Vanessa was discharged from Tufts on Thursday, July 3, 2008.
I had worked all night and been up for almost 24 hours, so my friend Paul
did all the driving. Vanessa and I slept soundly all the way home and into
the night, side by side in the cool basement. Her discharge instructions
"Vanessa will need to be strictly exercise restricted for the next 3-4
weeks. She should be kept in a crate, pen, or small room when
unsupervised...by starting physical therapy, it will decrease the chances of
muscle atrophy and/or disuse of the limbs. It is best to prevent muscle
atrophy the best you can versus trying to regain the muscle back."
Instructions go on to explain about the benefits of heating up the muscles
and stretching exercises.
Our biggest hurdle during recovery was that Vanessa had some minor
separation anxiety and learned to maneuver herself past any obstacle between
us. This is the period where I began to learn just how smart she was. I
couldn't leave her alone in the crate because I feared she would hurt
herself, and I didn't want to sleep in the basement for the next four weeks.
Thankfully, she quickly learned to love her crate, and now she sleeps and
eats and naps in there, always with a high reward surprise inside, such as a
rawhide bone. But in the beginning, she was attached at my hip 24/7, until I
was certain she would be safe.
It's been 3 weeks since her surgery, and today we took a slow leash walk up
at the park. If she had her way,
she would jet across the field with her dog
pals. But although she can walk independently again, she's still a bit
clumsy and accident prone, so we're being cautious with her, especially
around the other dogs. She's due for her follow-up at Tufts this coming
week, and so we'll have a more detailed progress report then.
"Mom explained how we're fortunate to have a crate so close to the door,
with only a few steps to the yard."
"And how my crate is my new dining area, with lots of yummy surprises."
"I'm also lucky to have foster siblings to keep me company as I recover."
"Oh, by the way, did you guys see my batttle scar?"
"Mom measured the incision itself to be about 11 inches long."
"Just after surgery, I spent much of my time lounging in my new backyard,
hoping for some company."
"Oh, goody, there's Melissa."
"How's my little Nessa feeling today?"
"And her little friend brought me a gift."
"Apparently, I'm heading for another buggy adventure soon."
"With a little help from my friends."
"Along the way, Melissa stopped to answer questions to some inquiring
"The doctor gave her an operation so she can walk again. She won't be like
our other dog Millie because
she could NEVER walk again, and she died."
"Melissa loves to talk about me with other children, including her cousin,
"Don't worry, Sarah, my aunt said all her hair will grow back again."
"Soon we were heading to the end of the beach for an ice cream."
"Not much further, Nessa. Someday, soon, we'll all be WALKING to the ice
"Yes, things are surely looking UP again!"