Refusing The Cone of Shame

Can you believe it? I just got over one hospitalization from illness and Doc took me to the veterinarians office yesterday to have a scheduled outpatient surgery. I need a break and I am considering running away from home, but who would take me in if they make me wear a stupid cone around my head to keep me from bothering my stiches? It looks like some apparatus that an alien would use to communicate with the mother ship. But that is beside the point, so I will do my best to relay what I remember until they gave me anesthesia and I was knocked out and report on how I am just short of 24 hours after surgery.

Yesterday I had what is called a lipoma ( a benign fatty tumor) that was quite large removed from my chest, and two smaller ones removed from under my front leg . The one on my chest had grown larger than a tennis ball and was starting to stretch my skin and the doctor decided it was best to remove it to keep me comfortable into my old age. The other one was removed as a precaution as if it got larger it would impede me from walking. Doc told me these are things you just take care of and deal with as you age but I really don’t think of myself as old. They did throw in a teeth cleaning and a pedicure while I was there, all done while I was under anesthesia.

I was the last surgery of the day so I didn’t get out of recovery until about 6:30pm. When I finally woke up, I was still so groggy I didn’t really know where I was, so I fell back to sleep. At 7:30pm they told me Doc was here to pick me up. I was still not very steady on my feet so two nice Vet techs. helped me to the waiting room. I went right over to Doc and stayed by her side while they gave Doc the post surgery instructions. That is when they started taking about “the cone” that would go around my head. I thought I would die. What would my canine buddies in the neighborhood think? Talk about a way to loose street cred. I already looked like I had lost a fight with my chest all shaved and stitched up along with having a bandage wrapped around my leg. Luckily after some discussion it was decided that wearing a tee shirt to keep the incision covered would do, but I had to promise not to bother the stiches. I agreed happily. After going over the medication and activity restrictions, I was lifted into the back of the car and we went home.

After the neighbor helped Doc lift me out of the back of the car I was still having problems getting my sea legs because the drugs were still in my system. I felt like a young puppy tying to lean to walk again. Since I am not allowed to jump up on anything for about 14 days, including the bed, Doc slept on the couch in the family room with me so I wouldn’t feel so alone. Sometimes you just want your human mother close by and this was one of those times.

This morning I am starting to do a little better and I am keeping my eye on Doc as she works from home today. I know after this heals I will be glad those lipomas were removed. It’s easy to put off taking care of medical issues because of the discomfort or fear involved, but Doc says it’s better to address things than put them off until they become an emergency or so bad that nothing can be done. It also helps to have someone that supports you like Doc.

So after some thought today I have decided I don’t need to run away from home as I am getting very good care. Lets just hope all the medical issues are done for awhile because this dog needs a break.

Bothering Baby Bunnies

Now that I am healthy again, I am feeling good enough to engage in my normal activities. In fact, what I see as ‘normal” dog behavior got me in big trouble over the weekend and I am still on time out for what I did. Let me just start by saying that the story I am about to tell you, did not have a tragic ending.

Sunday was such a beautiful, sunny day that Doc decided we should spend most of it outside. Our next door neighbor was outside with his three children weeding the flower bed and Doc decided to lay on her lounge chair to do a little reading and get some sun. It started out to be a very pleasant day. As lunch time approached, we were both getting hungry, so Doc decided to go inside and heat up some soup and make a sandwich. I stayed outside until she called me in for lunch to play with the dogs and children next door for awhile., when suddenly some movement in the grass on the other side of yard caught this dogs attention. As any dog would do, I went over to investigate. Below the moving grass was a hole in the ground and I could see some little brown furry figures moving around. I must have startled them because just as I was about to stick my nose into the hole, the little creatures hopped out. Three baby bunnies were now hopping around in our yard.

