Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Vet Visit Verdict

Today we took Daisy back to the vet to have her stitches removed. Everything looked beautifully healed to me, and thankfully, the vet’s report was exactly the same.

The stitches are out! You can see the "peach fuzz" growing back on her leg. :)

The stitches are out! You can see the silvery “peach fuzz” growing back on her leg. 🙂

He took the stitches out without incident; Daisy didn’t cry but she didn’t much care for it either – and she showed him by dropping a load of poop on the exam table. After that was cleaned up, she proceeded to wee and then wag her tail in it, splashing the vet. I could swear it was a calculated move.

These passive-aggressive pups sure are clever!

I've been through a lot, but I sure showed that vet!

I’ve been through a lot, but I sure showed that vet!

Daisy is now allowed to walk 3 times a day for no more than 5 minutes. Other than that, we still have to keep her seriously benched for another six weeks. That’s a LONG haul.

I'm hobbling around pretty well on three legs!

I’m hobbling around pretty well on three legs! Don’t you feel sorry for me with my sad little face on?

DH and DD are going to help out  by working from home whenever they can. There’s just no way I can sit on the couch for another six weeks – the last two were hard enough. And especially with the holidays coming!

You can see how she continues to hold that back leg up when she walks or stands.

You can see how she continues to hold that back leg up when she walks or stands.

The vet said it may take a couple more weeks for her to start using that leg. He said small dogs take longer to use it than bigger dogs because – get this – small dogs actually find it easier to get around on 3 legs! I can’t say I see that with Daisy, but she can fairly move when she wants to!

This year, for the first time, we’ll have to have Thanksgiving dinner out. We can’t possibly get all the cooking and baking done while caring for Daisy, nor can we risk having her get as excited as she does when anyone comes into the house.

So we made a reservation at a nice place, but it’s still not the same as having dinner at home. I LOVE holidays at home, filling the air with the aromas of baking and roasting, then enjoying the leftovers for days after.

But we’re doing the next best thing – while Thanksgiving dinner will be enjoyed out, we’re planning a regular Thanksgiving dinner here at home for just the three of us on Friday. That way we can take our time and make dinner leisurely, taking turns babysitting Daisy, and we won’t have to worry about her becoming overly excited. The best of both worlds. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving to all our blog friends who will be celebrating along with us!

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The OTHER Big Event

While we’re waiting for something new to report on Daisy (she did finally have a poop after 3 days without one, so we’re happy about that – something only family can appreciate though, I think! 😉 ), I thought I’d tell you why I wasn’t able to blog for the entire month of October. And why we had no Halloween decorations up this year. And no Halloween costume for Daisy (which I’m sure made her happy). Or fall trips. Poo.

Last year's humiliating Halloween skirt. Daisy was mortified!

Last year’s humiliating Halloween skirt. Daisy was mortified!

Well, I was totally consumed by THE MOVE – moving my 90-year-old aunt from her house an hour away from us into an assisted living home in the town next to us. (We’ve been trying to get her to move closer to us for 20-30 years!) She has no one besides us, so the distance was really bad; we couldn’t get up there often. Plus she needs more help with mobility, her house was falling apart (literally), and unscrupulous people were taking advantage of her. It was all so upsetting, especially when I knew she could be living a much better life. And now she is. 🙂

I love antiques, old architecture, and history. So her house, built in 1915 and only having one minor update in the early 1920s to convert gas lighting to electrical, was an endless source of fascination for me. She’s lived there for over 60 years!

It still has the original light fixtures, doorknobs, locks, etc., plus the original wide, beautiful molding strips are still around doorways and along the floors and ceilings.

Look at this old two-stage glass ceiling fixture! Such beautiful craftsmanship.

Look at this old two-stage glass ceiling fixture! Such beautiful craftsmanship.

Metal ceiling fixture with exposed bulbs. No one today would want those bulbs exposed, but still, there's a charm about that old-world styled metal fixture.

Metal ceiling fixture with exposed bulbs. No one today would want those bulbs exposed, but still, there’s a charm about the style of that old-world metal fixture.

Decorative brass doorknobs with backplates....

Decorative brass doorknobs with backplates.

All the floors on the first and second floors are inlaid parquet, which would cost a fortune today and were a major selling point.

Wish I could have transported these to my house!

Wish I could have transported these to my house!

Small bumps protrude from the walls, which are caps over the original gaslight pipes.

One per room, one in the long upstairs hallway - must have been quite dim and hard on the eyes during the gaslight days.

One per room, one in the long upstairs hallway – it must have been quite dim and hard on the eyes during the gaslight years.

The bathroom has the original cast iron claw-foot bathtub and pedestal sink. Closet doors have working locks with keys (!) and heavy glass doorknobs.

Heavy glass doorknobs.

Heavy glass doorknobs.

For heaven’s sake, there were still the original filled fire bombs in the basement surrounding the furnace! You never see those – they’re blown glass globes filled with liquid chemicals and mounted on the ceiling that explode when there’s a fire and help to put the fire out. Still there, still intact!!

The Realtor we hired (who was FANTASTIC and worked a not-so-minor miracle in selling this place) was fascinated when he walked around the house – it was like stepping back in time.

If I could have salvaged the architecture in this house, I would have done it in a second. I know the new owner will just strip everything out and junk it all. What a shame.

It’s rare to see those things still intact, and if the house had been well maintained, it could have been a showplace – a wonderful fusion of yesterday and today.

