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Discussion Starter #121
I went to the vet's about 10 am the morning after AU's surgery (last Tuesday). I brought him his favorite toy, a stuffed duck, that I had forgot to take in the day before.

The assistant there told me that his surgery went very well, and that just before I got there, she had checked on him and he was standing and eating his breakfast. She said she would take his duck to him. So I hope that familiar toy will make him feel good, plus, he likes to take a stuffed toy to bed with him, and I've noticed he kind of mouths it and plays a little with it during the night when he wakes up for a bit.

I wanted so much to go back and visit with him, but the logical side of me, just thinks that would stress him out...to see me, but then not be allowed to leave with me. So, I'll just have to wait a week and endure it.

Jaya's already not eating like she should. : (
She did this last time too...she's so stressed without him. I'm even adding some premium canned dog food to the dry kibble. She loves that canned food, it's made with real beef and salmon, and not just 'flavored' - I usually feed my dogs 3 times a day, but Jaya, right now is only eating about once a day...and even then leaving some food in her bowl by day's end. I am hoping though that she'll relax a bit and feel hungry soon and start to eat a bit more. She's also whining a lot.

Song the cat, doesn't seem to care. :p

I finally uploaded to YouTube a very short clip of AU out on one of his walks. I mostly posted it so people can see how his stride has progressed. In a prior clip of him in the yard, he was mostly bunny hopping....and this clip is about 2 weeks later. You can see he is actually taking more of a stride, rather than a hop. But, he is in a lot of pain from the hip that, at that point, hadn't been operated on yet. He still does the bunny hops when he gets a little tired one his fixed hip and feeling pain on his other hip.


I hope to get AU back sometime next week. Because he has a wobbly leg and now one that he'll be unable to put a lot of weight on for some time, I can't take the risk of him falling and me not being able to help him up, due to my bad back. So, he's doing his initial rehab at the vets, and I'll get him back once he's a bit more steady on his back legs.

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #122
Sorry for duplicate post. I had several tabs opened today, and did a copy and paste, thinking I could send this post to a few horse racing friends of mine, after I modified the post a bit. Somehow I copied it here again, and didn't even realize I did so until some hours later :p

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #123
I talked with my vet this morning about AU.

Right now, she says that if he walks really slow, he is using both legs in a shortened, but still normal type stride. But if he moves a little faster he reverts to the bunny hop motion.

She thinks it would be best to keep him for at least a few more days, given I have porch stairs he would need to go up and down in order to get outside to the back yard, and also if I were to try to take him for a walk, my front porch stairs are very narrow and have pretty tall risers....so it would be better to wait until he's a little stronger before getting him to try out the stairs.

And, as I've mentioned before, I a nervous that if he should fall he could risk injury to his freshly operated on leg, or even his other leg...and I doubt I would be able to get him up if he couldn't do so himself.

When HaHa died, I didn't mention his name around Jaya... as in I didn't say things to her like "I miss HaHa, too" or "I know you miss HaHa" He wasn't coming back and I think mentioning his name and reminding Jaya with verbal cues wouldn't help at all given she did remember him, was looking for him, and was scared and confused about him being gone.

But with AU, I have been telling Jaya things in a cheerful voice like "AU will come home soon" and "I know Jaya loves AU, we'll get him back soon" I know she doesn't understand that, but I am hoping that in keeping his name mentioned, she will kind of get the idea that he's not forever gone. I did this the last time AU went in for the first hip operation...and hope that Jaya now knows a little that he will come back. She seems to listen to me...perks her ears up, and doesn't look too stressed after I say his name...so like I said, I hope she's sensing in my attitude and tone that I know she misses AU but that he'll be home in a near future.

I miss the little twerp too. I don't know how many times, while sitting in the recliner at night and listening to an audio book and working jigsaw puzzles on my kindle before going to sleep, that I've looked up and over to where AU usually sleeps on his mattress by the piano. I want to keep checking to see if he's comfortable...even though part of me knows he's gone, the habit of checking on him is still there. :p

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #124
Well, I got AU back late Thursday afternoon, after having not seen him for 9 days.

He was so happy to see me when he came out from the back area. Once I got him home and up the stairs, (he needed a little help with that), and into the house...he saw Jaya!

Jaya was standing kind of stunned in the middle of the living room and AU rushed up to her and started wagging his tail furiously and licking at her face. It suddenly clicked for Jaya who had just rushed up to her and she became excited and her tail went up and she was wagging it and trying to trot around AU to check him out, but he kept spinning so he could lick her face. It was cute.

