Sam Update: Back to the Orthopedic Specialist

Not too long ago I proclaimed that Sam had gone a full year without a major medical event.  When I made that hesitantly bold (not an oxymoron) statement I then asked that everyone knock on wood in an attempt to not anger the fates that clearly have it in for beagles.  Well, it looks like some of you clearly skimmed that bit and shirked your wood knocking duties.  Nosirree, you just couldn’t be bothered to tap on something wooden.  I suppose I can’t prove you’re to blame, so I might let you slide.  It could also be that I didn’t go big enough on my request.  I asked that Sam have one year of being medical event free when I should have asked for something more like “one year and a day” or maybe “TWO years”.

About a week ago, Sam had to be rushed to the vet.  I’ll spare you the details.  Suffice it to say it was kind of gross and she was in a great deal of pain.  When she got home, she just collapsed on the floor exhausted from a really bad vet visit.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that this would be Sam’s big thing for this year and the rest of the year would continue on quietly.

I couldn’t be that lucky. Tomorrow she gets to head back to the orthopedic surgeon to be examined (as a precaution). While I love and trust my vet, I love and trust my orthopedic vet that much more.  With Sam it’s just better to go big from the beginning.  Right now, Sam can’t stand without whimpering.  Stairs are out of the question and we’re back to carrying her into the backyard.  I also discovered that her trusty harness causes her pain when I lift her.  All of this adds up to me being hyper-concerned and going back to the land where I become insane.  Best case scenario is that her arthritis is flaring up thanks to the humidity, but the world I live in isn’t about the “best case” so I’m preparing for the worst.  (I have some first-rate martyrs in my family; genetics demand that I don’t let them down.)

So, if you wouldn’t mind, send some positive beagle energy Sam’s way.  She could use it.  I’ll do my part and ask that Sam be incredibly healthy for the next 5 years.

Sam’s Week: I’m Insane(er)


Originally uploaded by Big Blue Mess

It finally happened, Sam’s knee went out again and my stomach landed around my ankles. I called the surgeon’s office, had Jay drop her off the next day and then waited and waited to find out what happened. My work day ended with no news so I ended up calling the vet’s and asking if I could freak out over there. Fortunately, when I called the surgeon was out of her surgeries and was in the process of examining Sam.

I arrived and waited while listening to the sounds of Animal Planet on a big screen TV and wondering who the woman with the crazed looking poodle was in all the photographs and why this one photo warranted five gigantic copies spread throughout the lobby. Surely, someone else there has a pet? Dr. Caplan came out (bad sign – this is how the bad news always comes) while I was mid wall, floor, plant contemplation and calmly sat near me to break the news.

“I don’t see anything wrong with Sam.”

Great, another few thousand. How do we fix that?

“I performed all my tests and both knees are stable.”

So, I’ll drop her off Tuesday, they’ll keep Sam overnight to help her manage pain and I guess we’re back to isolating her for another 6-8 weeks. Wonderful.

“If anything, the left knee seems to be even more stable.”

I wonder what she’s talking about. And as the words settled in, I finally just let my crazy hang out there as I questioned away. Questions like: Are you sure? Her knee seems stable? The leg doesn’t look wobbly? You’re sure? When you say you performed your tests on each leg, did you mean you did this left one? Uh huh. And you looked at the left one? Are you sure? I think I’m crazy. Do you think I’m crazy? You don’t think I’m crazy? I really think this year has made me crazy. Yes. I’m crazy. I’ve really gone crazy.

At this point Sam came through the door, I looked up as I heard her familiar padding across their tile and we caught each other’s eyes at the same time. Sam let out the biggest wail – articulating beautifully what a horrible day it had been.

The vet’s assistant brought Sam over and I subtlely confirmed that she had examined this dog. What about the left leg? Maybe I’m crazy. You saw this dog right here?

Dr. Caplan said, and I think I may absolutely love her for this, “I don’t think you’re crazy. You may be seeing things I don’t see, you’re around her all the time so just monitor her. I’ll be happy to see her again whenever you need me to. One of the vets has offered to scope her knee for free and scrape off any meniscal tears or remove the knot if that’s causing her trouble. You’re not crazy.”

Wrapped in fresh reassurances, Sam and I headed home.

I’m pretty sure as the doors closed behind us, I could hear the staff saying, “wow, that woman was NUTS!” Sorry guys, I am.

