Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Lots of News

Our two boarders, Snickerdoodle and Macaroon, left for Massachusetts on Friday evening, March 17th, with 12 other dogs.  They move them at night because the dogs are quieter and sleep most of the time.  Snickers and Mac left us with little reservation.  They climbed into the van and allowed the driver to put them into a crate together.  Since it was getting dark and we had given them extra exercise earlier in the day they were both tired.  They were also used to being crated when we drove them back from Texas and also at night while they stayed with us.  During the day they were allowed free access to our house and that was a challenge.  Kind of like having two toddlers in the house.  We tried to watch them carefully but invariably found them chewing on inappropriate items like carpet on the steps, base molding, furniture and so on.  Outside in our fenced yard they also did a number on my flower beds by destroying several plantings and tipping over and digging out some of my potted plants.  Other than that they were angels 😇.

The reason the dogs are shipped to Massachusetts is because the state has very strict spay/neuter laws.  For that reason, there is a dog shortage and people will wait a long time to get a dog, especially if they are interested in a certain breed type.  The people also feel that dogs should be adopted rather than purchased from breeders so they take great pride in their mixed breeds. The trip to Massachusetts takes about 20 hours and the dogs have several stops along the way.  Rather than taking them to an interstate rest area they drive several miles off the interstate to designated places where the dogs can get out of the van and stretch their legs and not become frightened by all the road noises.  Once in their new home they are quarantined for several days to make sure all are healthy.  I wrote a bio for the two pups and had it sent up early which helps with the adoption process.  

Saying goodbye the night of the trip to Massachusetts.

Mighty Macaroon

Sweet Snickerdoodle

The pups enjoying our screened in porch.  So maybe they are getting a little spoiled!

💖💖💖 Our story has a happy ending!  Both pups were adopted the first week they were in Massachusetts and now live in their forever homes. I wonder who's gardens they are digging up now.  LOL.

Also wanted to show you pictures of some of the other pups that made the journey with our two.  There are seven puppies in this litter that were owner surrendered.  Unfortunately, the owner was negligent when it came to having her pet spayed but at least these pups were well provided for before she dumped them.  Many puppies are not so lucky.
The Captain and me holding two of the puppies from the litter of seven. The Captain's pup was named Bubba. I love the face on the one I was holding.  It was so scared and just trembling all over. But, oh my, what a face......

All seven of the pups.  They are Lab mixes and are only 10 weeks old.  They are going to be huge when they grow up.  I doubt any of these pets are left at the no-kill shelter in Massachusetts.  Labs are one of the most sought after breed of dog in that area.

Okay, back to the home front and an update on Captain Stumpy who has now been named Captain Gimpy by his daughters.  We drove up to North Carolina to UNC Hospital where the Captain had surgery on his foot.  We knew last fall that he had torn his peroneal tendon on his right foot and the doctor said he would need surgery but could wait until spring since the injury wouldn't get any worse.  Plus, we didn't want to mess up our winter trip to Texas :) 

So in early March we stopped in at UNC on our way home from Texas and spoke with the foot/ankle specialist.  The Captain had also had an MRI done on his foot and they were in possession of that.  We figured the surgery would be basic to repair the torn peroneal tendon.  What a surprise!  The doctor told us that the tearing of the peroneal tendon was just a symptom of a much larger problem.  The alignment of his foot was bad and even if they fixed the tendon it would tear again in the future because of the way he walks. So the surgery will be more extensive than we had thought and was scheduled for March 22nd.  

Caution:  Some of these pictures might be a little risque 😜

The Captain checking in.  He's standing pretty well right now. but notice the outward tilt of his right foot.

In his pre-surgery room and getting some happy drugs.

The ceiling of that room with a colorful cover over the light.

Everything had to be checked off and okayed before they began.

Still pre-surgery, the drugs are taking effect.

Getting prepared for a pain ball on his right leg.

Two Anesthesiologists are preparing to put the pain ball into place.  It is inserted into a nerve center in the thigh.

They used an ultrasound to make sure they entered the correct spot.

This took almost an hour to complete.

The tubing is connected to a pain ball that is inside a tote bag that can be carried over the patients shoulder when he leaves.  It will stay in place for two days until removed at home.  There is no needle.  Once the tape is removed (that's the hardest part to get off the leg)  then the tubing simply pulls right out and that is it.

The surgery lasted three hours and then he was in post-op.  Th doctor told me it went well.  They used a saw and cut a wedge into his right heel and then pulled it together with screws.  Next, they sawed his big toe to realign it and put in a plate and several screws.  The peroneal tendon was completely severed and in a hard ball at the back of his foot so they removed it and took what was supposed to be attached to the peroneal tendon and reattached it to the brevis tendon.   Captain Gimpy is smiling but not really with it yet.

Getting ready to leave the hospital.  Hard to believe the surgery was completed as out-patient.
Back at the hotel with his shoulder pouch and the pain ball.  The Anesthesiologist said he was "stylin".

A-OK says the Captain.
After a good night's sleep it was time to drive back home to South Carolina.

Back home and the Captain found his place on the couch.  He has to stay off the foot for six weeks and then he will go into a boot with gradual weight on the foot.  The doctor told him in three months he would be back to where he was before the surgery as far as pain in his foot.  Six months would be much better and in a year his foot would be fine.

Two weeks later we drove (I should say I drove) back up to UNC to have the splint removed and a cast put on his foot. 

The Captain had to sit in the back to keep his foot propped up on the drive.

The front of his foot where they broke his big toe and put a plate in to realign it.

The heel they sawed a wedge out of and pulled back together with screws. 

Removing the stitches.

Adding a special tape to help keep the incision together.
Getting ready to make the cast.

First is a long black stocking to protect the skin.

Then they wrapped the leg and foot with a special cotton padding.

The actual cast is made of fiberglass mesh with water activated epoxy.

The mesh is wrapped around the leg several times.

It is carefully smoothed out to ensure support on all parts of his foot and leg.  The epoxy dries to a hard texture in about five minutes and is rock hard in thirty.

Voila!  And we have a cast. When they asked him what color he wanted he, of course, said Duke blue.  Mind you this is the day after the UNC men's basketball team won the NCAA championship.   The doctor was a little dumb-struck for a second and the nurse said he was no longer her favorite patient.  But the Captain responded that he chose UNC over Duke for the surgery so this satisfied them and he got back into their good graces!

So now we have another four weeks before we go back up to UNC and he goes into a boot. No weight-bearing is allowed so the Captain will be spending more days on the couch with his foot elevated but at least his foot is getting better.  Amen to that.

One of the nice things about getting home in early March is that we get to see many of the trees and plants in bloom.  Our azalea bushes were just beginning to open when we got hit with a very nasty cold spell.  Cold like down to 18 degrees at night.  That is very unusual for this area.  Consequently, the flowers all died but the dogwoods were not affected and we have some beautiful views.

We hope everyone is having a wonderful springtime.  We are enjoying the warmer weather and the chance to be outside a little more.  Hugs to all and hope you have a very Happy Easter!