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This time it wasn’t really her fault.

Belle (aka the Walking Disaster) came home the other night and it was pretty obvious that she had something in her eye besides an eyeball. This is not the first time it’s happened, for not only is she too stupid to come in out of the rain, she’s also too stupid to close here eyes when there’s all kinds of crap getting them as she runs through fields of seeding rye grass and all other manner of sharp, pointy flora (which we seem to have more than our four share of).

She wasn’t making a big deal about it, but I’ve learned not to be fooled by her (don’t forget this is a dog that failed to mention her leg was shattered and her hip socket broken). I think that one of the reason’s she gets so injured so often is that she has such a high threshold of pain. Anyway, I had a quick look and decided that whatever it was, it would probably just come out in a tear-drop, leaving me with four scientists and a submarine in my living room*.

eye-thumbBy the following morning her eye seemed to have swollen quite a bit, so I took a closer look and saw what at first appeared to be an eyelash, but later proved something else entirely. The picture on the right was all I could see, and it really did look like an eyelash at first, but when I looked closer I discovered that it not only didn’t come from the eyelid like all the other eyelashes, but it seemed to have something connected to that disappeared out of sight beneath the lower eyelid. No matter how hard I tried it just wouldn’t budge, plus I didn’t have enough hands to hold her steady, keep her eye open and grab the object at the same time. The was nothing else to do but panic, which I’ve gotten quite good at since Belle entered my life.

I called the Vet and told them that I’d like to pay for one of their kid’s education, so they told me to come on in. Here’s where it gets interesting. I was worried about looking silly because I couldn’t get it out by myself, but in the end, each of the things I mentioned in the previous paragraph required a separate person, meaning it took three to finally get it out. And while it didn’t go so far as having the Vet standing on the table with his foot on her head, two hands straining at the object gripped with a pair of pliers and a pop like a champagne cork when it finally came out…it was pretty darned close.

In the end, it took me holding her firmly and calming her, the Vet holding her eye open while squeezing the object forward, and a vet tech easing it out with a pair of pliers. So what could possibly take this much effort just to get out of her eye?

May I present…”the object“.

No Belle post is complete without a picture of the Walking Disaster, so here’s the one that goes with the story, this is after we got home.

belle-eye-009

* Fot those who didn’t get the reference.

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Ok! Ok! I get it! You want Belle.

Geeze you try to do the right thing and all you get is abuse (and not the nice ‘self’ kind either). Here I am trying to be a nice guy (which you all know is not easy for me) and letting someone use the Dingo to pay tribute to her cherished (but somewhat late) companion and all I get is hate mail!

Here’s just a small portion of what I received yesterday “Hey fuck you dipshit! So you don’t want to post any more, boo fucking hoo! Getting someone else to do your posts is just bullshit, suck it up you turd-sniffing moron! If I wanted to read about touch feely crap I’d buy a Care Bears comic. Get over it you pussy and post about Belle, or any other dog you throw under a truck, I love me some crippled animal stories.  And teach that other bitch you got doing your work for you to swear for chrissakes! – Sincerely, Laurie

Now you all know that I’m a rather cultured person who is averse to bad language, so I’ve cleaned it up a bit and redacted some of the more unpleasant stuff, but you get the gist. Plus, truth be told, I almost drowned in the milk of human kindness you guys were spraying around yesterday, fuck me you women are a supportive lot!

Anyway, in an effort to forestall any more of these missives from this miss, and to avoid further pissy epistles, here’s a Belle update:

Her leg is about as good as it ever going to get, it still doesn’t bend and probably never will, but she’s getting around just fine and annoying the shit out of everyone within reach. I do still manipulate her leg every night in the vain attempt to restore some range of motion, but it’s pretty unsuccessful.

Here’s a bunch of short clips that I’ve strung together into one really long boring one, but I like the music…

Belle does it again!

Last night, or rather this morning (around 4 am) Bentley wanted to go out. Experience has taught that when he wants to go out during the night he's either heard something or he needs to pee. At 4 am I'm not going to try to determine which of these reasons is applicable. So, stumbling out of bed and ricocheting down the hallway, I opened the front door to let him out, and as usual Belle, the walking disaster, had to go out too.

I had just got my body temperature back up to toasty under the doona (there's no central heating here, so the house gets pretty cold during the night) when I heard a blood curdling wail of pain (now, if I was Elmer Fudd talking about precipitation in a bucket, that would have been a pail of wain). I sprang out of bed and tried to find something to put on my feet, and after finding the most inappropriate footwear possible,  I grabbed a torch (flashlight) and headed out into the freezing darkness.

By now the yelping had stopped, so I didn't quite know which way to head. Luckily Bentley started barking so I just followed his noise, shining the light along the fence as I went. After a couple of minutes, something caught my eye, but I couldn't quite make out what it was. It looked like a piece of rope or something hanging from the top of the mesh. As I got closer I began to realise that it was Belle's tail! And instead of her normally pretty face looking back at me, it was her sphincter staring at the sky.