Day 5: Toe Touches

Anyone whose had major surgery or knows someone (or some pet) that has had major surgery understands that the days are made up of little victories.  For Sam, that’s toe touches.  Why is it a big deal?  Because Sam went over a week after her last surgery without trying to put her leg down.  The optimist that I am (family trait) went around solemnly predicting that she would never use that leg again.   When I left the surgeon’s office the first time, I had a little script of what would happen and by week two I was supposed to be allowed to walk her up and down inclines, down the street and back and the reality was that Sam could only hop about slowly – no interest in putting her leg down.  Inclines and mini-walks were out of the question.  I remember calling the surgeon’s staff who were not appropriately distressed and they tersely promised to readdress the problem if she wasn’t touching her toe to the ground by the time she had her sutures removed.  (This is where I needed some snugs and cuddles – reassurance that Sam was on her own schedule and not some vet assigned script.)

This morning, I carried Sam down the back stairs and plopped her onto the grass.  Sam disapproved of the spot, eye-balled me and indicated we were going some place WAY better – better grass, better view of the neighbors, nicer smells, etc.  As she hopped along, I noticed that every few hops her paw would come down to propel her forward.  Now, I’m not too surprised she’s progressing more rapidly with this paw for a couple of reasons:  1) She’s been using that leg to brace herself on the ground when she potties (something she did not do post-surgery on the other paw) and 2) I think it’s her favorite leg.  No really.  You’re right-handed (well, not you – I know you’re left-handed) and Sam is rear left-pawed (which would make her right front-brained?)

Hooray for small paw victories!  Just a week and a half from doggie rehab (balance boards, water treadmills and doggie massages).

Day 2: A Look Back at Day 1

Hodi Surveys her Prey

Yesterday, I created a Sam cave, which is one of her favorite things (behind food and food) by throwing a blanket over her crate. Sam finally fell asleep after the harrowing drive from the surgeons office involving pouring rain and a few misjudged hairpin turns.

Once things started resembling normal (normal circa mid January), it occurred to  Hodi that entirely too much focus was on the dog and it was her turn to grab some much needed attention. After a few pissy minutes she leapt away from me onto Sam’s tent that covered her VERY OPEN crate and came crashing down on a VERY NEWLY SUTURED knee and Sam’s back – 14 pounds of pissy fur scrambling around without an exit strategy.

Sam leapt up screaming. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a dog scream, but it’s up there with the top awful sounds in this world. I leapt up screaming (not so awful or even terrifying, but protesting the injustice along with Sam). Meanwhile, Hodi leapt around Sam’s cage trying to figure out what went wrong and how the heck to get out. A few mis-jumps later and I had the door open, which took about two seconds. Hodi flew into the bedroom to lay low until things calmed down in the living room.

Half an hour of reassuring pats later, Sam finally went back to sleep sans the cool of her dark cave.

Have I mentioned that I really dig week 6 more?  That’s the week where I have a four legged dog not drugged out of her wee mind who is a little post-rehab powerhouse.  (That’s also when I’ve had several weeks where I have had more than a few hours of sleep.)

Day 1: The Continuing Saga of Sam & Some Bum Knees

Blinking in the Sun

Originally uploaded by Big Blue Mess

Deja-extracapsular repair, Beagle-philes! Here we are again. Sam just came home after tearing the CCL on her left knee and is sacked out in her crate, which I parked next to me.
Our girl can’t seem to catch a break. Our vet claims that fate brought her to loving parents who would take care of her. I corrected him and told him she refers to us as “marks”.

So, let me fast forward past the part where I realized her knee was torn and nearly threw-up. The realization occurred seconds after I desperately tried to talk myself into a denial period. Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t having it – mostly because her femur was sliding all over the place. Trust me when I say it wasn’t a pretty site. Plus, Jay knew and wasn’t about to play into my delusion.

The week’s whirlwind: We got her to our vet on Tuesday, they called our surgeon and scheduled an appointment for Wednesday, the surgeon operated on Thursday and after being monitored closely post-surgery, I got to bring her home today.

The positives (look, I need to make the list to help me make it through another six weeks – bear with me):

  • Everything got taken care of quickly – she was diagnosed and two days later she had a new knee.
  • We have all of the equipment – the harness, the rolling crate, etc.
  • Sam is a couple of weeks away from rehab, where she thrived the last time around.
  • We know we may survive round two based off the last time.
  • We’re now smarter about things: rub her ankle post surgery for swelling, the cone CAN come off if we’re watching her closely.
  • Sam is now 8 lbs lighter – a better starting point.


  • She’s still REALLY cute. Best dog ever.