I let them both out the back door right away, figuring with the excitement AU had in seeing me, getting a ride home, and seeing Jaya, he might need to take a leak.
I was right... he actually went down the back porch stairs fairly easy, but I had them custom made to have a shallow riser, and wide steps, someone with big feet can stand on them with no problem.

The front step, have an extra tall risers and very very narrow steps. I hate them, they are so dangerous, but also made of cement, so I haven't been able to fix them.

Anyway, AU ran out, and took a leak and then immediately dropped down into the freshly fallen snow and took a roll, his tail wagging and him enjoying his freedom. I'm sure being hurt and locked in a kennel for the past 9 days has had him feeling pretty bored. He got up, shook off the snow and then bunny hopped very quickly across the yard to be with Jaya.

They stayed next to each other for another minute, then I called them in, as I didn't want AU to get too cold. The back half of his body has no hair on his right side and just a very very short fine hair finally showing up on his left side. He came inside, getting up the stairs fairly easily and quickly went right to his big fluffy mattress I had ready for him...but not before snagging one of his toys.

He lay there looking pretty happy, then lay on his side and just started stretching and kind of dog paddling while on his side, and making grunting noises..lol...he was just luxuriating in being home and on his own bed with one of his toys. He actually got his head craned around so that he could snag another toy and drag it up onto the bed...then he just lay there with 1 toy under his neck and the other in his mouth. I think the 'tired' caught up with him at that point and he relaxed and took a little nap.

Jaya came in and lay down next to the mattress and stayed there the whole time he was asleep. And within a half hour of him being home, her stress level dropped so much...she was relaxed, and not being 'flighty' or whining like she has been doing since he's been gone.

I hope to start walking him again on Monday, but it will depend upon how cold and wet it will be. When he is walking very slow, he's trying to use a normal stride but at a normal pace or moving quickly he's bunny hopping.

I also noticed he's laying on the operated side (his right side) more often than not. I *think* that because of the prior pain on his right side, and then the surgery pain...he's been laying on the other side that's already been fixed, but it must be sore from taking all the weight when he lays down.

So, it seems to me, that his pain on his newly operated side has lessened enough that he wants to lay on that side now and give his other side a rest. Still, he's been pretty uncomfortable at times. I have some meds for him to ease the ache and he gets one pill a day and will also be on antibiotics for another week.

My back has been hurting a lot, so I haven't got onto the computer a lot since getting him home. I will try to get some photos of his newly operated hip. His staples will come out next week.

Stormy
 

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Glad you got him home. You are past the major hurtles and things should begin to get easier now. Jaya is settling down now that AU is back where he belongs. Now AU can recover without having to face any more surgeries, and Spring is almost here, so the weather should become more favorable, too. Looking forward to seeing the pics, when you can.
 

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Discussion Starter #127
Yesterday, I took AU downtown for the first time since getting him back from the vets. We stopped by the farm and ranch place, and then to the thrift shop where he got a stuffed bear.

While in the thrift shop, this older gent, who was on his way out as I was about 20 feet into the store....stopped and came over to me and asked to pet AU, and I said 'Sure'.

He told me that for years, he use to breed and show dogs, Irish Wolfhounds, and he also got to see a lot of fine looking specimens from other breeds at those shows. He thought AU was a really nice looking golden and also told me I was a great person for not 'throwing him away just because it was going to cost a lot of money to fix those hips'.

He knew right away that it was hip dysplasia, and said it looked like AU was coming along really great when he heard the dates of the operations for each hip. He shook my hand upon leaving and again told me I was a wonderful owner for dealing with the medical expense of fixing my dog and that he thought AU was a well mannered guy and again, an impressive looking Golden.

Then before we went home, I decided I didn't want to cook dinner and decided to go to the Burger King drive through for a whopper jr w/cheese, no pickle. It was a pretty nice day that day and I had unrolled the back seat window so AU could stick his head out, when I got to the window to pay, and the girl there thought he was so cute...and asked if he could have a piece of bacon. I said 'Sure' so, while she took my money and gave me change, she asked her co-worker to bring a piece of bacon...and this young man comes over and he's like 'Oh...he's so cute' and leans out the window with a piece of bacon and AU was a perfect gentleman in accepting it...took it gently and very happily lol. I told them both thanks and drove home.

AU was pretty tired from the experience, but he looked so much more relaxed... I think he's been going a little stir crazy from not being able to do as much physically as he would like to do.

Stormy
 

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What??? no pickles?? Pickles are the best part!! I would have taken the pickle for you :p

What a nice man! Even just reading that made me feel good too! But he's right, you're a wonderful owner who puts her dogs needs before hers and doesn't run away from the challenges of owning a pet.

I love that AU got the royal treatment at Burger King!
 

