Sunday, February 1, 2009

Welcome to Blueland - and a Pre-Surgery Setback

Well, we are in the home stretch before surgery, and are making preparations to get our house "post-surgery friendly."  What exactly does this entail, you may ask?  Well, the biggest hurdle has been that Heisman will not be allowed to walk on wood floors for at least 8 weeks - which is all that we have in our little house.  Our friends Mike and Gina Whitehead were nice enough to donate a bound piece of carpet and padding to the cause.  My parents brought the carpet up on Saturday, and we decided to use just the non-slip padding in the kitchen, where Heisman will stay while we are at work, and then use the carpet piece along with another rug from my parents' attic in the living room.  The part of this story that is humorous is that the carpet padding is bright blue and shiny.  So, you can only imagine how lovely our kitchen looks - I don't think the pictures even do it justice.  Our dining room 
table is pushed against the wall and everything else is BLUE.  I would take a picture of the hodge-podge carpeted living room, but the family is all currently occupying it now watching the Super Bowl.  Also, Heisman's daddy built her a ramp today so that she can avoid the one step required to go from the deck to the backyard.  The only downside to this is that Heisman is TERRIFIED of the ramp.  She will not go near it.  Needless to say, we have a good bit of work to do before Friday when she will really need to use it.

Also, we have had a bit of a set back this week.  Heisman has started limping a bit on her "good" hind leg.  As we know, CCL injuries in dogs can basically be caused by one of two things: an athletic injury or a genetic issue.  If the cause is genetics, it is pretty much inevitable that the ligament will tear in the other leg.  We were really hoping that this was not the case with Heisman, but I am definitely fearing the worst.  I would really be surprised if the surgeon does not tell us on Thursday that both ligaments are torn.  At this point we will have to make the decision to decide to have bilateral surgery (both legs at once) or have the first leg done, recover for 8 weeks, then have the second.  This process definitely takes a toll on the heart and the wallet, so please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

On a more fun note, more preparations.  I have been trying to find toys for Heisman to "play" with while confined.  I wanted something where she would have to use her mind a bit to get some of her food or another treat.  My first buy was the "Canine Genius" - a laughable name
if you know how far from a genius Heisman really is.  Within the first 10 minutes, she had the bottom ripped off and had gotten all of the little treats out.  Who's the Canine Genius now???  The "big winner" has been the Everlasting Treat Ball, pictured at right.  I take the "indestructible" claim of dog toys with a grain of salt (see Canine Genius), but so far, so good.  This toy is built so that I can put pieces of Heisman's food in the middle and either give it to her that way or cap off each end with Everlasting Treats.  She LOVES it either way!  Now, all I have to do is find the Everlasting Treats at a more affordable price than the one offered at Petsmart.  Another success has been filling Kongs with Kong Stuff'n and Kong Ziggies and freezing them, so we will keep that up as well!

Our final purchase for Heisman's recovery is the Ruffwear Web Master Harness.  It came in but was too small, so I have sent it back to get a Large.  Hopefully, the exchange will come before Friday!  This will allow me to better support Heisman's back legs after surgery because it puts a handle on the top of Heisman's back that I can lift up on to support her weight.

As you can tell, Heisman's parents have had a very eventful past few days.  I am very anxious going into this week.  Surgery day is Thursday, so we can only hope for the best.  Look for updates as the week progresses and after the big day.  Thanks for thinking of us!


  1. Looks like you are well prepared. I think all our houses of our pre-op pups look like they definitely shouldn't be in design magazine : )

  2. I too have a yellow lab that just had his second TPLO. It is amazing how quickly they recover, especially with rehab. Wader's site is Hope all goes well. If I can answer any questions don't hesitate to ask.

    Rod, Wake Forest, NC