Sunday, December 10, 2017

Maddy's Progress!

Yesterday was a big day because Maddy had her stitches removed!  We had an appointment first thing in the morning, and we were already in the car on our way when we received a phone call because the Leesburg office was closed due to the snow.  Luckily, the Rockville office was open and they were able to fit us in.  The neurologist was very pleased with her progress – the physical exam went very well and she watched Maddy walk around with no indication of limping or discomfort of any kind.  Yay!  She's still on restricted activity for another four weeks, but she has finished all of her medications and is looking SO GOOD!

When we learned less than a month ago that Maddy had ruptured disks and would need spinal surgery, we worried that she might not survive the surgery, or if she did, she would be left paralyzed.  Looking at her now, we realize just how lucky we are.  We are incredibly thankful for the expertise of the surgeon and the wonderful care Maddy received before and after her surgery.

If you've read my other dog-related posts over the years, you might suspect who we are most grateful for…my mom.  She has come to our house at the crack of dawn every day while we've gone to work to care for Maddy.  What started as a cute nickname – Fairy Dogmother – has proven time and time again to be the most accurate title for her!  She is THE BEST!  I absolutely attribute Maddy's outstanding progress to my mom's care.  I love my mom more than words!  Thanks, Mom, for always being there for us!!!

Day 6 after surgery

Maddy is definitely starting to resemble
Sparky from Frankenweenie...
and both are completely adorable!

Maddy got a get well card from one of her favorite humans on earth!

And also treats from our godkids!

Getting better every day!

Playing with her new toys!

This face <3

This is what she does while we're at work!

I guess she's waiting for Santa!

I bought these ears for a trip to Disneyland we had scheduled for December 8-11...
we canceled the trip when Maddy had to have surgery.
This photo is the next best thing!
She sat so patiently while I balanced them on her head!
Her last night with her stitches in!

At the vet!

Right before the stitches were removed!

Someone is excited!

Maddy happy to be done with her appointment...
and sitting on Ginny in the car!
Looking awesome!

So proud of this girl!

Happy Tails to you!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lovely Lyrics: Remember Me

Last night, our veterinary office held its annual Remembrance Ceremony.  My mom and I went together while C stayed home to take care of Maddy; I went to honor Sadie and my mom went to honor Carmen.

It is always a special event and sharing stories with other grieving pet parents somehow helps to ease the sadness.  Sadie was such a wonderful little dog and while talking about her certainly made me cry, it also helped remind me of just how fabulous she was.  As with the previous ceremonies we've attended (2010 & 2014 and 2015), they created a slide show of photos of everyone's pets, which played throughout the evening.  What a moving tribute to all of those adorable, dearly loved and missed creatures!  At the conclusion of the ceremony, we took ornaments with our pets' names on them out to the memorial park at the veterinary office and hung them on a tree.  Honestly, this is the greatest veterinary practice ever...such a small, but meaningful gesture!

C and I saw "Coco" on November 21, and without giving anything away, it was an AMAZING movie…perhaps my second favorite movie of all time.  So beautiful, so moving…and I have been listening to the soundtrack nonstop since.  I took my mom to see it a few days later and I loved it even more the second time!

The main song is entitled "Remember Me" and it is beyond enchanting, both in its message and in its melody.  It seemed like a perfect "Lovely Lyrics" post because it pairs so nicely with the Remembrance Ceremony.

Remember Me
from Coco

Remember me
Though I have to say goodbye
Remember me
Don't let it make you cry
For even if I'm far away I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart

Remember me
Though I have to travel far
Remember me
Each time you hear a sad guitar
Know that I'm with you the only way that I can be
Until you're in my arms again
Remember me

Music and Lyrics by
Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez


Happy Tails to you!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Maddy's Second Surgery

As I wrote in my last post, our little Maddy had to have surgery the day after Thanksgiving.  When we arrived, there was a welcome sign for Maddy in the room, which is something we find completely adorable!

Drop off...time for surgery!

So cute!

On the wall in the office...these are my kind of people!

We dropped her off at 7:30 am and the vet went over everything with us before we left.  One thing that surprised us was that she told us she'd be going in through the front of Maddy's neck to get to her spine and deal with the ruptured disks!