Her foot had got caught in the top of the mesh as she was climbing over the fence to chase whatever was on the other side, so now she was just hanging there, upside down, by her back leg, not moving or making a sound. When I tried to get her foot loose (Kevin Bacon 1984), she started thrashing wildly and I was really concerned that she'd cause further damage. Her foot was wedged tight, and I couldn't be sure which leg it was, as the torch was getting dimmer, plus she was hanging on the other side of the fence so I couldn't get a good look, I just hoped it wasn't the broken one. After both of us struggling for a minute or two, I realised there was no way I could get free her using my bare hands, so I did what any person caught in this situation would do, I panicked and started flaying my arms wildly in a pretty impressive impersonation of one of those gizmos they have at car yards, you know those things that look like 20 ft tall, skinny disco dancers, with the air blower making them wave their arms like a crazy person panicking at the sight of their dog hanging from a fence.

I knew immediately that I'd have to cut the wire to get her out (or so it seemed, but who knows exactly how long it took my sleep befuddled brain to come up with a plan), so rather than calmly turn around and head for the house to get some wire cutters, I spun around and started running. It should be noted here, that the only thing missing was some guy with a set of bongos adding the sound effects to my performance of a cartoon character trying to get from under the 1000lb weight that was about to be dropped on them. My legs were pumping like crazy, but I didn't seem to be going anywhere. Then without warning (to be honest, I've never heard of a pair of slip-ons ever actually warning anyone of anything) I somehow managed to give my slip-ons the slip, which had the effect of making my feet go in the opposite direction to my body. I lurched forward ending up sprawled flat on my face on the cold, wet, dog shit infested grass. The torch landed about 15 feet away and bounced a further 5 feet or so…then everything went dark.

My initial response was to wallow in self pity at my predicament, and that's what I would have done had I not remembered why I was out there in the first place, so cutting my wallowing short, I managed to get to my feet and make it, shoeless, back to the house. Grabbing the wire cutters (I know it sounds hard to believe, but I knew exactly where they were!), I raced back out to free shitforbrains. With the right tool it didn't take too long at all, and minutes later we were all back in the house wondering what the fuck had just happened.

Belle was pretty shaken up by the whole nasty affair, but as a result of the escapade, we now share a strong bond. Not because I rescued her yet again, but because when I did my starting dive for the 100m freestyle, I damaged my knee, so now neither of us can bend our left leg!  (The freestyle was once known as the Australian Crawl, long before the eponymous band. Well, technically it's the swimming stroke that's eponymous, seeing as how it gave it's name to the band and not vice versa (which, incidentally, does not mean pornographic poetry), but I couldn't be bothered reworking the sentence. You're welcome to have a go at it yourself)*.

Anyhoo, she seems to be none the worse for wear this morning, I wish I could say the same for me, my knee is killing me.

This adds absolutely nothing to the post…

* for those keeping score, that soliloquy (if I had actually been going somewhere with it, it would have been a segue) had two sets of parentheses (one of which was nested),  six commas (not all of which were really necessary), five apostrophes (one of which was possessive), one word (used twice) of Greek etymology**, two Latin words (making a phrase still in use today), three full stops (periods) and an asterisk. Quite a smorgasbord of punctuation don't you think? And yet even with all those English language tools, none of it made any sense whatsoever.

** etymology is also of Greek etymology.

Yet another Belle update

I have to go down to the Coast for a couple of days and may not be around much, so for those who are interested, here's a clip I took of Belle and Bentley this arvo (I'll be posting this before I leave tomorrow, which will actually be today, which means I actually filmed it yesterday…ha ha ha, now I'm confused!).

You can see that her leg doesn't bend, but at least she's starting to use it. If I don't see you beforehand, I'll see you when I get back.

So, where are we now?

Dogconversation_3
While I don’t want to be totally one dimensional by only writing about Belle, I do appreciate that there are those among you who would like to know what the present situation is. So for those who are interested, here’s a more detailed update.

A couple of weeks ago I began to be concerned that she wasn’t putting any weight on her broken leg. Granted it was still fairly soon after the operation and the two major incisions had not yet healed, but I couldn’t help but think that something was wrong. I brought this up with my local vet each time I took Belle in for an anti arthritis shots, but I obviously wasn’t firm enough in voicing my concern, as the vet offered no advice other than it must still be sore. Finally after bringing it up on three separate occasions, she suggested that I take her back to the vet who did the operation (70 miles away). So I made an appointment to see him in four days time.

Before he examined her, he got me do walk her around on a lead so that he could see what the deal was, and immediately said that it may already be a lost cause, and that he had told me that I needed to do regular physio therapy on her. WTF was he talking about?! Yes he did say that I needed to bend her leg every day, but he didn’t say that if I didn’t do it, she could develop a Volkmann contraction which would ultimately render her leg useless. I had tried to do it a couple of times, but every time I did, the staples would pop open, plus I was scared that I would damage the repair job at the knee (I had visions of re-breaking the leg by pushing too hard), additionally, she was in obvious distress whenever I tried, so I just left her alone.