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Sounds like things are moving along pretty well. I'm convinced dogs really know a lot more than we give them credit for, and along that line, I'm sure at some level AU understands that you have helped him. Doubt he has an understanding of what it took for you to be able to help him, but the result will be a very close bond between the two of you.
 

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Discussion Starter #131
@yoshiposhi -- I like pickles, dill pickles. But NOT on my hamburger as that is all that one tastes... yuck...what a way to ruin meat.

Also, they should make people request pickles, instead of adding them automatically. I always wonder how many thousands of pounds of pickles get thrown away every year because they don't get taken off the hamburger upon request. I've probably thrown away 5 pound of them in my life time...pickles I Did Not Ask For nor want...lol.

That guy was nice... I was kind of along one wall of the store heading in and he was going the other way near the other wall with a gap between us of about 15 feet. He stopped when he saw me there with a dog -- I had stopped because my wallet was slipping out of my hand, and I need to adjust the leash too after I got my wallet under control. That's when he walked over.

I could see he had a real fondness of dogs. Also his comments about 'not throwing a dog away because it was going to be expensive to take care of' made me think he must have been a good breeder who cared for his animals, and must have, in his life, seen a lot of dogs be destroyed or suffer because their owners didn't want to spend anymore than they had to on them.

Thanks, too for the kind words. I've always felt that since it was my decision to bring an animal into my home, then that meant going all in...and even if it hurts a bit financially to care for them...that was part of the deal.

If someone said that HaHa could have been 100 percent cured of cancer and it wouldn't be too much of a hardship for him... but it would have cost $40,000... I would have re-mortgaged my home for him. I sure miss him and sometimes still cry for him...but AU has his own quirks that I enjoy, and I am starting to see that worried look leave his face. That worried look, is actually from pain he's been feeling... and I am relieved to see him not hurting so much when he moves and so uncomfortable when trying to rest. The hurt he feels now, is from the surgery, and each day is another day of recovery. So I am hoping soon he will have all his days be pain free.


@Laco -- I think AU and I lost a bit of ground on the bonding while he's been at the vets for so many days during his growing process....they grow so fast mentally, emotionally, and physically as puppies. He is having a really hard time looking me in the face now, when prior to all this he was constantly looking up at me. He even pulls away from me when I reach out for him too.

I think it might also be that when his hips were bad, then operated on, people (like the vet and her techs) were reaching out to him to help him up and move him a bit when he was in so much pain from the surgery and at one point..also the leg that hadn't been done yet. So, he's maybe associated people touching him with flair up of pain from his hips being forced to move as people got him up for his walks, exams...etc. I am working on eye contact again...he can't have a treat until he stops looking at it and looks at me...he gets the treat just as soon as our eyes meet. I am hoping to our walks, as his pain recedes, will bond us a bit more again too.


@Susan Lynn -- it was a nice outing. AU was getting a bit stir crazy, he's still a puppy, but just held back from all the pain of working off that puppy energy. I'll sit and play tug of war with him...as he lays on the floor. Right now, our walks are very short...he gets tired soo fast...but we are working on making them a little longer each day.

Burger King... That kind of surprised me about the bacon. I've been through there with pets in my car before and never was asked if they could be given a treat. However, I had a woman in front of me a few months ago, who had a cream colored golden...and that dog and AU exchanged like 4 barks with each other. When I got to the window... I found out she paid for my lunch..lol. I'm sure it's only because she found it as funny as I did in hearing our dogs talking with each other.

Thanks everyone for showing an interest in AU. He's a good boy who didn't deserve all of what he's gone through. I just want him to have a happy pain free life and get on with doing doggy things, like running around the yard and digging holes ...well maybe not holes, but it will probably happen and if so, I won't mind too much as I'll be glad he'll be feeling good enough to be doing it. : )

I'll try to film a little bit of our next walk... it's nice to see him when he slows down, walking almost normally....but right now, he's still bunny hopping more often than not especially when he's in a hurry.

Stormy
 

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Discussion Starter #133
I hope that proves true, Laco. He is getting a bit more playful, but is still acting a bit 'shy' as far as not wanting me to hug him a little like he did before all of this happened, and in looking at me, while we play or even walk. He will turn his head from me if try to interact with him in some way. I do see some progress though...he's brought me toys a few times and looked at me while he had them in his mouth. This is how he use to invite me to play...but when I reach for the toy, he drops his gaze and won't look at me while I hold on to the toy and tug on it a bit with him.
He's still a bit uncomfortable though, so again, hoping once all the aches and pains ease up, he will forget any pain that was brought on by like me trying to load him into the car, or the vet techs getting him to walk right after surgeries...etc.

