Saturday, November 15, 2008

Continual Improvement

Friday and Saturday brought a few things to worry about, but much, much more to be happy about. Nova continues to improve in so many ways. Dogs are so amazing! Nova is much more enthusiastic now about getting up, moving around, and going outside. Those first few days, I stressed so much that Nova didn't go out to pee more than once a day. There are still many times that she will just go to the door, think about going out, then turn around and pace. But I have found that all I need to do is trust her, be patient, and know that when she needs to go outside, she will do it. Whether it's an hour later, or a few hours later, she always comes back and tries again. When she REALLY has to go, she just goes to the door, and goes right out.

"Oh geeze, Mom, do I REALLY have to do this right now?"

"It's a pretty big step down there, thanks but no thanks. I think I will stay right here."

Eventually, the business gets done when she REALLY has to go.

Although it's been raining much of the time since she's been home, she likes to linger outside when it's not.

"At what point do you stop carrying that camera around, Mom, and photographing my every move?"

She is getting so mobile now, really starting to get back to her curious, nosy self. She always wants to be where the action is. Before she was just parking it somewhere and not moving. Now, when she sensing the action is shifting to another room, she will just get up and go there. Usually, she remains standing, panting very heavily. That really stresses me out because she looks so uncomfortable when she pants. But the tail is usually wagging at full speed. The panting is most likely a side effect of the Tramadol, but I guess it's probably from all the hopping. The kids get alarmed when they see her panting, too. I'm trying to dispel their fears by telling them to jump around on one leg and see how soon THEY are panting. It's a lot of work to do that! I'm just glad to see her WANTING to move. I would imagine if she was in tremendous pain, she would not want to get up and move.

All of the pacing is taking a lot of getting used to. It's hard not to worry when you see it. The kids especially don't like it when they are sleeping. I'd like to confine Nova to the living room at night, but she really loves to be with Ben and Skyler in their room, so much so that she has her own dog bed in there. Last night Ben grabbed his pillow and came out the living room couch to sleep. he said that Nova's panting was driving him bananas, along with her just standing there staring at him in his sleep. Later she decided to come back out and pant in Ben's face on the couch. So he relocated back to his bed. Apparently (unbeknownst to me until this morning) Nova went back to the room and jumped in bed with Ben. He let her stay there because he was so amazed she could do it. This morning at breakfast we were all talking about what a bummer is was that Nova would probably never be able to jump up on the kids beds again. That's when Ben said "I'm sure she will, in fact she just did it last night. A round of high fives for Nova!

Yesterday I noticed this icky looking loose soft lump starting to hang from Nova's belly, right at the edge of her bandage. Of course I was on the horn to the Doctor right away, lumps are scary things to find! They are probably so sick of hearing from me. Supposedly, it's just extra fluid from the surgery. They told me to just put warm compresses on it a couple times a day and that it would form a bruise on it. Sure enough, that's what it did. But it is getting bigger (I think the bandage is rubbing), so it's pretty gross to look at.

See? It looks kind of like a hernia that one of my Labs had once:

Today, Nova got her first Get Well card in the mail. How exciting! It came from some of Nova's biggest fans, the Sack family (Tammy's family). The lazy butt mail lady had pulled in to the driveway honking her horn, she did not want to come out in the rain to give us a small package that wouldn't fit in the mailbox. So I went out to get the mail from her and Nova had come to the garage door (back to her usual nosy self).

"So, you got any mail for me, Mom?"

As I walked inside, she was sniffing the mail, like she knew there was something there for her. We found the card, opened it, and found a few jerky treats inside. Emmy tried to butt in and swipe one, but Nova ate them quick. The card was a big fawn mastiff (just like Annie) drinking out of toilet and it said "Want to feel better soon? Drink plenty of fluids!" Funny. Even Delilah the guinea pig signed the card.

"See my great card? Don't worry, Annie, I am getting plenty of fluids!"

"The whole family signed the card, even the guinea pig! I am so lucky to have so many people who care about me. Thank you!"

A lot of people who haven't seen Nova yet have been asking what she looks like when she walks/hops. So I took a brief video of her walking down the hall. You will see at the end she just stands on her bed, not laying down. She always takes her time deciding exactly how she wants to lay down. Here it is:

1 comment:

Jerry G Dawg said...

Nova, we are really enjoying your blog and your photos. You are such a beautiful girl!

Love the video too, but please be careful on those hardwood floors OK? They can be dangerous when you're recuperating.

Oh, about that panting; once your meds are all gone, and you start to build up strength in your remaining front leg, you'll be panting a lot less. The muscles are just working in new ways, and it'll take some time to get strong enough to move around without breathing in everyone's face!

Keep it up. You go girl!