September 30th, 2021
On Day 4 I had big expectations for Atticus to walk a little better. Today his epidural injection would be wearing off. His incision was very swollen, so we started adding warm compresses. He tolerated those well. He also was able to walk much better and was taking a few steps all on his own.
Atticus has a favorite pooping spot (the rocks by the side of our house). I thought it might help him get the idea to poop if I could get him over there. He wasn’t interested at first, but when we got there I was right- and he pooped! One big accomplishment down.
When Atticus left the clinic, he had a vet wrap bandage on his front right leg, where he had his IV catheter. I probably should have taken it off right away, but I just didn’t want to mess with him. I decided today to take it off. It was on there firmly, but not too tight or causing pain in any way.
Like I’ve mentioned before, Atticus is a sensitive dog that can get extremely grumpy. His surgical nurse told me he had a meltdown and howled when she took out his IV catheter. When I went to pull the vet wrap off, he was not having it. When I tried to unwrap it he howled, fought, and started to hobble away. Kevin tried to cut it off, and before he even touched his leg Atticus started howling in anticipation.
We regrouped for a few minutes. I know Atticus, and I know why he was throwing a fit- he had just lost a leg. He really didn’t want anyone messing with the remaining legs. But we had to get the vet wrap off somehow.
We decided to cut the proverbial bandage off quick. I held Atticus while Kevin swooped it, and quickly cut it off. Atticus howled pitifully, and then curled up on our air mattress afterwards. I felt like the worst dog owner in the world. My dog was miserable, all because of things I had done to him.
I had to go out yet again shortly after and teach another fitness class (this one was Zumba). It was miserable- all the sleep deprivation, stress and powering through with energy drinks was catching up to me. I had to sit for a minute in my car before driving home to decide if I could get the world to stop spinning enough to drive.
When I got home, Kevin told me he had tried to get Atticus up to go outside, and he refused to move and started crying and howling again. I wondered if he was hurt from the vet wrap struggle, or if this was just an extension of the previous tantrum. It had been about 8 hours since he was outside last, he needed to go potty. I told Kevin we had to push through his reaction.
It’s the suckiest thing in the world, to pull your three-legged cancer dog up and outside while he cries and howls. The howls lasted about three steps, then he gave up, followed me outside, and peed. On the way back in he wanted to go to our air mattress, and I wasn’t on the mood to fight him on it.