The last few weeks have been packed full with activities, and I’ve had a blast. There was the CPR class, the wine trail, and a canvas painting party. Somewhere in there, my dad had surgery, and that’s where today’s story begins. But, don’t worry; I’ll get to the rest of it at a later date. I may even have pictures!
Dad had surgery to fix his shoulder. He, and his shoulder, are doing well. He just had the stitches taken out this week, in fact. He spent several days home, and noticed something about my old man dog, Copper. Copper was having trouble getting up the porch steps.
Of course, after it was pointed out to me, I couldn’t help but notice him struggling when he turned around and when he was walking. I knew about him having trouble standing; my boy is old. His steps were no longer surefooted. He seemed to hesitate every couple of steps. Occasionally, his legs would look weak, like they were going to give out on him. I watched him all of last weekend.
Monday, I called the Vet. I couldn’t decide if he was just old, or is something more serious was going on. About half the time, he looked like he just couldn’t see where he was placing his feet.
Have you ever had an experience that was both better and worse than you were anticipating? If not, it’s the oddest feeling. That’s what happened yesterday at the Vet. Copper is a pretty stoic dog. If it’s just me and him, he’ll relax. He’ll show his hurts. He’ll limp. He’ll whine. He’ll be pitiful around me, and sometimes my dad. Unless he’s feeling very bad that is.
Copper was horrendously abused when I got him. He was terrified of everything. You name it, and he was scared of it. I worked with him for three or four years before he buddied up to my dad. Now, the only things that really bother him are the cat, storms, and bathrooms. But, a couple of days ago, I stubbed my toe on the baby’s step stool, and he came into the bathroom to check on me. He wasn’t happy about it, but he did it without prompt.
The Vet, not our usual vet, checked him over. She checked out his back, and he yelped at two spots. He has arthritis in his hips and his back, as well as a pretty bad heart murmur. The arthritis, though, is awful. It’s already causing his hips to lock up. He’s losing muscle mass in one leg. His back, though, is the real worry. The arthritis is causing problems along his spine.
I’ve been told that it’s pretty much a waiting game. He could just randomly slip a disk and be unable to walk. If that were to happen, he would need surgery, which would be dangerous because of his age and his heart. The vet gave him an anti-inflammatory, as well as a joint supplement, which they had to order. I’m starting him on the anti-inflammatory tonight. It won’t be fun. I’ve never had a dog so adept at not taking medicine before.
My Coppy Dog has gotten old on me. I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.