Of all the things I could tell you about how we spent our summer here at the Humpfreeze house, I just could not have predicted that dog rehabilitation would be on our schedule.
Our Dudley the Dachshund Rehab Story
Dudley collapsed in late June after a regular run up the stairs to see the darling twins in their bedroom.
Bad dog owner tip #1 ~ Carry your dachshund up and down stairs forever.
PhilBillPaul said his back legs weren’t working. He could not stand. We are aware that dachshunds can have back problems associated with their very short legs and long backs.
The first thing I said to him quietly and privately, “Please tell me we’re on the same page and we’re not going to do that wiener dog wheelchair thing, right?”
Everyone had to work so Roger Leroy was the only one available to take him to the vet. She is not the most compassionate person in the house. She comes by that naturally. Ahem. Not naming names but one of her parents may be like this too.
She was a little irritated that she had to sit with the dog for hours awaiting an x-ray and evaluation. She called me several times with estimates of $500+ dollars for various tests. At that point, it was time to call Dad and have him talk to the vet and keep costs down and get assurance that the dog was not in any pain. Roger Leroy did have to leave him at the vet because she had to go to work.
By the time I got home, Scary Baby was home from a sleepover at a friend’s house and only knew from Roger Leroy that Dudley was at the vet. She was obviously concerned and she and her friend Cloret asked for details. I tried to downplay the seriousness of the situation and told them that we were waiting for more information from the vet.
Scary Baby said brightly, “If he can’t walk and he’s paralyzed, we can get him a doggy wheelchair. The internet has pictures and they can lead happy, productive lives.”
Momma said “We’re not getting a doggy wheelchair.”
Scary Baby said “WHY? He can be happy and it’s like a little wagon or cart…”
Momma said “We don’t have information from the vet so we don’t need to have this discussion right now. Please give Sabu some extra attention since he’s probably very confused about why Dudley isn’t down in the basement with him today.”
She and her friend went down to the lounge to watch a movie.
I consulted with my friend Google and then talked to the vet. The news was not good.
Next I called PhilBillPaul who was driving home from Macon.
And promptly burst into tears.
I cried about the dog, the choices, the outcome, the doggy wheelchair, the money, the well dog who would be traumatized, the children who would be traumatized and why this is the exact reason I did not want dogs,
PhilBillPaul who is a giant dog lover said, “I can’t do this now. I could pull over on the side of the road and bawl but I’m just trying to get home. We’ll figure it out when I get there.”
A little while later, Scary Baby says through my closed bedroom door, “We’re going to take Sabu on a walk and might go down to the neighbor’s house with him.”
Thought that was very sweet and good for the well dog. I carried on until PhilBillPaul and Wizzy got home and they went to vet to pick up Dudley.
They arrived home with Dudley and I had already told all the big kids to be home and help create a quiet night with no extra people at our house.
Side note: Due to time constraints and the ridiculous length of this post, I’m leaving out the screaming fight we had when Roger Leroy announced a friend was on her way over and we told her we weren’t having company with the sick dog and then the friend arrived anyway and they both went upstairs to get Roger Leroy’s stuff because we told her to leave, Sabu went crazy, ran upstairs, peed in Scary Baby’s room and at least 2 of us started crying again.
We were busy setting up his crate with Wizzy’s memory foam pillow that fit perfectly.
We were all very emotional and unsure of what would happen next. The vet recommended a neurological consult which PhilBillPaul scheduled for the next morning.
In walked Scary Baby with two neighborhood friends and they were holding a jar of money. They proudly told us that they had collected money for Dudley and had almost $200 in the jar.
After the friends left, Roger Leroy and I
interrogated calmly asked Scary Baby what exactly they said to neighbors about the dog?!
Bad dog owner tip #2 ~ Don’t let your 12 year old hear you crying on the phone about the sick dog.
With some prodding, she confessed “We just said we needed money for a doggy wheelchair for Dudley. And he might need surgery. And I printed this picture to show them.”
Roger Leroy was mortified.
I said “Welcome to my world.”
Did you know there are neurologists for dogs? We didn’t. Treatment options were steroids and 6-8 weeks of immobilization or surgery.
After the neuro consult, we opted for steroid treatment and about 3 other drugs I can’t even remember.
The next day our Wiener Dog Rehab begin in full force.
I went to the store and bought dog pee pads and poster board.
- I cut the long end of an old fleece blanket to make a “butt sling” to help him go to the bathroom outside.
- We froze chicken broth for ice cube treats because it is full of cartilage-building proteins and amino acids.
- PhilBillPaul cut the top of the crate so we could lift him in and out more easily.
- We bought a kiddie pool for water therapy.
We were hopeful but tried to be realistic. We saw slow and steady progress and had two follow-up visits with the vet.
We sent Scary Baby back through the neighborhood with envelopes with a special note attached.
Wasn’t it smart of the girls to keep a list of donors and amounts donated?
After 5 weeks of total crate rest, the vet said we could start introducing him back into his area with Sabu. His prognosis is excellent.
What life lessons have we learned from this wiener dog rehab experience? For me, it just reinforced what I already knew that dogs are expensive and the emotional investment is even more expensive.
Oh, we also all learned one more thing…
Nobody at our house volunteered to learn how to express the dog’s bladder or bowel once I explained to Scary Baby about what would be involved with a doggy wheelchair.
Dudley is our vet’s favorite miracle story.
We are so grateful that he is better.
And that we didn’t have to buy a doggy wheelchair.
Even if he hops a bit like a rabbit.
Guess how much dog neurosurgery costs?
Leave a comment and person who comes closest wins two wiener dogs!
Just kidding. Guess anyway. I think it’s illegal to give away wiener dogs as a prize for a blog contest.