Ok, I’m out of positives.

This is the absolute limit of my bandwidth. My patience has bottomed out. And if you see me smiling, know that it’s how I’m holding the chicken little side of me back. Personally, I’d like to go around screaming at the top of my lungs about the status of the sky for no good reason, then run in and hole up in the safety and darkness of my bedroom with Sam.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Day 1.

Post CCL Surgery: A Beagle’s Story

Three months after Sam’s surgery for her torn CCL and I’m here to report that all involved survived.  Sam walks, runs, plays, hops and dances.  She may need to stretch a bit, before bounding out the door, but overall she is looking good.

I’m basically going to evangelize a bit to those thinking about surgery for ligament tears, because it all can seem rather overwhelming and I’ve known people who have put their pet down rather than think of them being crated for 8 weeks.  While that isn’t my first choice, I’m not going to fault them for it.

First off, it’s expensive.   We chose to go with a vet who specializes in this kind of surgery after consulting with a good friend who happens to be a DVM.  She convinced us that while our regular vet would probably do a fine job, there would be a smaller chance that Sam would encounter any post-surgical problems, since these vets do this type of surgery regularly.  The thought of opening Sam’s knee up more than once was enough to convince me this was the way to go.  We’ve learned early on that if anything can go wrong with Sam, it absolutely will.  The vet she helped me choose, and the one whom I highly recommend if you’re in the Austin, TX area, is Dr. Elaine Caplan at Capital Area Vet Specialists.  In order to see Dr. Caplan, you do need a referral and our vet provided us with one.  In going back through Sam’s medical history in preparation for meeting with Dr. Caplan, I discovered she was also one of our contacts when Sam had to see a local neurologist.   Yes, our girl is special.  Now, taking Sam to see the specialist was more expensive than what we would have paid if we had our vet perform the surgery.  Personally, the increase was not cost prohibitive, and we both felt like the extra was worth it.

As for the expense, I did see that there are groups who specialize in loans for veterinary services.   The one listed on the Capital Area Vet Specialist site is Care Credit.  It seems like something we might use in the future should Sam develop any more serious health problems.  Hopefully, the worst is over, but with Sam we always knock-on-wood as soon as the thought flits through our heads.

Some key things that helped us along the way:

  • Crate Training – Sam came crate trained, so getting Sam in and out of a crate was never an issue.  During the 6 weeks she was crated 24/7, she would go in willingly with little to no fuss.  The crate we purchased was the Richell Wood Mobile Pet Pen.  I like it for a several reasons – 1) Mobility – we could roll Sam with us from room to room – as a pack animal and more importantly as an animal who suffers from separation anxiety, it was important to be able to keep her near us. 2) The top of the crate came off – this meant we could reach in and pet Sam and she didn’t seem to feel caged.  By week 4, she could take some weight on her knee so keeping her from jumping presented a challenge at times.  3) The product came with some great reviews and I have not been disappointed with it.  In fact, it’s now Sam’s crate when we leave the house.  We use the other for travelling. (Side note: the vet did ok Sam being out of the crate and in small confined spaces, so we’d let her out in the computer room or create a small area in the living room where we’d sit with her.)
  • Rehab – Dr. Caplan recommended we take Sam at least once.  She felt that would get Sam started off on the right paw.  We ended up taking her once a week for about 5-6 weeks and also purchased a rocking board to help strengthen her legs as well as a round ball after watching the rehab specialist show us how to properly use the tools.  While in therapy, Sam used the underwater treadmill.
  • Ruff Wear’s Web Master Harness – We have stairs all around us – even rehab was up a flight of stairs (don’t get me started) and this tool helped us get Sam up and down those stairs, over curbs and into cars.  The harness, once adjusted, fit snuggly around Sam’s body and she (mostly) didn’t mind being hauled around like luggage, paws dangling.
  • A vet just a phone call away.  Now, not all of you had sleep overs, talked on the phone for hours on end or cried over the wrongs of the universe with your DVM.  In that regard I was lucky and when I had panic attacks, I had someone I knew I could contact immediately or send photos of Sam’s leg to (they’re still on my hard drive, if you’re interested).  BUT the one thing my DVM friend tried to drill through my head is that our local vets were actually here to help and I shouldn’t be hesitant to call if I had questions.  Granted, the surgical techs scared me.  They were very short and didn’t give me all the snugs and cuddles of reassurance I needed when I was freaking out that I was maybe the worst beagle owner ever.