Apparently these contractions can happen in a couple of days on young dogs (something else I found out later), so it’s critical to make sure the joint can bend. Although in truth, I don’t believe I ever felt the knee bend, as for the first week the leg was in a bandage, and the second week the incisions were still bleeding so I couldn’t really do much. By the time the wounds had sealed, the quadricep had already lost all elasticity. If you aren’t familiar with any of this, it’s becasue the scar tissue overwhelms the muscle tissue. And if you haven’t caught on yet, this condition is a result of the operation – not the accident!

If the leg never regains any function, then the recommended course of action is amputation, which is why I said last week that she may lose her leg, it has nothing to do with an infection. So there you have it, the reason I was so bummed last week. However over the past week and a half I’ve read all the literature, spoken to several vets (as well as MDW who is an OT) and am now convinced that this happened through no fault of mine, and while that doesn’t make the situation any better, it does alleviate the sense of guilt I was feeling.

So, where are we now? After a week and a half of physio sessions five times a day, and crating her for the periods in between, I’ve managed to get about 15 – 20 degrees range of motion in her knee, which isn’t much but it’s better than nothing, and I have managed to prevent the leg from seizing up completely. She does occasionally put some weight on it, but not enough for me to think it’s the beginning of the healing process, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

An update of sorts.

"That last post seems to have taken a lot out of you!" – Kila

Actually, that’s not the case, what has taken a lot out of me is the Belle situation, it’s gone from promising to very bleak and it’s all quite draining. While all the incisions healed nicely, she has refused to put any weight on her leg, and due to my ignorance and poor nursing, it now appears that in all probability she’ll lose it. I’m not going to go into detail about it right now, as I’m just too bummed, if I feel better in a few days I’ll give you more of an update.

In other news, MDW is up for the weekend so I’ll be spending time with her instead of blogging.

To answer a few questions

Poor little darling! Those buckets are a royal pain in the butt! I can’t imagine how she will be able to chew on her Kong toy! When can she take it off? – Karisma

The bucket is more of a pain for the rest of us, as she keeps bumping into things (mostly us) and she keep waking me up when she tries to snuggle up. On the other hand Belle doesn’t’ seem to mind it that much at all, she can eat, drink, play with her toys and lay however she likes. That said, I’ll be glad when I take it off tomorrow.

Roll on Friday~ does your local vet remove the clips or do you have to go back to the hospital? – chrisb

The local vet will be taking the staples out. She will also be giving the anti-arthritis injections for the next 6 weeks. Then she has to go back to Tamworth for the sign off.

Is that Kong about the same size as Belle? – rudee

That’s a close up of the Kong, we do have a smaller one (it belongs to Buddy), but I can’t give it to Belle as she’d probably just swallow it. It’s not as big as the photo makes it look.

Is that really the only address that was on there?  am I missing something?  – degutails

We don’t need addresses here, everyone knows everyone. As long as it’s addressed using the correct blogger’s ID (and you can see that it is) it should get there just fine. Oh, while I have you, I’ve got this really cool bridge for sale in Sydney, would you be interested?

SOMEWHERE in Australia? Are you kidding me? And, the package was delivered? To the correct "address?" – Swampy

Please refer to the previous answer, and take a number for the bridge auction.

Why is the Kong in the freezer? – Melissa

Why did you put the Kong in the freezer??? – Equoni

I’ll let Laurie handle this one…"you
pack the Kong full of kibble and peanut butter, and then freeze it.
that way it lasts a long time–it’s a way to keep the dog quiet for
long periods of time while they’re licking at hte frozen peanut butter.
we gave one to boscoe every day when he was recovering from knee
surgery.
it kept him quiet for hours, but man did the peanut butter make him
poop"

Is that a blue bow on her leg?  Shouldn’t it be pink? – Hayden

That’s the bandage, sometimes you get red, sometimes you get blue, I don’t know why.

100_2545

that bed is too small! – Laurie

Ok, not strictly a question, but more of an accusation. The fact is, it’s not a bed at all, but that has never stopped Belle from claiming it as her own. She likes to station herself there while I’m in the kitchen, as she can see if anything hits the floor, yet still keep out of the way (something that neither Bentley nor Buddy have ever successfully mastered).

It was actually bought for Chewie, and he used to sleep in it all the time, and when Chewie died unexpectedly, Tigger took it over, but then after Tigger died, MDW didn’t want it in the house anymore so I brought it up here, there’s another one outside somewhere, and the dogs have squashed that too

This is was it should look like  ===>

Belle’s going to feel naked when that lampshade suddenly comes off!
What do the other pets think of it? Do they ever try to bite at it or
pull it off? – Kila

Actually they the other guys a re pretty good about it and leave her alone, but that doesn’t stop her from annoying them constantly.

And a few from the previous post….

Was that traffic I heard in the background at the very last? – Karmyn

No, It was the wind in the trees.

So, how long till she can walk on that leg again?? – Claudia


I have no idea, but it will be 8 weeks before she gets a clean bill of health.


Is it OK that she’s not using the 4th leg yet? – Kila


I hope so, there is still a fair bit of pain, don’t forget that not only was it broken, but she’s had major surgery on it too. It’s only now that the bruising is starting to fade.

How are you doing? – Joey Tribbiani, Alison, Robin, Mal and several others.

I’d be doing better if this didn’t happen.