Doc must have noticed that there was a commotion going on, because she came out on the back porch to investigate. When she saw those baby bunnies she started looking concerned and started flailing her arms around while she hollered at me to get in the house. I didn’t listen because I just knew she would take my new little friends away from me. I did what any dog would do, I picked up the one baby bunny nearest to me in my mouth and ran to the other end of the yard with it. The other bunnies had already hopped under the fence to freedom. Doc now looking panicked and yelled ” Drop that bunny Grover!” in such a loud, stern voice that the next door neighbor came over to see what was going on. Then they both started yelling at me to “drop it.” When Doc uses that strict voice with me I know I will be in trouble if I do not comply so I dropped the little thing on the grass. It just laid there for a minute probably stunned by all the activity when slowly it got up and started hopping away. Doc grabbed me by the collar, took me in the house and after putting on her garden gloves, she carefully picked up the baby bunny, checked it over and put it back in the nest and covered the hole with grass hoping the mother and its brothers and sisters would return after things had calmed down. All Doc could say to me when she came in the house was ” Grover, what is wrong with you, that thing is just a baby and too big for you to play with.” Not too long after the incident, Doc left and went to dinner with friends while I was left at home alone with my own thoughts.

At a little after 8pm, Doc returned, walked right past me without any acknowledgement and went in the back yard to check on the baby bunny. To her surprise it was gone along with its two siblings. As for me, I was not permitted in the back yard and was taken out in the front yard on a leash. Then we went to bed.

The next morning at about 7am, Doc went out back again to check on the rabbit nest. ” All the bunnies are gone Grover, you can go in the back yard now.” So the first thing I did was go over to the rabbit nest to see for myself. It made me sad that they left before I got to play with all of them. Later in the morning we saw the mother rabbit in the yard and knew the babies must be near by on the other side of the fence. ” Luckily they were old enough to leave the nest Grover.” ” I don’t understand what I did wrong? ” I said to Doc. ” Grover we have to respect nature and that means to leave it alone. I know you did not mean to hurt that baby but it was way to little for you to be carrying around and playing with, that’s why I got so upset, you could have really hurt that baby. So the next time mama bunny trusts us enough to build a nest in our yard we will leave the babies alone, understood?.” I nodded my head in agreement.

This morning before work, I went outside to check on that rabbit nest again hoping that by some chance they came back to visit. But it was still empty. It’s the circle of life Doc talks to me about and this time I learned my place in it, the hard way.

Doggy Rehab, No more Treats

My medical status has improved since being released from the Ohio State University Veterinary hospital last week and now I am rehabilitating at home and at work. They took good care of me, but I never want to go back to the hospital again. Once is enough in this dogs lifetime. Doc is a good caretaker and watches every thing I eat from the time It enters my mouth to the time it exits out the other end, she is alert to any abnormality in my system. Doc would have made a good CIA agent as she doesn’t miss a beat.

While in the hospital, they determined that I probably had a food allergy for the second time in my life and so we have changed my diet again. I guess I am more delicate than I realized and need to be pampered in every way, including my diet. So off to the pet store we went on Sunday to find a low fat dry food that did not have any lamb, chicken or byproducts. I am now eating a food with cod and vegetables with added probiotics. I also get a 1/2 teaspoon of Metamucil in my food for extra fiber like a little old dog. I know it sounds awful, but I actually like it. The bad thing is that Doc has sent out an all points bulletin to the staff where we work with strict orders not to feed me dog biscuits or food of any kind. Can you believe she did that? She also encouraged any staff to tell on me if they see me begging for treats from anyone. I tried to sneak in to one of the counselors office this morning to nab a donut while Doc was busy but he “ratted” me out. How do you like that? She’s getting my own co-workers to tattle on me.

Oh well. I have to say I am doing much better, so whatever she and the doctors decided it’s working and I’m back on the mend. Sometimes in life you need to make changes to support your health. I don’t know anyone that likes giving up the stuff they enjoy, but over time the rewards are better health and that’s always worth the effort.

Hospital Blues

Greetings from the critical care unit of The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital. Yup, I have been in the hospital since Sunday night and Danielle, the fourth year veterinary student that has been assigned to my case , was nice enough to let me borrow her lap top so I could start writing my blog while I am waiting for Doc to bust me out of this place. Its been quite the ordeal over the last few days and I wanted to let you know what happened.

It all started last Friday when I woke up and my tummy didn’t feel too good. I ate half of my breakfast and Doc took the rest to work with us for me to eat later, which I did. About mid morning, I got that sickening feeling in my stomach and knew breakfast was about to leave my tummy, so Doc quickly took me outside. I felt better for while, but by dinner time I could not even stand the smell of food and refused to eat. You all know that’s not like me at all and I am not ashamed to eat dirt, trash or even bunny poop which is probably the cause of these medical issues.