In fact, we had several moments where Sam would yelp and we were 100% positive she was going back into surgery – that the 40# nylon strap that was supposedly anchored to our dogs leg had pulled apart, her femur was splintered, and there were going to be bits of bone popping out at any moment.  (It was THAT kind of yelp and I come from an occasionally overdramatic family, it’s not my fault.)  This was usually followed by calls to snapping surgical techs and hours spent staring at her knee convincing ourselves that it might have swollen a millimeter.  At one point, we took her back in because I was convinced she had torn her other CCL.  I could see the familiar wobbling.  I may have spent a few days also thinking that our local vet, despite x-rays and feeling around on her knee, clearly couldn’t tell what a torn CCL looked like – forget the fact that there was no fluid on the new knee.  (See, the seriousness of it all can make you a special kind of crazy.  I’ve heard you can be prone to posting that craziness on your blog only to have to take it down later, because you’ve lost your little mind – so its been said.)

To wrap it all up – Sam survived, she’s doing great, she hasn’t been scarred (emotionally) for life.  She hops into her crate when we leave (so no crate trauma after her 6 week confinement).  Runs around the backyard.  Jumps at the smell of food.   If you look at the photo above, you can see her leg looks great and most of her hair has grown back.

All the heartaches, the tears, and the expenses were completely worth it.

UPDATE: Sam’s left knee went out over the summer and she had a second “Extracapsular Repair”.  You can read about it starting here:  The Continuing Saga of Sam – there are also posts that follow which document the daily/weekly adventures of a recuperating beagle, as well as a few posts prior to this one.  (To find the related entries, just use the “Archives” drop down box on the right and choose January 2010 and July 2010 (near the bottom of that month’s posts).).  They’re not particularly insightful – just one pet owner’s take on all the worries, joys, etc.

UPDATE 10/26/2014:  Sam is now 11 and its been about 4 years since her knee surgeries. The report is she’s still doing great. She does have some arthritis in her hips and around her lower spine, but thankfully this rarely flairs up and when it does it can be easily controlled with Rimadyl.  Sam still bounds around like a nut and spins in circles when it comes to food, which is a great testament to the surgeries.  Choosing CCL surgery can be a very hard decision for people to make in large part due to the costs involved. We were very lucky to be in a position to do that and she was well worth it.  Her quality of life immediately improved.  I know in our area there are some veterinary surgeons who are very aware of this issue and provide services at a discounted cost.  If the price tag is too high, you may ask your vet and generally ask around to see if there is a cheaper option. There are also an assortment of crowd funding sites that you might be able to use use to see if your friends/family could help offset some of that cost.  Of course, sometimes it’s hard to ask, although I think asking for help is becoming a bit more common.  Hey, if someone can ask for you to fund their trip to NYC, why can’t you ask for help with your beloved pet? 🙂

UPDATE 5/1/2017: Sam is now 14, and it’s been 7 years since her knee surgeries. The report now is that she’s an old lady – a little addled, a little fussy at times, and the arthritis in her hips and knees gets to her more.  She has good days and bad. In the last year and a half we’ve introduced a vet who specializes as a chiropractor/acupuncturist.  Normally, I would not be the kind of person who would go for this, but Sam’s neck had gotten so bad she couldn’t move, was in constant pain, and when she attempted to walk she’d fall over; it was horrifying to watch.  Our vet told us, “we’ve taken her as far as Western medicine can go,” and recommended we at least try this alternative.  My husband was in, I wasn’t, but I was willing to try anything versus facing the alternative.  It took a few weeks and a lot of visits, but Sam got to where she could walk, run, and dance around.  She still needs to do exercises to help with her hips, but these treatments have made a huge difference in her quality of life.  Now the vet sees her every few months vs. a couple of times a week when we started.  Since dogs aren’t affected by the placebo effect, and she had zero expectations from being poked and forced to sit still would do anything to make her believe she’d be better, I am sold on this treatment. She’s not 100%, but most days she’s happy, and toddles around occasionally chasing the cat who has decided she’s the best thing ever.  He likes to lay as close as possible to her, then extend his paw to try and touch her.  I think he may even be growing on her a bit.

UPDATE on Meds: In re-reading this entry, since it’s one of the more popular ones on my site, I wanted to make an update on Sam’s medications.