To say we were worried about this surgery is an understatement.  Maddy JUST had surgery three months ago to remove her spleen.  And you may recall that her post-surgery recovery was not great.  Although my dad is a surgeon and people have surgery all the time, it is still scary.  And things can go wrong.  And the idea of Maddy's neck being opened up was beyond frightening.  I don't know why that seemed so much more terrifying than if they'd gone in through the back of her neck; I think because we'd been through back surgery in 2014 with Ginny, I feel like I would have known what to expect if the incision was on her back.

Watching the tech carry Maddy away was a very sad moment.  While we had complete confidence in the expertise of the vet, I could not help but think, "Please don't let this be the last time we see that happy tail."

When we got back in the car without her, Ginny could not understand what was happening.  For the entire ride home (almost an hour), she just slept in a bed in the backseat and refused to look up at me when I called her name...and this is a dog who barks when a leaf flutters by.  She was subdued and sad the remainder of the day; you really can't tell me dogs don't experience the same emotions we do because I've seen it repeatedly in these kinds of situations and it is so heartbreaking!

In the car after the drop off - depressed and actively ignoring me.

Friday - depressed and sleeping in my hair up on the back of the couch behind me.

Friday - she was so sad.

The vet called at 4:00 that afternoon to give us an update and the news was very, very good!  The actual surgery – removing the problematic disk material – went better than we could have hoped for, and Maddy herself had done exceptionally well and was awake and moving around and eating and drinking on her own.  This was fabulous to hear, as it had been a very long eight hours of waiting!  In fact, she'd pulled the catheter out of her paw a couple of times and they decided that they would stop putting it back in, meaning she wouldn't be getting any fluids or medications intravenously.  Maddy is generally very sweet and happy, but she is also pretty stubborn (classic Dachshund), so her obstinate behavior made us laugh and believe that she was feeling ok if she was being such a troublemaker.

The vet said Maddy was doing so well that she considered sending her home that day.  THAT DAY!  But just to be safe, she decided to keep her overnight for monitoring.  Frankly, as much as we wanted to drive straight there and bring her home, we preferred that they keep an eye on her for one night.  You may recall that when she had her spleen removed in August, the update right after the surgery was very positive.  And then the next morning, things were awful and she ended up spending two additional nights in the hospital.  So we were thrilled to hear she was doing well, but also restrained in our relief until she made it through the night.

Yesterday morning, the vet called at 8 am and said things looked great and that Maddy was a rock star and she asked if we could be there at 10 am to pick her up.  When we told Ginny we were going to get Maddy, she could not have run to the door more quickly!

Right before we went in to get Maddy - such anticipation!

When we arrived, we had to go over her discharge paperwork and medications/restrictions, and then the awesome tech went in the back and brought Maddy out to us.  What a happy reunion!  As we were checking out, the vet came out to chat for a moment and we could not thank her enough for her skill and care.

Our exceptional neurologist & surgeon - note Maddy's happy tail!

When we put Maddy in the car, she crawled over to Ginny to be beside her and she put her paw on top of Ginny's paw and they stayed that way for the entire ride home – holding hands.  I thought my heart might explode.

I have no words. <3

Once we got home, we let Maddy walk around a little bit and hang out in her bed in the kitchen for a short time, but she is on strict restrictions in terms of activity for the next four weeks, so she has to spend a lot of time in the playpen we have from when Ginny had back surgery.  She does not like it one bit.  We had her sit with us on the couch when we could, but she must spend as much time as possible in the playpen, at least for a couple of weeks so that she doesn't walk around or re-injure herself, and as you can see in the photos, she was highly annoyed being in there.  I slept on the couch beside her last night, and she spent about 20 minutes digging and scratching and trying to get out of there before finally surrendering and going to sleep (did I mention that she's stubborn?).  I suspect it's going to be a long recovery as we try to keep her as still as possible because it's clear that she is feeling much better!

Recovering is hard work!

"What is happening?!?"

"Why am I in here?"

"I know you can see me - get me out of here!"

"How dare you?"

Here's a photo of her incision; we think it looks amazing and her sutures will come out in two weeks.  I know she's our dog and that makes me biased, but honestly, what a badass this little dog is!  So proud of her and very hopeful that as the incision heals, the pain and discomfort she's been experiencing will all but disappear!

She is one tough little dog!

Happy Tails to you!