If I thought surgery day (yesterday) was one of the hardest days of my life, today may have topped it.
First, the official update on her surgery from last night:
The amputation went really well. On top of it, she had another tumor that they weren’t sure they were able to get all of, BUT THEY DID! And they were able to close it up successfully. We didn’t think that would be the case and we were looking at daily bandage changes and sedation at the vet for the next month or so, which was a huge stress. We don’t think that will need to happen anymore. We won’t know for sure if 100% of the cancer is gone, but it’s looking good. The whole surgical team cheered when they finished up. And her amazing oncology surgeon went home to have a few glasses of wine.
Most importantly, even though there was a major stress for us in her surgery being delayed all day due to an emergency with another dog, it was a good thing for Liza. She got a chance to get to know everyone and watched every move they made throughout the day and by the time they got to her she was completely comfortable, friendly, and not anxious
Now, onto today.
My update at 9:30 this morning was not great. While she did ok through the night, as of this morning she would not stand up and was, as the Dr. said “feeling sorry for herself.” I kept myself calm for as long as it took to get off the phone, but it was downhill from there. I spent all day thinking that we made the wrong decision and Liza was not the type of dog who could be happy with three legs.
Then I used the resources of an amazing non-profit called Tripawd. They have chat rooms, forums, and even a 24 hour hotline to talk to people who have done this. Many people talked me off of ledges all day. Then, one of my students could tell that I wasn’t normal. I told her a little bit about Liza’s surgery. All of my students know that my dog is my baby. All this student said, like it was nothing, was “Who cares miss? She’s going to walk, she’s cute as hell, and you love her. She’ll be fine.” Why are teenagers and animals so much wiser than us?! What do I have 2 college degrees for?
Then I anxiously awaited my 6:00 call with the vet. WE HAVE A WALKER! My little bugger of a dog has made great progress in just 10 hours today. She is standing, walking, and even wagging her tail when people go to see her. On top of it, I was warned that she may not want food for a few days, but she’s eating! I mean…who could turn down my cooking?
I may not be able to bring her home tomorrow like we originally anticipated. It may have to wait until Sunday. The Tripawd motto for humans is Think Like a Dog. I’m trying it.