Sam took a glucosamine supplement daily (Dasuquin), which once it was in her system there was noticeable improvement in how she felt. She moved much easier, and seemed less achey. While our vet did have her on Rimadyl, and later Tramadol. she eventually switched Sam to Gabopentin. The vet said more research had been done on Tramadol, and stated it did less for pain than previously thought (it’s a great anti-inflammatory), thus the move to the newer drug.  Rimadyl can have long term effects for your dog, but it’s sometimes a balancing act between your dog being pain free, and shortening their lives. Definitely talk to your vet. Since the switch to Gabopentin happened closer to Sam’s end-of-life, I cannot tell you if it helped. I think it did. I certainly hope it did, because seeing her in pain always hurt my heart.  Talk to your vet about all your options – what worked for Sam may not work as well for your pet.

UPDATE 7/17/2017: On this day I said goodbye to a funny little old lady. She was beautiful, goofy, and had the biggest heart (and a ton of patience and love for someone as undeserving as me).  I miss her daily, and I hope that if there is an afterlife my husband was there to scoop her up, and give her one of those hugs she wasn’t keen on.  Here is the link to my goodbye to my beautiful girl.

The Chronicles of Sam: Week Two – Milestones

I know you’ve been waiting around all week hoping for the latest Sam update and you’re in luck. I know! How exciting! (We all know “shut up about the dog already” is actually just a thinly veiled plea for more beagle news. It’s “code”. I have it on the best authority. Mine.)

This week Sam lost the cone, lost her stitches and went for a walk on an underwater treadmill. Of course, for Sam the most important thing she got to do after cone (AC) was scratch every little bit of itchy face and ear that she could convince one beat up leg to scratch. This occasionally involved pitifully just waving the beat up leg past the spot, but it counted. See, her humans completely failed to properly address certain itches appropriately over the last couple of weeks and she grew a little frustrated because she hasn’t quite figured out how to vocalize, “ok, just a little to the left, no there, there, OMG THERE! SHEESH you lame monkeys with your opposable thumbs think you’re soooo smart and you can’t even figure out LEFT” (she can really hurt a person’s feelings when she puts her mind to it – like I would hold the whole opposable thing over her head or hover it over a door handle or a food container latch – I try to keep the opposable thumb thing eye level – I mean, she’s short, to do otherwise would be cruel). The next thing she did – dig up all of her crate blankets (four of them), throw them over her head and sit there looking at me with the blanket at a rakish angle across her face. This is the “I have BLANKETS! How cute am I?” trick and let’s face it, she looked terribly cute. It doesn’t score food, which is always her fondest hope, but hey, it was worth a shot.

The report from the vet is that she’s looking good – her knee is “crunchy” due some arthritis in her knees, but in this case “crunchy” isn’t necessarily bad. Her rehab gal measured her and declared she has skinny back legs, but they’re mostly the same size and while she’s not at an ideal weight, she’s not as out of control as one snarky surgical tech would have you believe. The rehab gal then walked us through strengthening Sam’s legs using a balance board (we’re now the proud owners of our very own) and ended the first rehab session by placing Sam on a smiley face bouncy ball and bouncing her. Let’s just say watching Sam dangle her paws over a gigantic yellow smiley face with her eyes half closed and panting almost made me laugh. This particular “exercise” allowed Sam to loosen up her back (after getting around on three legs and torqueing your spine, you need a way to just let go) and as a bonus each bounce comes with a back rub. The “exercise” also seemed to make Sam exceptionally happy; you could practically see the hearts pulsating from her eyes for the rehab gal. Our goal this weekend is to get our very own bouncy ball (may it be a smiley face) so she can adore her jailers just as much (“sure, we don’t let you run around, but hey we have a bouncy ball! LOVE US!”)

Sam is now a pro at “go to your room” and willingly bounds (err… more like gently hobbles, but you get the idea) into her crate. I really think having a mobile crate that allows us to haul her around from room to room makes all the difference to her being ok with the lengthy stays in there. We leave the top of the crate off for easy access to petting and puppy head kisses (I’m sure she’s mortified – I even do this in public in front of her friends) and again, I think that helps things be ok for her. Not having the crate top on hasn’t presented a problem since she can’t leap out and quite frankly she hasn’t shown any interest in trying that. She’s even gotten so that she’ll prep for zooming around the house by facing forward and sitting very still. I swear she tries encourage me to run over the cats who love to act as feline obstacles in the hallways. (This worked so well for them when she was ambulatory and now they’re not quite sure how to impede her now that Sam has wheels.)

As week three begins, my hope is that the rest of the weeks normalize to the point I can comfortably come back and report that eight uneventful weeks have passed and our dog is reasonably normal and roaming the house. This, of course, means that I will have to find a new topic. Gads!

