Saturday, March 21, 2009

Poor Pup, Revisted

Do you ever wonder if a traumatic event will change a person? If their personality will be effected by the outcome of a particular situation?
My dog Zeus broke his front right leg earlier this week on Saint Patrick's Day. It's been a stressful and crazy week as a result, and I wondered how Zeus would behave after his necessary surgery to repair the fracture.

Well, having picked up my healing pup this morning from Christchurch Vets in Ipswich, I can confidently say that you can remove Zeus from mischief, but in no way, shape or form can you you remove the mischief from Zeus, even surgically. Despite a slight slow down, Zeus seems just as eager to be up and running and getting into trouble as ever before. The trouble is, I have to keep him calm and relatively still while his leg heals for the next 6-12 weeks!
This all began Tuesday night as I was giving Caleb a bath and Tommy was on his computer. Zeus had wandered down stairs, likely to stir up some trouble looking for remaining food since we had just finished dinner. Out of nowhere, we heard that awful yelping of a dog in extreme pain. At the bottom of the stairs, Zeus was cowering with his paw dangling in a precarious way from his leg. Now I'm no doctor or vet, but I knew there was no way that paw should be hanging that way.

Our local vet in Thetford was closed for the night, so I rushed him to their sister location in Bury St Edmunds where the vet told me, "That is broken!" She was worried that there was nerve and ligament damage as well, but the X-Ray the next day showed that it was only a bone fracture. Zeus stayed overnight, but the vet told us the next day that we should take him to a doggy orthopedic surgeon in Ipswich.
(Quick pop quiz: What's the worst way to discover that pet insurance is important? Answer: A visit to an veterinarian orthopedic specialist! Yikes! Between the two and half days at our vet and the day and a half at the specialist, we had to kiss good-bye to our trip to Paris and Belgium over the next few months as we forked over £1,000 to save Zeus' leg. Eek! At the end of the day, I'm glad we were able to save my pooch's leg, but MAN, I am done poo-pooing pet insurance!)

Both the vet in Bury and the vet surgeon in Ipswich were great. Zeus was in great hands, and his surgery went well. He was a hit with all the nurses. They had to place two plates on his leg to fuse the bone together, and they actually used the same kind of plates you'd use for human fingers because Zeus' bones are so small.

The vet in Ipswich was super cool and gave me images of Zeus' X-Rays at my request. Since Zeus's leg was repaired with a plate, he doesn't need a cast or even a splint anymore. He has wound dressing on his leg, of course, but no external support. So here for your viewing approval are images of Zeus' fracture and repair!


Zeus is doing well. I picked him up this morning, and he is on strict crate rest for at least four weeks. He can only be let out if he's taking a potty break (on leash, only in the back yard) or if he's going to be in our laps for a bit (and he's gotten plenty of that today!)

The problem with Zeus is that even though he's sore and a bit off, he's still Zeus. As soon as I saw him in the vet's arms today, he practically jumped right out of his arms and ran to me. My husband says he doesn't think Zeus has learned anything from the event, and he may be right. I fully expect him to be digging up trouble as soon as he's able.

Unfortunately for Zeus his break comes right as we're having a patch of great weather! And for the next few weeks, I have to keep a very high strung dog as still as possible and keep a very active 17 month old from messing with the dog while he heals. Sounds easy right? Sheesh.

Welcome home, Zeus! At least while you're on crate rest, I don't have to worry about you digging in the trash or eating dirty diapers or scouring my bag for Caleb's snacks! Take it easy bud, and feel better soon!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Yesterday, during our ritual early morning cuddle session on the glider, Caleb pointed to a picture of my husband that was on a shelf above us. I pulled down the picture and asked Caleb, "Who's that?"

Caleb replied, "My Dada!"

My Dada! He's stringing together words! Actual words. Not just adorable babble-y noises, but putting together two legitimate words to make more sense out of them both. My Dada! Needless to say, I was thrilled. What a smart little cookie!

Today, he dropped the Dada.
Everything is now just "My!" I guess he can't quite formulate the whole "Mine!" but he certainly understands the concept. Everywhere we went today, everything was "My!" I had a late start at work this morning, and Caleb and I grabbed lunch at the cafe inside the Enlisted Club on one of the bases today. After a few minutes of him chewing and spitting out his pancakes followed by him throwing his tater tots everywhere, I figured he wasn't hungry and removed his food from his reach. At which point he seemed to grow Go-Go-Gadget arms and an internal megaphone as he reached for the missing tots and began to yell, "My! My! MY! MY! MYYYYY!"

Oh, my.

It was definitely a case of realizing that a new word is not necessarily a good word. That little single syllable which sounded so adorable in front of "Dada" is so much more powerfully annoying all on its own. Truly, he is a toddler in every sense of the word now.

And I know this is only the beginning. Right now he's mostly saying it because he enjoys the sound of it. But soon, soon my friends, he will be imbued with that heady sense of ownership of all things that toddlers seem to posses. It's bad enough I have to share the bathroom with him now, can't I eat my 100 calorie cookies in peace?!

My guess is no.