The past few weeks have been a whirlwind here at Rancho del Kam. Actually, combined with the tense months preceding the past few weeks, it has felt more like a tornado.
My canine companion, Kyra, has been suffering from a serious arthritis affliction for some time. In the past couple of months, her condition worsened to the point where – no matter the medication she was given – she could no longer walk. 😦
At the age of 14 (whoa! how did that happen? wasn’t she just a puppy a couple years ago?), we were faced with a tough decision. After consulting with the vet and talking it over (and over and over), SteveKam and I made a choice that surprised more than a few. The thing is, Kyra Dog _is_ 14 years old… but we’ve been told many times that she does not look or act her age. Her health (besides the arthritis in her hips) is perfect. It’s pretty unusual for a dog of her age. Weighing all the information, we decided to let the vet go ahead and perform surgery on her hip to remove part of the bone to eliminate the pain.
So, here we are almost 2 weeks after the operation and she’s on the (long) road to recovery. The first few days were absolutely the worst – for all of us! But, she’s starting to show signs of improvement and has never lost that stubborn, willful spirit that we knew would carry her through all this. This is one tough little dog.
To aid her rehabilitation, we’re taking her to doggie physical therapy twice a week and doing exercises at home a couple times a day. (And, by the way, her therapist is AWESOME!) Kyra’s favorite PT activity? The tank. 🙂 It’s an underwater treadmill and the most key piece of her therapy.
So, that’s that. She can’t yet walk on her own or get out of her bed without help, so we use a sling to help her get around. Her meds make her have to pee every 1-2 hours, so we take turns sleeping on the floor with her every night so she can get outside when she needs to. She has good days and bad days. She has tail wagging happy moments – and every now and then gets nippy when we get too close to a sore spot. We’re exhausted and sleep deprived, but every time she shows a sign of improvement, all that stuff fades into the background.
Something has occurred to me a number of times over the past couple of weeks. In her 14 years on this planet – our 14 years together – this dog has helped me through the most difficult times of my life. She has nursed broken hearts, kissed away tears, slept at my side whenever I needed it – without ever being told or asked. She is my most loyal companion and has devoted her life to that role.
What has occurred to me now is that it’s finally my turn. And I’m not going to fail her. 🙂