I was able to go to an eye appointment on Monday. Because my doctor's office is almost like a boutique as far as lenses and frames being expensive, I had just planned on getting the prescription and taking it out of town to some mall's national brand eye glasses place and finding some frames that didn't cost $200 and also probably get a better price on lenses too.
I told the gals who worked there that before I went in for the exam, but said I would still like to get an idea of pricing from them after I was done, just to see what they could do for comparison. [I had been checking out frame prices on line for those mall places and had kind of an idea of lens prices]

Anyway, good news with the exam, is that over the past 6 years my diabetes and my high blood pressure haven't caused any damage to my eyes, and no other issues showed up either. So I was very happy to hear about that.
After the exam, I was told the lenses [progressive types, as I need bifocals] would cost $200, and my exam was $120. Their starting price for frames were $75.00 and she pulled some frames that were also in the $110.00 price range.

I wasn't seeing much that I liked, but was still debating if I could find any savings by going out of town...which would mean about $40 in gas, plus a lot of back pain from 6 to 7 hours of driving in one day, plus any walking around I did in a mall.
The gal saw I wasn't showing too much interest in the selection, and she suddenly goes.. "Oh... let me check on something" And she brings back a small tray of frames. They were discontinued and priced at $35.00

I was a little ticked, because I explained to them, how tight of a budget I was on, and I felt like they should have shown these me first. But I know how some business work. They would have rather had me buy a $110 or even $75 frame (plus the lenses and I already had to pay the exam in full)...but when they saw I was about to give up and they would only make money on the exam....then suddenly...the $35.00 frames appear.

Literally the second pair I tried on, I really really liked. They have a very warm, metallic, almost bronze, raspberry color to them, and are a little bit rectangular in shape but with a very slight arch on top, and angled edges on the outside edges. Plus the frames are not 'thick', but of a thinner metal, so they are not real heavy. The ear pieces are also very pretty, they look like to strands braided, one in gold and the other in that bronze-reddish color.
So, with tax, I ended up paying around $350.00 total for exam, lenses and frames. Plus it saved me a long hard road trip hammering away at my back. I heard prices being quoted to several others while I was there, and they were getting hit with prices around the $700 to $900 price range....as the 'gals' there talked people into scratch resistant lenses, room darkening, higher end frames, extra warranties, etc.

The gal who sold me the $35.00 frames told me they didn't come with a warranty...and I told her, I've had glasses since I've been in the 6th grade (I'm 54 now), and in all that time, I've never had to have warranty work, or even any thing other than a few screws replaced [which I did myself] in any of my frames.
How anyone would pay $50.00 or so for a few more years of warranty on frames that already came with like a year warranty... I just don't know.

Anyway... I can't wait for the glasses to come in. I've been needing some now for about the last 4 years...and this pair is 6 years old, so they have also collected minor scuffs and very slight discoloration spots/dots on the plastic lenses where things like house paint has splattered on them, or hot grease hit them from cooking over the years.

Stormy
 

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What is the usual recovery time for this kind of surgery? It sounds like AU's continuing to make steady improvement. I expect that he will continue to engage with you more as his physical condition improves.

Congrats on the new glasses! I hear you about optical shops up-charging customers. Apparently, almost all eyeglasses, no matter the brand, are produced by the same manufacturer. I remember an expose on 60 Minutes a few years ago.
 

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Stormy, sounds like you and AU are on the right track. Trust takes time to build, but happens. Its got to be such a relief to know, that now he will only get better, and the pain will diminish to nothing. If only we had a common language with them, so we could explain it to them, if only!!!!!! They do get pretty good at communicating with us. Samantha is nine years old, and she can definitely get her message, and what she wants us to do for her, across to us, pretty well, but there are of course some details that are omitted.

Sounds like you did well with your glasses. They are outrageously expensive, I have worn them since I was about 10 years old, and I'm quite a bit older than you. I don't know exactly where you are, but if you could get to a Costco, I know lots of folks that have saved a lot of money dealing with Costco for their exams, as well as frames and lenses, and are happy with the end product. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #136
@SusanLynn -- From what I understand, some dogs are moving rather normally after about 6 months. I would love to see AU come out of this with a normal back leg movement... he's been bunny hopping so much I dread it could become a habit. But then in the last few days, I have seen him take 3 or 4 normal steps...but only when moving really really slow. He also at times, seems to be experiencing very little pain and can move very fast in a bunny hop. But I worry he's going to tumble into a front roll. Due to his bunny hop, his back is arched a bit and his head is down for balance...so he always looks like he's going to just do a sommersault at the slightest misstep.

