NOW we are starting to make some headway. This morning I went in to wake up Ben for school and I saw that Emmy had swiped the dog bed, and Nova was sprawled out on the floor on her "ouch" side. She had taken some of the throw pillows that had fallen from the kids bed and had them all propped under her. The second I made eye contact with her I heard the sound I have been waiting all week to hear again. The heavy thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk-thunk of her crazy happy wagging tail. THERE'S my girl! Nova has one of the greatest tails ever. On a normal day it wags constantly, even when she is having a good dream. And when ever she hears her name, even in her sleep, the tail starts going. It can be hazardous too, that thing is so big and out of control, she can clear a table with it.
There was even more familiar "music"... last night at 2:30 am. I was in bed and heard Nova's usual "I want to go outside" speak. Nova is one of those dogs that "talks" in a sort of howly, roo-roo, way. It was not a howl of pain, she was clearly saying the usual "come and let me out". I have never been so happy to jump up at 2:30 am. I went over to the boys room and saw that the door was nearly closed. In the past, Nova would have been able to open it, either with a paw or her snout. Of course, now with one front paw she couldn't do it any more. I opened her and she was standing there (this was the first time she "asked" to go out) and quickly hopped past me, down the twisting and turning hall (in the dark), through the kitchen, and out the back door. I had to run to keep up with her.
She hopped out to the middle of the yard and immediately took a big poop. I was standing out there watching, thrilled that she was starting to feel a little like herself again. It had warmed up a bit last night so that it wasn't biting cold standing out there, and there was a light breeze blowing the pines. We live in the middle of a pine forest and when there is a light breeze it is so calming and mesmerizing to watch and listen to the tall skinny pines sway back and forth. Nova stood out there for a few minutes, holding her head up sniffing in the night breeze, and she took a deep breath and sighed.
When we got back in it took her another 1/2 hour or so to decide where she wanted to lay down again. In the process, she woke up Ben and Skyler, because the hopping and panting was noisy. I tried to direct her to her bed in their room, since she was really intent on going back there. But she kept wanting to stand between their two beds, looking back and forth at them, hot steaming big dog breath in their faces. I could tell she really wanted to jump up onto one of the beds, but she didn't try. She hopped out to the living room and back a few times, and finally settled back in on the floor at the foot of Skyler's bed.
This morning was great. She got right up when I told her I had breakfast waiting. She went to the door and thought about going outside, but changed her mind. She's still panting, but she is definitely getting more and more like her social self. She hopped around between the kitchen and the living room to be in the center of the action wherever the majority of the family happened to be. It was the most I'd seen her move yet. She still just stands in one spot, looking around, but she tended to do that a lot anyway. We always said she was more like a horse, because she likes to stand, even in the car. She hopped up to Daddy a few times for some kisses. And she hopped over the the TV to stand in front of it and drive the kids nuts blocking out Sports Center, which is something she usually does every morning. In the past that would drive them bananas, and they would yell at her to move. But today they didn't do that, they walked over to give her a big hug and kiss. That's all she was looking for anyway. Everyone appreciates that she's starting to be her quirky self again.
One thing I really have to do is "Tripawd proof" the kids room. Nova loves to go in there, but she keeps stumbling over things left on the floor. I gave them the lecture to keep things picked up so Nova doesn't trip. She's already stumbled on a few toys, dirty clothes, pillows, and this morning she got her front paw tangled in the cords on a Playstation controller left on the floor. Argh. I think for awhile when I am out of the house and I am going to keep her confined to the living room. I don't want her tripping over stuff. I guess that means I am going to have to be more vigilant with the kids (as if I am not on their case constantly already to pick up their room).