Saturday, February 28, 2015

Day 1901

Although the weather got even worse overnight, Dot continues to get better. I was amazed that Dot's medical team even managed to get to the hospital today, since roads throughout the area were a sheet of ice when we woke up this morning. We were a little nervous when we didn't get our usual morning progress report phone call from the neurologist, but I imagine that things were pretty hectic at the hospital today. When we did get the call, everyone was all smiles. Dot continues to beat the odds with her amazing strength and determination. The neurologist told me that she and and others at the hospital find it hard to believe how old Dot actually is, since she continues to act like a much younger dog.

Dot is using her legs more than she was yesterday and appears to be in good spirits. Her appetite is good and she is sleeping well without strong sedatives. The hospital has already discontinued narcotic painkillers like Tramadol because Dot doesn't appear to need them. I'm glad they did this. I've never liked Tramadol anyway. It can be very addictive and has been responsible for many more accidental overdose deaths in humans than most people realize.

If Dot continues to improve at her current rate, she may end up being one of the lucky dogs who begin walking again in two or three weeks. Her nurse says she is already trying to put weight on her rear legs, although she still receives support from the Help "Em Up Harness whenever she tries to move. When I was using the harness with Dot before her surgery I could easily tell when she was trying to walk. There is a handle on the rear part of the harness just above the dogs hips and you hold it so the rear legs touch the ground without having to bear much weight. It feels a bit like being a puppeteer. As you get better at using the harness, you can sense when the muscles are working and when to provide more support. You can even encourage natural leg motion with subtle movement of your wrist. I think it is fantastic that Dot is already tentatively trying to walk, because I have heard that it can take up to three months before this happens.

The weather is so bad that Dot is much better off at the hospital that she'd be at home right now. Our yard is still slick and icy and the house is a bit chilly. Luckily, our furnace is working great this winter and there haven't been any problems with roof leaks. I'm used to spending lots of time in the house, but Janet is already getting cabin fever. She was determined to get out today and decided to go do her usual Saturday errands anyway despite the bad roads.

As the day progressed, the traffic in front of the house began to move faster and faster until I eventually became convinced that the roads were safe. I bundled up in a warm coat and left to do my errands as well. This was probably a mistake. The first thing I encountered was an enormous downed tree that had fallen across the road, blocking all but a single lane of traffic. When I successfully navigated this logjam, I quickly discovered that everyone in town had cabin fever. The roads were actually crowded today.

Most roads were clear and dry, except when they weren't. There were still patches of black ice here and there and they often caught people driving fifty miles an hour completely by surprise. Even though most of the ice had melted by mid-afternoon, I still saw quite a few wrecks. I drive slowly in this type of weather, never braking hard and coasting to a stop wherever I can. I'm always keeping an eye on my rear view mirror. I learned to drive in Alaska where the roads were icy all Winter. Ice is seldom the problem. It's the driver behind you who ignores the ice that causes most of the wrecks.

Dash has already appropriated Dot's special new dog bed. This is a minor problem though. Dogs are just like children in many ways. Tomorrow we will work on getting the house ready for Dot's return. If her progress continues, she could come home as soon as Monday afternoon.

Connor is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day


  1. Hooray for Dot! I don't like ice one bit.

  2. Read through your blog this morning. I'm filled with inspiration and hope. Our Dalmatian- Ridley- is in need of surgery and we have been struggling with the decisions associated with it. I hope it all continues to go well, and get better and better for you and Dot.