate time, then incarceration, but he’s settled down again. His appetite is really good now, so I’m guessing the Doxy was causing most of the lack of appetite issues with him. He helped himself to one of the Cesars packets while I was folding laundry. I offered him some kibble, which he ate (but that wasn’t nearly as tasty as the packet food).

I hope he shows a little more enthusiasm for the pool this time around.

The moment we let Sam out of his crate he KNEW where he was going, and ran to the baby gate and tried to get up the stairs. He was very rambunctious and ready to go, so we took him out back first to go to the bathroom and settle down a little, then carried him to the front and into the truck and crate. He was a very happy puppy.

We got to the swim place, and he was still pulling to get inside, very happy, very excited. The swim monitor came and put a stylish life jacket on him, and he modeled his stylish life jacket and then decided it was time to go home and headed straight for the door. He was too cute.

We got to the pool, and he went semi-willingly up to the edge of the pool. They clipped the long leads on him and they picked him up and plopped him on the ramp. He didn’t struggle and flail like last time they put him in the water, and he just stood on the ramp and didn’t try to get out of the pool, so that was an improvement.

At the initial push off of the ramp, he did try to grab the side of the pool, but they steered him to the middle and he flailed a bit initially, but got into the whole dog paddle thing pretty quickly and off he went. Hubby got pictures, which I’ll post as soon as I get copies. He did really good for the first round of laps.

We steered him over to the ramp, and this time instead of trying to get out of the pool, he just stood on the ramp and panted, which is another good sign. He did another set of laps and also did very well, and once again, at the ramp, he didn’t try to get out of the pool, he just stood there.

Since he was still pretty strong on the 2nd set, they decided to give him one more set of laps and he did very well again. He was ready to get out at that point, but he was very energized and happy once out of the pool again. Waggy tail, bouncy husky pup. He got his rinse and dry and was happy happy bouncy pup on the way out.

Once at home, he had a good poo, and a very good appetite. We crated him and went out in search of good chinese carry out and drugs for my flu. After we ate and relaxed for a bit, it was pretty much time for bed. Although he was asleep when we came down, unlike last swim where he was totally zonked and refused to come out, he still had enough energy to come out and do his business, but willingly went back into the crate for bed when we came back.

We’re more comfortable with him going to swim now since we’ve seen improvement in his attitude about it. We did ask about the vaccines, and they consider the DHLPP as a 3 year vaccine, so that’s not a big deal, but we will need to get him a bordatella squirt in the nose for him to continue, which I’m comfortable with giving him at this point. So we’ll need to make him an appointment for that, and he already has an appointment for swim next saturday.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 36: 2 February 2007

Our horrible snow storm turned into nothing (as usual), but there was a thin coat of icy stuff on the ground when we took Sam out for his morning routine. He’s feeling much feistier now, as he tried to be all posturing and interested in the yappy neighbor dog behind the fence. We told him to leave it and “be the better dog” and he listened. That’s what got him into this mess in the first place, getting all wound up about the neighbor dogs and twisting all wrong.

As we spent our usual Sam time downstairs sipping our coffee, waking up, making fun of the news, Sam sauntered casual over toward the aero bed, sniffed the aero bed, next thing you know he’s ON the aero bed standing there, smiling. HA HA I did it! I lifted him off, tail wagging, so full of himself. One small step for a husky... one giant leap for husky kind.

He spent the rest of his out of crate time gloating about it, had that smirk on his face. Its good to see the smirk.

With his morning croissant he took his pills, and thankfully the two, huge, blue doxy pills are now gone, he’s finished that treatment. Tonight he’ll just get his pred and ace, so I’m sure he’ll be pleased about that. I’m also sure he’ll demand the same amount of croissant that he got before with the 4 pills, but I’ll give him that.

He was a bit yippy in the crate for a bit after I put him in, but after hubby left for work, he settled down, probably thinking that there’s nobody to enjoy his mournful howling, so why bother. I’m in the computer nook upstairs trying to be very quiet, even though Meeshka and Loki are being buttheads and are doing their tooth jousting for the couch routine, which means loud noises and yipping. He seems oblivious to the fact that they aren’t locked in their crates, so that’s good.

Since hubby needed to study for a final exam tomorrow, he came home to stay after lunch. We had a good Sammy outside time, and despite a day or two of not so good poo, he had a good poo today and was very, very pleased about the whole thing.

