Friday, June 26, 2009

Where did the week go?

Or better yet...where did JUNE go? WOW!! I can't believe how fast time really does fly when you get older...errr I mean, when you're having fun! This weekend Vivi will have her first sleepover!! We're going to South Dakota for a dog show. It's a big show...bullies have the largest entry over any other breed...that's not very common here in Minnesota!! It should be a good time & I just hope that she'll do well in the ring (i.e. not back up from the judge again). I'll be interested to see how she sleeps outside of our house too. I know it was hard for Howie when I brought him somewhere else to sleep. Doc...nah...he could sleep anywhere!!

We're traveling with her uncle Otto & Momma Sandy, so we'll all have tons o' fun I'm sure!! I packed up (hopefully) everything I need last night & will depart just as soon as I get home from work today. It's a much longer drive than I expected, but hopefully it will go fast...driving w/Sandy it usually does cuz she LOVES to talk!! hahahaha

Howie continues to do well with his rehab & confinement. Last night we did allow him to sit outside of his space since we were both home & could make sure the other two left him be (or didn't get all riled up)...he just seemed soooo happy!! Despite the heat & humidity, Doc still loves the sun. We don't allow him to stay out for longer than a couple mins though...doesn't take long for a bully (or any dog) to overheat...but this morning, when it was cooler, he just sat on the deck & tilted his head up to the sun like he was saying "ahhh this is the life"...that boy loves his sun, just like his momma!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Week 2 starts Wednesday!!

On Wednesday we start our 2nd week of rehab! Yay! It gradually increases over the next 7 weeks, and so far Howie has been doing well. He's been pretty mellow & doesn't seem to mind being in his space (and yes, that IS indeed how I refer to it all the time). However, today, I saw my not-so-mellow Howie back for a bit. I had him in his space (x-pen attached to a wire kennel) & I proceeded to get ready for work. When I came out into the living room, he wasn't in his space! It really didn't occur to me to be odd, until I saw that he was walking around the living room!! I have a Houdini on my hands!!

I think what happened was that the kennel has two doors, one in front, one on the side...I'm guessing the side door wasn't latched...that or Vivi broke him out!! She was sitting next to the kennel when I put him in his space...they're working together!!

It is also hard on Vivi that Howie is in his space...anytime she gets, she tries to sneak in to be with her buddy. She's been good, but missing her crazy friend....I mean, she chases the cats on her own & it's just not the same! Doc...while he does try to get in Howie's's mostly to get the bone Howie has at the moment.

Here is Howie in his looks like he's saying, "Yep! I'm still in here momma!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Note From Howie

Hi Everybully-

Just wanted to let you know that my first weekend after surgery has gone well. Both Momma & Daddy were home with me, even though Vivi did have a show this weekend (info on Show page), it was nearby so they left super early & came home & then even snuggled with me in my space!

I even had Doc & Vivi visit me in my space! It was nice cuz they'd give me kisses & let me snuggle with them. I miss playing with them, but I'm still not feeling like playing yet. My daddy took my pain patch off on Thursday & I'm doing pretty good without it. The vet tech told momma & daddy that the patch would make me feel "high"...I don't know what that means though.

I've only cried once since my surgery & that's when I saw my favorite spot on the couch (the back with the window view)...but otherwise I've been good. Doc did look out the window for me today & reported that all things were green!
Momma keeps saying I'm being such a good boy (like I wouldn't be...silly momma). But I'll tell you a secret...I like the attention....momma & daddy have to carry me to go outside...I mean, that's a free ride!! I get my num-nums in my special need to think Vivi or Doc are going to clean up after me! Momma brings me my favorite other bullies to think they're taking them from me. Oooh & today I got to try watermelon!! YUMMY! Ok, ok, Doc & Vivi got some too, but I like to think momma thought of me first....I'm sure she did.

I have to sit with an ice pack on me twice a day & at first I don't like it, but evenutally I fall asleep with it on me & I let it do it's magic!