I've been needing new glasses for like 4 years now. I'm ok, at least for driving in them... I wouldn't be able to read a drive through menu billboard though...lol. It's the closer stuff I'm having issues with, and I also have a very slight double vision due to astigmatism... so like letters... I will see a 'shadow' letter just slightly higher and to the right...and that is also what makes words appear blurry.
@Laco. It sounds like Samantha has giving you, your own fair share of grey hairs over the years. I just hate it when my pets are hurting. I would rather take on their pain myself than see them have to deal with it. As mentioned, they just don't understand it all...just that they hurt.

BTW, I took AU downtown again today. I went into the thrift shop, looking for a very small light weight aluminum pan to use in my old smoker...I haven't used it in like 14 years...until recently. I lost the original wood chips pan a long time ago, and have a pan there now, but it's so thick, I think the wood chips are taking too long to start smoking.

Anyway... I didn't find a pan, but AU got a white teddy bear from the stuffed animal bin. He was so happy, wagging his tail and slightly shaking it as we walked up the counter. While standing there and waiting our turn...this lady got in the kind of sloppy line, (more like a cluster...with people knowing who's next)... she was standing more next to me than behind me.

She goes, "oh... he's got a new baby...' and then she reached down and took it from AU and squeezed the teddy a few times. On it's belly it said 'squeeze me' It had a squawk box it, but when I tested it, it didn't work. This lady squeezed it, then looked it over and gave it back to AU.

I was kind of startled by that... No Way would I ever take anything from a dog without first asking the owner if it was ok...given some dogs resource guard.
The lady then looked at me and said.. "I thought I better check it to make sure there wasn't anything he could choke on....like plastic eyes or that noise box having a battery in it." Apparently she was looking for a zipper in the toy...in case the squawk box was battery powered.

Thing is.. I did all of that before I gave the teddy bear to AU. She wasn't in any danger with AU, and no harm was done, but I thought she should have just asked me first. I did say, "yeah, I checked it out before I chose it for him' She said, "oh good... so many owners don't do that, and I always worry about their dogs'

I'm just glad she didn't flip AU over and inspect his hips and neutered area...lol...just to make sure all that shaved hair was like that for a good reason. :p

Meet all types when one takes their dog out...lol.

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What does your Vet say about his bunny hop? If he is starting to take normal steps, even if just a few at a time, that seems to me to be a good sign. Hopefully he will slowly increase the number of normal steps, until that becomes how he walks.
As for Samantha, she probably has contributed to some grey hair formation, but my hair is the same all white color as hers, and has been for years, so no one would notice anyway. She gives us so much, anything she needs is more than worth it. At nine, she is, as our Vet says, as healthy a nine year old as he has seen. My wife and I are committed to doing everything possible to maintain that status for absolutely as long as possible.
 

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I'm glad he's doing better. I agree that since he's starting to walk a little it's hopefully a good sign and he'll stop the bunny hopping as he gets stronger and recuperates better with time.
That woman wasn't very smart lol. It only took me once being bitten in the dog park to learn to never take anything from a dog unless the owner says it's ok. The dog had stolen my dog's favorite squeaky ball and his owner had taken the ball without issue many times. I wasn't even taking it from him I don't think. My dog might have stolen it back and dropped it at my feet and when I was picking it up the other dog ran over and grabbed it and bit me. Left a mark. I wasn't impressed.

It's amazing how people in public just don't listen. They will go to my dog take his face in his hands, stare him in the eyes, hover right over him and try to kiss him on the mouth. Worst threatening body language ever. After I say don't pet him on top of the head, he hates it, pet him on the back or behind the ears only. Complete idiots. Then they get mad when I physically intervene and tell them that's the best way to get bitten by a strange dog. They start arguing and I say ok leave the dog alone then, no petting if you won't listen. He doesn't bite but he used to bark with confrontational body language like that. He could care less about taking a toy from him though.

AU is very good to put up with her taking his new toy away! You're very patient too, I would have said something confrontational to her about minding her own business and she's lucky he doesn't bite. The next time she does that she might get bitten and then the poor dog will suffer.
 

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Laco, for a very long time, I had pegged you as a young woman (LOL!). Maybe I was projecting Samantha's daintiness onto you.

Stormy, has AU's vet recommended any physical therapy? Perhaps there are some techniques that you can learn and apply.
 

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My dog Miles is both blind and hard-of-hearing. He's also arthritic, so I'm very careful about limiting his interactions now, both with dogs and people. A few months ago, he snapped at a small child who was trying to pet him. After that, I became even more pro-active about letting anyone or their dog approach him. It helps that he wears a halo when we go on walks.
 
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