it was just another ordinary day at our house, with me working on something in the office when i heard cocoa running down the hall at breakneck speed just burning off some energy like she often does when she gets "the zoomies." i was just chuckling at her silliness when i heard her cry out - really loudly, and more than once, and my heart stopped as i ran out to find her laying on the floor just looking at me for help. i knew she must have jumped up onto the couch and then taken a flying leap off the back and just landed all wrong. i picked her up and held her for a bit while trying to carefully check her out and see if there was any obvious injury. she calmed down pretty quickly, but when i put her down she was avoiding putting any weight on her back right leg.
while the vet didn't have any available appointment times, when i explained what had happened they told me to bring her in and she'd basically be on standby. they'd let the doctor know that she needed to be seen, and he'd come in and check her out between appointments. and so i dropped her off as instructed and then went back home to wait for the phone call to let me know what was happening.
it took a couple of hours, which had poor teddy so confused. he spent the whole time sadly moping around the house and following me everywhere i went, gazing mournfully at me like this:
the vet finally called to let me know that he'd had a chance to take some x-rays and look her over, finding no broken bones which was good news...but the bad news was that she'd managed to completely tear her ACL. yikes. and since it wasn't just a partial tear, that meant surgery. double yikes. poor little cocoa.
their in-house surgeon was fully booked up for the next week, which sucked. and so we went home with pain medication to help her in the meantime. the meds must've worked like a charm, because while she was a little quiet and mopey for a little while she was back to her playful, affectionate self not long after the first dose.
when the day finally came, she had to be at the vet's office by 7:30 - so, pretty much the same time that i'm getting ready to take the bean to school. and so the hub took cocoa while i took the bean to school, and when i got home poor teddy was even more confused at having been left at home by himself. that pretty much never happens, and he spent the rest of the day glued to my side.
i got the call from the vet a couple of hours later to tell me that she was all done, resting comfortably and sleeping off the anesthesia. they were keeping her overnight for observation and then i'd be able to pick her up at noon the next day. i knew she'd need to wear a cone for awhile throughout her recovery period, and since the regular plastic cone just seems horribly uncomfortable i ordered her one of those inflatable donut things to wear around her neck. i brought it when it was time to pick her up and they put it on her for me - and while she seemed happy to see me there she also gave me some serious side eye.
i couldn't help but giggle at her poor little shaved chicken leg.
as it turned out, that donut was pretty ineffective (or she's just a little contortionist) because it turned out that she could still reach around it and get to her stitches. ugh. and so i went to plan b - a regular cone, but at least it was soft and more comfortable looking than the plastic one the vet was going to send her home with. i put it on her upside down, thinking it would be enough to keep her away from her leg.
but once again, that little shit proved me wrong as she looked right at me and then reached around and went at those damn sutures again. and so i ended up having to flip it right side up anyway.
when we went to bed that night, it was cute to see how she and teddy snuggled up together. they don't do this often, but one night apart really seemed to make a difference.
but guess what? the cone still didn't do the job as the first thing i saw when i woke up was her sitting up and gnawing at her knee. UGH. so the hub and i covered it up with some bandages, which worked long enough for me to order her what we dubbed "the super suit." cocoa has never been a fan of wearing clothing of any kind, and this was no different. but OMG, how we laughed and laughed:
i took her back to the vet so that they could look at her knee and determine whether or not they needed to redo the stitches. they took her back and checked her out and decided that she was okay as is, but they sent her home with the knee wrapped up much more nicely than the hub and i had cobbled together with our five-year-old first aid kit. this bandage was very secure and looked much more comfortable, and when covered with the super suit kept her incision nice and safe.
since the hub was at work, it was up to me to put the super suit back on by myself - and my dumb ass managed to do it backwards, so the first time cocoa had to potty she ended up peeing on the damn thing. luckily, i had a backup.
anytime we had to leave, cocoa had to be crated because we couldn't trust her not to run around and jump up and down onto the couch and stuff. she hadn't been crated since she was a puppy, so i wasn't sure how she'd take it - not to mention, we had to use june's crate and i didn't know if she was going to smell june in there and be like NOPE NOPE NOPE. luckily, she did just fine...and even went in there voluntarily a few times to just relax and have some alone time. heh.
she loves to snuggle up against me on the couch while teddy stays nearby with his emotional support unicorn.
and wouldn't you know it...with the fur shaved off plus a bit of irritation from the adhesive from the bandage that the hub and i had put on her, she developed a little rash on the inside of the leg. we had to take the super suit off of her and resort to plan c - the inflatable frisbee-looking thing that she absolutely despised.
it's been about three weeks since her surgery, and she's off of all medication with no more cones or super suits or anything like that required. her incision is healed and she's back to being our silly, sweet little cocoa once again. according to the vet, she won't have 100% use of her leg yet for a couple more weeks but in the meantime, it's so good to be back to normal. and guess what else? today's her 4th birthday! she's celebrating quietly wrapped up in a blanket on her favorite chair.