After I told Dr. Perry to proceed with the surgery, I waited for the phone call to let us know he was done, and tried not to think about the brutal thing happening to my Crunchy Bear. I got in bed, snuggling with Spaghetti, and watched Supernatural while I waited for a phone call. One hour passed. Then two.
Finally, a phone call from Dr. Perry. He made it! Surgery was a success. It was much more complicated and longer because of the suspected sarcomas up in his hip muscle. Dr. Perry had to remove much more muscle than normal to get good margins. We would send those growths in with the leg to be biopsied. I hoped that they were lipomas, but that looked unlikely.
Atticus would spend the rest of the day at the clinic. Before they closed, they would load him on a dog ambulance to spend the night at the ICU at Dove Lewis, an emergency/specialty vet clinic in Portland. He would be under vet supervision all night, getting IV pain management.
Jordan, his surgery tech called us again around 5, to let us know he was still doing ok, and that Dove Lewis would check in with us after he was there. I got a call from one of the vets at Dove at about 8pm. She said he seemed confused, but stable. They wouldn’t call me again unless something went wrong.
My heart still breaks at the thought of him waking up from surgery, scared and in pain, and realizing his leg was gone. What must he think? Would he hate us because we took his leg off? I didn’t sleep well that night. Whenever I slept, I woke up after a few minutes to check my phone and make sure Dove wasn’t calling.
Early that morning I got an email update from Dove Lewis. He was still stable and resting. He wasn’t really interested in food, but he was happy to eat some pill pockets. They sent me this picture, which I still can’t look at without crying.