The Sam Chronicles: Surgery

As most of you know, today we start the lengthy process of getting our beagle Sam back on track to being the goofy, glad to greet the world, ever-starving, flappy earred mess that we love and adore. Sam recently tore her cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), which is a lot like your ACL – it’s one of two ligaments that stabilizes her leg and, simply put, keeps her bones from shifting in ways they shouldn’t shift.

Last night, the surgeon went in and examined her medial and lateral meniscus for tears (for you science nerds) and made the determination on how to address any that were seen, then they basically attached a piece of nylon that went from her femur (that nice big fat thigh bone) to her tibia (her shin for all practical purposes). This nylon cord will act as her new CCL where scar tissue will form around it and her knee will then become more stable. (Ang, if you’re reading and I screwed up the basics or if you have any recommendations on how to better explain, let me know and I’ll update.)

In about an hour, I’ll call and find out when I can meet with the surgical technician so we can talk about our next steps. From there, I can bring one very sleepy beagle with a naked leg and a head in a cone home. Jay put together a new crate for her that’s on wheels – since dogs are pack animals, she’ll get to ride all over the house with the pack doubtlessly wondering where I learned to drive and cursing the person who didn’t demand that crate pushers be licensed.

A huge thanks to her vet, Dr. Julien (and all the vets/staff in our little home town – they’re a great group of folks) and her surgeon, Dr. Caplan. When I left Sam at Dr. Caplan’s surgical center, I felt that she was not only in great hands and they were going to carefully monitor Sam through her recovery, but at the end of the end of the day we wouldn’t actually have sucked Sam’s soul out. (Soul sucking is a huge issue with me, because as most of you know, we adopted a pretty special girl who has her own issues. I really wish I’d known her previous owners so I could quite simply ask “what the fuck?”) An even bigger thanks to Dr. Glasgow, who will always be Ang to me. From California, Ang helped me find the best of the best here in Austin and then spoke to her colleagues who happened to by friends with our surgeon (sychronicity) and who also spoke rather highly of her.

I have been very fortunate that I’m surrounded by very talented friends who excel in their chosen fields and thank GOD they have no taste in friends and occasionally slum so I can pick their brains for information.

… and that’s all you’re getting of “sane” me for awhile. Next up, a rant! My favorite!

Sam Update: The Beginning of the CCL Saga

Well, it’s the crack of dawn and I’m wide awake so instead of tossing and turning or drinking warm milk, I thought “what the hell, I’ll poke the Big Blue Mess”. Plus, warm milk just sounds gross. I mean, does that really make you fall asleep or does your body throw up a white flag and offer a truce, “you stop drinking that and I promise to make more seratonin”?

Anyway, this is mostly for Charla and mostly an update on Sam.

Sam, our little special needs beagle, just can’t seem to catch a break. We noticed her limping last week and after she spent 24 hours limping and had the pads of her paw checked more times than she’d care to, I took her to the vet. The good news is she has a tear in her crutiate ligament. The reason that qualifies as “good” is that it could have been completely torn. The bad news is that we’re supposed to keep her confined 24/7 for a week in her crate. I don’t know how many of you have tried to keep a special needs beagle confined for any amount of time, but it’s about the most miserable thing you can do. As hard as we try, Sam doesn’t quite have the vocabulary for “you’re injured and you need pet bed rest” – her vocabulary is limited to “uh uh”, “cookie” (which is a dog biscuit), “outside” and “go to your room” (aka the crate)” I suppose we can work on “you need your bed rest”, but I’m already having my doubts as to how well that will work.

What I got to aid us along are dog sedatives, which are just like dog placebos except Sam naps for about an hour before deciding some things are just too exciting to let a little tranquilizer hold her down. – like food. (And as an aside, she’s added a few new items to her food favorites – lettuce spines, green beans and homemade uncooked spinach basil garlic pasta that explodes all over the kitchen when you open the wrapper. Of course, broccoli is still disgusting and inedible – it’s up there with medicine, because it fails her refined “is it as good as poop” litmus test.)

On Wednesday she heads back to the vet to see if there has been any improvement on the tear. There will doubtlessly be a lecture on how we failed to keep her confined and her healing progressing much more slowly thanks to bad parents. Thankfully, Jay is taking her in. Of course, I personally think we should get a few kudos, because we mostly keep her bouncing in check (yay sedatives), which is quite the feat if you know Sam.

Anyway, that’s kind of the Sam update. I suppose I’ll see about falling back to sleep. I see a load of caffeine in my future.