I also go on my daily 5 min walks & even use my leg with the stitches...gotta try it out sometime! But for the most part, I've just been resting in my new space in the living room. I like's all mine...kinda like going from a studio apartment to a full 1000 sq ft house...ok, ok, it's not THAT big, but it is bigger than my regular kennel & my Yeti comes with me to my space everyday, so that's fun! It's like a party!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blue Line Hospital, Rehab & Grooming

Last night was a busy night at our house! First, we started Howie's physical therapy schedule which this week includes a 5 min slow walk (on the driveway), & 5 "Range of Motion" exercises which is when he lays on his good side & I hold onto the hock of his bad leg & push it up & pull it back...slowly & not to the point of pain or aggravation. Afterwards we had to ice his owie & at first he didn't like that at all, but he eventually was ok with it. Ice pack has to stay on 10-15 min twice a day this week.

THEN...I got to cut both Doc's & Vivi's nails...which is always a challenge it seems. Doc wasn't so bad, he just didn't want it done, but once I had him on his back he was fine. Yay! Done in about 5 min! Miss Vivi on the other hand, was wanting NOTHING to do with it, wiggling all around, moving this way & that way, trying to gnaw at my hand, trying to scratch at me...ANYTHING for me to stop...but guess what?? I didn't!! Ha! Sure, took me over 20 min to get them all done, but I did. Sandy has taught me that persistence is key & if I give in, she knows that she won...well, I won last night!!

Tonight will be more of the same!! It's a show weekend, so it's bath time for Vivi! She actually is quite good in the bath & cleaning her folds (which I do every morning so they're all used to that) & especially good when it comes to cleaning her ears. She doesn't care for her whiskers being trimmed though, started that project last night & will finish tonight.

We'll also continue our week 1 of physical therapy for Howie. The rehab schedule is about 8 weeks long & while reading the nice 3 page summary of everything that needs to be done, I realized I was going to forget to do something!! So, being the nerd that I am, I put together a spreadsheet listing each week & what has to be done...including check off columns for each day so we know what has been done. Hey, I admitted I'm a nerd...but I'm a nerd whose bully will have all the physical therapy done in the right order! :0)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

He's Home!!!

Yay! Howie is home!! It was weird not having him here last night. When I went to get bullies' dinners ready, I got 3 bowls out...habit I guess. I called the vet last night to see how he was doing & the vet tech told me that he was feeling sorry for himself, what a sad sack.

Steve & I went to pick him up this morning & after going through how his night went (fine) & going through some of what we can expect, we then met with another vet tech who went over our 3 page week-by-week rehab schedule. It was nice to have someone go through everything with us so thoroughly. About 30 min later, she finally brought him in the room & we were ready to go home.

Since he has to stay pretty confined over the next 6-8 weeks, I put together a little area in our living room where he would be confined, yet still with us. He seems to be ok with the area & after the welcoming sniffs through the xpen from Doc & Vivi, he fell asleep. He slept pretty much until it was dinner time.

He has both pooped & peed since he's been home & that's EXCELLENT...they had warned us that sometimes after surgery & anaesthesia dogs will be far, so good! He is not allowed to do stairs for about 6 weeks, so Steve & I will be carrying him outside. Thankfully, he's only 46 lbs (which I was kinda surprised at)!!

What else?? Oh the incision...well, it's not wrapped nor in a cast of any sort...I can see it; and I don't handle things like that (you know all things medical) well. I have accidentally touched the stitches (ishy) & have looked at them (eeeewwww) because it's not like I can ignore them for the next 10-14 days (when they get removed). Surprisingly, it's only about 4 inches long too. I was expecting much longer. It's sad to see all his fur shaved, but I know it will grow back.

Tomorrow we will start some of the post-op exercises & even a 5 min slow walk!

He has now laid back down & Vivi is sniffing him through the xpen...I think she's trying to figure out a way to get in! She's sneaky like that.

Howie got a care package today! It's from his big sister Gracie!! She's so sweet! She made homemade treats & sent a cute! Thanks Gracie!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Howie's out of surgery!!

Yay!! What a great phone call to get!! It seemed like forever since 830am until 1215pm when the surgeon finally called!! He said that the surgery went "perfectly" & that there was no arthritis in the knee which can happen when an injury like this occurs. He said they also removed the meniscus (the tissue between the knee cap I believe) because they can injure that separately if kept in.

