Madeline has had her 2nd ear surgery in 1 month. She had a huge hematoma that caused her entire ear flap to swell with blood twice. The first surgery failed and now she has some strange film piece on her ear to secure it as well as an open wound to let the fluid drain out. Poor girl has been so bothered by all the fussing I have been doing with her.
Then after chasing a deer in the hills a couple weeks ago- she came up lame, and has been favoring her back leg off and on since then. I have been through this before with Benjamin and Lucille- I am quite positive it is a partial ACL tear! I have to take her in for a definitive diagnosis next week- but all the signs are there.
2 years ago, I would have been making plans for an expensive surgery for her. But since Benjamin’s tear- I learned all about CM- Conservative Management- a protocol that people swear by- restricting your dogs exercise and movement severely for 8 weeks- allowing the scar tissue to form around the joint- to stabilize the knee without the ligament. Most Veternary surgeons are not on board with this- but of course not- they only promote surgery! but alternative vets are coming around to it. There is a major support group on line of dog owners that are going through the process with their pups– and it was my saving grace to check in with these people every day while I was going through it with Benjamin.
I have become so much tougher in my heart when things go wrong with my pups’ health. I used to fall apart, and now I come to terms with it much quicker. Fighting the reality of it does no good. I am their protector- I just need to do what needs to be done to heal their bodies.
There is a part of these times that I am still having a hard time with- the aging of my dogs. I feel fear off and on when I glance at them- and notice their slower walk . I feel fear of loss, fear of change, fear of forever. They are precious to me. They are a part of me. They identify me in many ways. I am Kathy with Madeline, Lucille and Benjamin. I have thought about talking to a counselor about my fears of losing them. These feelings shadow my days. It really is a deep spiritual lesson to come to terms with the inevitability of change and loss. At the same time- it brings to light how much I can treasure each wonderful moment when I am laying with my dogs and feel the deep connection of love and affection we share together. This moment is all there is. In that moment, the future does not exist.