In the morning I was still on a hunger strike and my symptoms were getting worse, so we made a trip to my veterinarian. They gave me IV fluids, a shot to stop nausea and some other pills and sent me home. Doc watched me like a hawk all day and to tell you the truth I was glad, I was one sick puppy. Sunday morning, I was not doing any better, so off we went to OSU Urgent care where they gave me IV fluids again and more shots. I got concerned when I heard the vet talking to Doc about admitting me to the main hospital for supportive care. Doc opted to take me home, but over the course of a few hours I continued to decline and she took me to the hospital on Sunday night. Doc sure looked worried when we went inside to be admitted and that concerned me too but I knew she had me there because I needed more medical help than she could give me at home. After the doctors assessed me and said they would admit me, Doc kissed me on the forehead and they took me back to the critical care unit. I was scared.

The only thing that diverted my attention was that there were so many different kind of animals at this hospital that I almost forgot about my own discomfort. There were lots of dogs, cats, a sick bunny, an iguana and in the other section of the hospital I heard the veterinarians talking about a baby kangaroo that was being admitted from the Columbus Zoo. I am glad that I didn’t have to be roommates with that baby kangaroo, they kick too hard.

While I was there they drew lots of blood, gave me IV medication, took x rays and tried to figure out what was causing my problems. Doctors came around twice per day with their students to do rounds and talk about my case. I was glad to help future vets learn from my illness. By Monday night I was showing some improvement and eating again, so they called Doc and told her if I continued to improve that they would release me on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon.

On Tuesday Morning, I heard Dr. Chen, the head vet call Doc and tell her I had improved enough to go home in the afternoon. She was telling Doc all these medical terms that described my condition and how to take care of me. i didn’t care I just wanted to leave. If I hadn’t been so worn out I would have done a happy dance.

At about 2:30pm, they told me Doc was here and Dr. Chen took me in an exam room and there was Doc looking tired and concerned, but glad to see me. I was quiet while they talked, thinking about how wonderful it would be to sleep in my own bed again.

When we finally got home, all I did was sleep right beside Doc. I didn’t want to leave her side and she looked so relieved she didn’t leave my side either, we stuck together like glue. That’s what happens when you go through a medical crisis with someone you care about, its scary. Luckily this one had a happy ending.

Now it’s early Wednesday morning and I am finishing my blog at work. Can you believe Doc made me come to work after just getting out of the hospital? She told me I needed to work to earn money to pay for the hospital bills. Can you believe that? Anyway its nice for things to start feeling normal again and I am on the mend.

Doc and I both want to thank The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital and all the nice staff that nursed me back to health , all of the staff and clients at CompDrug, friends, family and those that read my blog that supported us through this. It just goes to show you how love and support can get you through the scariest times in your life.

When Problems Become Opportunities

The Memorial Day weekend was busy, but we didn’t forget to take the opportunity to be thankful for all the veterans. Doc placed a picture of her dad in his army uniform where everyone in the family could see it when they came over for a cook out. This gave everyone a chance to share some memories to pass on to the little ones in the family that never knew their great-grandfather. Family stories are important.

No family is perfect and at times there are difficulties that face one member or the whole family, even Doc’s. That also becomes part of the families story. Doc says that difficulties can be opportunities to build strength and growth. During difficult times you hope that families can get closer and depend on each other, but sadly that doesn’t always happen for everyone and they need to look outside the family for support. Sometimes a new support system can be an opportunity for growth as well.

Then there are those humans that don’t want the opportunity to get stronger because that means that the situation needs to change and you have choices to make. You can either get stuck in fear or tap into your strength and muster up your courage to change. Albert Einstein once said that ” opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Any kind of change is work, believe me I know because Doc is always trying to get me to modify my behaviors and I don’t like that at all but I trust that she has my best interests at heart.

I guess its all the way you look at your life’s path and what decisions you are willing to make to either move forward or stay stuck when a problem arises. Blaming your problems on others never helps, you have to take responsibility for your own choices. So what problem are you facing right now that you can turn into an opportunity?