He confirmed that Howie was awake & doing well. I had to pack him an "overnight" bag which I included some food, a toy (nylabone), a blanket & his Yeti. I thought about packing a photo of myself...but, well, didn't want the staff to think I was a total bullyfreak!!

We get to pick him up tomorrow morning at 1030am & then I'll be a BullyNurse instead of a BullyMomma for my Howie.

Thanks for all the prayers & good thoughts & well wishes!! Recovery will be long, but a "perfect" surgery is a great way to start!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Surgery Scheduled

Howie's surgery has been scheduled for Monday. Prayers for my little monkey please. He has to stay overnight & I'm not thrilled about that, but I'm sure we'll be there as soon as possible on Tuesday to bring him home.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Still Learnin'...

This week's lesson...torn cruciate repair. Poor Howie...last fall he tore his cruciate while playing Frisbee. We did a lot of resting (or as much as Howie can rest) & he has done quite well. So well in fact, some have even commented on how you'd never know the way he was moving around that he has a torn cruciate.

That all changed last week. When he woke up Monday morning, he came out of his kennel holding his leg up. Not really sure what happened to trigger the pain again after 7 months, but it could be as simple as pivoting wrong. We watched his activity & carried him down any stairs for the last week & while he's no longer holding it up, you can tell he's in pain. He doesn't put a lot of weight on the leg & he's been a bit more "quiet" than normal...of course that doesn't mean he's laying around 24/7...oh heck no...he still tries to chase the cats & Vivi & I just cringe & try to stop him whenever possible.

So we've outlasted our "Wait & See" option & now it's surgery time. Here's where the learnin' comes in...there are 3 different surgery options for cruciate repair. Two (TPLO & TTA) are more invasive (cutting the leg bone) & require metal hardware to be implanted. The other (extracapsular cruciate repair) is less invasive & requires a nylon fiber to be implanted.

In my research, I learned a lot about the different surgeries & opinions on them. I asked my fellow bulldoggers & other breed dog owners who have also had the surgery done to see what surgery they had done & their experiences. Not only did I research the types of surgeries, but also called around to different vet offices that I was referred to for prices. That added an additional pros & cons list to go through. It's a lot to take in & of course I only want the best for Howie...but who can tell me what exactly is the best? That's subjective...

After a lot of consideration, we decided on doing the less invasive surgery with an orthopedic surgeon at our vet's office. We're now just waiting on our surgery I have a few hours/possibly days before I start worrying again...I hate it when they go in for surgery.

I've said it before, I'll say it again...I certainly learn a lot from these bullies!! Now we can add CCL repair to our list!! (GOT to find the positive in this!!)

Please say some prayers for my Howie for a successful surgery & recovery (which will be at least 3 months--full recovery by 6 months).

Monday, June 8, 2009

What a lazy bulldog weekend!

It was FABULOUS!! I think the weather (rain) helped, but the bullies & I just wanted to lay around all we did. It was nice to not run somewhere or go get something...just lay around. Ahhhhhhhh....The only thing scheduled was my niece's dance recital...which she kicked butt in btw!!

This upcoming weekend is my favorite holiday!! Flag Day!! (Ummmm...June 14th for those of you asking yourself "When is Flag Day?") Our club has a puppy picnic that day, so I hope to attend with my patriotic colors! Oooh too bad I don't have a blue bulldog...cuz then I could bring my patriotic (Doc), white (Vivi) & blue (Howie??)! hahahaha

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Isn't this the cutest??

My VERY talented friend Betsy made this coin purse for me!! It's Vivi! Can you tell? Isn't it cute? It's always fun to get Betsy items!! Yep! I have a few!! :0) I had her make one for my friend who lost her Westie a month ago too. She really liked it.

Gotta love bully stuff..especially when it's personalized to look like your dog!! With Vivi it's easy...but I do have some of Betsy's items w/Ollie, Doc & Howie too!! Betsy is VERY talented!! You can see more of Betsy's stuff on my site under the Links n' Things page!