When we came inside I noticed that the poor boy is a pee mess. Since he’s not able to pee like a regular boy, and since I’m not very good at making sure the sling is out of the way, he’s pretty much sprayed himself all over, so it was time for a good wet nap bath for him. Typically when you try to “wash” him off with the wet naps, he really REALLY doesn’t like that. But if you cup one in your hand and massage as you wipe him down... he LOOOVES that. I was pretty much able to wipe him off all over, except he has some pee stains on his inside leg that we’ll have to keep an eye on to make sure it doesn’t get irritated.

We all lounged downstairs for a while, having a lazy day, while Meeshka softly keened and complained about not being allowed to join us. Sam ate his food, but was really interested in the soup and sandwich that hubby had brought down. He didn’t get any. I’m sure that’s why Meeshka was complaining about as well, her suspicions that Sam would get some human food and she wouldn’t.

Sam went out and did his good boy routine. He’s now so spoiled that he’ll come in, drink some water, then plop on his cushy pillow while I go fix his dinner and hubby supervises me, and lay there, waiting for me to bring him his food and massage him. After his massage, he’ll usually go over and eat his gruel, then come back and lay down and expect more massage. After that, he expect me to move his kibble bowl closer to him, and then hand select 5 piece of kibble for him to eat. I swear...

He seemed suspicious when pill time came, and he got his croissant and only 2 pills. He kept looking at me like “I don’t trust you”. Refused to lay down for a while. He would wander over somewhere, expecting me to call him back for more pills. He finally did relax a bit and nap, but he probably had one eye open waiting for the other pills. I lured him into the crate with a new bully stick, and he went in and settled down for a bit, but was very angry after that.

Its Aero bed duty for me tonight with the Sammy. Hubby says he’s been passing some wicked gas in the night, luckily I sleep through just about anything.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Sam's Recovery Day 35: 1 February 2007

Thanks for the concern, and yes, while caring for a recovering dog it is essential to take care of yourself as well, or who else will take care of the recovering dog!

Luckily for me some Dayquil and Nyquil is dealing with the worst of it, so I’m pushing fluids and soups, and resting as I can in order to get better.

Sam seems to want to go back to the old routine of things more urgently now. When we let him inside and take off his sling and leash and tell him food, he stares up at the stairs and looks mad. I’m guessing he wants to go up and eat in his spot in the kitchen. At night we don’t tell him “bed” because we don’t want him to think that downstairs in the crate is his permanent bed spot, so we just tell him to load up, and throw his night kong and night chewy in the crate for him.

I do have to say that last night, even with a stuffed up nose, those bully sticks really stink! I mean REALLY stink. I don’t know if it was just more noticeable because my sinuses were all messed up or because he was laying under the coffee table right under my nose chewing on the thing, but egads those things stink. I was told you could get non-stinky ones, but what if the stink is the thing that makes him concentrate on them?

He continues to do well with walking outside, only using the sling to catch him if he slips, stumbles, etc. He’s still leaning to the left when he eats, sorta curves to the left most times when he’s standing. We do stand close to him when he’s eating, or standing, to make sure that he will naturally compensate and move his feet so he doesn’t fall over. We don’t want him sitting strange and hurting his spine again. I also noticed that when he walks, his backend will gravitate to the left more, and when he pees, he tries to stand on his right back leg.

This is all kinda odd, since his left hip had the hip replacement surgery, and is still in socket and perfect, but the right hip is just sorta free floating around, and you would think that it would be the weaker of the two legs. I“m sure this is all mostly due to the trauma of the injury, the probably nerve damage during the injury, and probably during the transporting of him to the ER vet, and from personal experience, I know it takes a LOOOONG time for nerve damage to heal, and these were things we already brought up to the surgeon and he said that at that time he was not concerned about it.

Saturday is Sammy swim time again, so all of you readers... how about some suggestions on waterproof Sammy pool gear for hubby and I (other than a change of clothing) I’m actually considering some rain pants.

I’ve also found the secret for pilling: Costco Croissants. Not just any croissant. All of the dogs go nuts for these croissants, and actually they are pretty tasty. I now give him a few small bites of it, then pill, another bite, pill, another bite, etc. He seems to at least look forward to the pill experience because he knows he gets that goody.

Tomorrow morning will be his last day on the Doxy (yippeeee) So now he’ll be just on the reducing dosage of pred and the Ace (still loving that ace).