That’s the positive side. Here’s the flip side of the coin, the side that kept us working there 8-10 hours a day every Saturday and Sunday from the end of September through October – she has never bothered to maintain the house one bit over the past 30 years. Unfortunately she’s just that kind of person – if no one pushes her hard to keep herself or the things around her up, she just lets everything go. My grandmother (her mother) was meticulous and used to constantly push my aunt to maintain herself and help with the house, but she’s been gone for a long time. So as a result, time froze after she passed – carpeting and drapes in this 4-bedroom house were all from the 1960s, I kid you not. It’s not that she couldn’t do anything in all those decades, it’s that she just didn’t want to be bothered. She’s the extreme opposite of my grandmother.

Horrible 50-year-old kelly green wall-to-wall carpeting on the first floor and stairs was torn and tattered as were draperies with orange and green designs. She didn’t care; in fact, she didn’t even seem to notice. Hardwood floors underneath a large area rug in the dining room was many, many shades lighter and brighter than the exposed flooring surrounding the rug. The kitchen still has old metal cabinets and an old sticky linoleum floor. It’s all this and so much more unimaginable filth, broken down furnishings, and accumulations in areas of the house where we never went that shocked us so much and took all month for us to clean up and clear out. We spent every weekend up there working 8-10 hours – I had to wear a surgical mask and use surgical gloves to keep from repeating our first “day of discovery” there, when all that uncleanliness actually affected my lungs and sinuses for 24 hours afterwards.

Still though, the most important thing is that the house has miraculously sold and my aunt is happy in her new surroundings. Not only is the assisted living home she’s in bright and clean, but she gets three beautiful meals a day plus there’s a Happy Hour with hors d’oeuvres, wine, and cocktails. (I think maybe I’ll stop by around then….) She’s no longer isolated and has lots of other people to socialize with, as well as activities, trips, and beautiful scenery around the place. No comparison to the dark, dingy, dirty house in an economically depressed town she was in. It’s like she was reborn. She rarely used to leave her old house except when we drove her down here, so she’s amazed by the huge supermarkets like Wegman’s, the strip malls, and everything else that’s happened in the real world over the past 40 years! Every time I take her out, it’s like watching a child on Christmas. 🙂

I’m still struggling with her paperwork and financial issues and I suspect I will be for a while (nothing was maintained – bills and financials were scattered about in their original envelopes!), but it was definitely all worth it.  🙂

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Monday Mischief: The Dreaded CONE Has Appeared!!

Oh yes, it happened. The Cone of Shame has taken up residency in our home.

Daisy started licking at her stitches, and the vet happened to call to check up on her shortly after. We told her about it, and she said, “GET A CONE IMMEDIATELY!” So off DD went in search of a “comfy cone” – a soft cone that allows a dog to lie down comfortably without having a stiff foreign object around her head.

But of course, things are never that simple with Miss Daisy.

Just the opposite of the way she hangs her head and refuses to pick it up when we put a hooded coat on her, when the dreaded cone was put on, she raised her head skyward and refused to bring it back down. Like she thought she was wearing a sky funnel.

You're not serious with this thing?!

You’re not serious with this thing?!

Ever try getting a dog into a crate with their coned head sticking up like a giant flower? Daisy got stuck in the doorway hobbling in and got stuck hobbling out again.

When we got home from our brief outing, we found Daisy resting her chin on one of the crate bars rather than trying to lie flat like she usually does.

That's no halo, that's the cone's reflective edge!

That’s no halo, that’s the cone’s reflective edge!

Our solution is to start using our last dog’s crate; as she was close to 60 pounds, it’s a much bigger crate and will be far more comfortable for Daisy during her head-coned period.

There's a dog in there somewhere.....

There’s a dog in there somewhere….. She refused to lower her head!

Aside from that, I think Daisy’s coming along well. Of course she still can’t move around, but she’s starting to want to move around, which I think is a good sign. One of us has to always be sitting by her side to stop her from jumping up when she hears a sound that sets her off – she doesn’t realize her own limitations. However, she’s still experiencing some pain and we still have to give her pain meds when she needs them, but at least now we know what her pain signs are.

We’re finally back in the Monday Mischief Blog Hop!

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Turning The Corner?

I don’t want to speak too soon, but I believe we’re seeing some bits of improvement here!

Daisy’s whining is down to minimal amounts. We actually slept last night!
She’s learning to hobble on three legs in order to re-position herself on the couch.
She’s able to lie on her injured side, which she wasn’t able to put pressure on before. This allows her to find more comfortable positions.
Her eyes are less bloodshot.
The leg is less red, and the redness is confined to the incision area.
Not to be crude, but she finally went to the bathroom! (She also threw up, but I’m not surprised after not eating and taking all those meds.)
She’s acting more interested in what’s going on around her and is reacting to sounds again.

When I think about it, I realize we were actually blessed by having only one really rough day and night; other small dogs experience longer periods of severe pain, like our vet’s poor dog did. Yesterday I’d never have expected this much of a positive change.

Daisy's more upright and looking brighter today - compare that to yesterday's pitiful puppy!

Daisy’s more upright and looking brighter today – compare that to yesterday’s pitiful puppy!

We’re also extremely blessed with a wonderful, caring community of blogging friends who have been so caring, sympathetic, and attentive. I think all your positive thoughts and prayers helped! We thank everyone for their kind wishes, prayers and positive suggestions – you guys are the BEST community I could ever want. It gave me great comfort to read your comments throughout the day, as I sat here hour after hour feeling so helpless, worried, and occasionally weepy all day yesterday. Watching a loved one struggling with pain, confusion, fear, and discomfort is one of the hardest things to endure, especially when you can’t communicate to them what’s happening, why, what not to do, and that it will pass in time.

I know we have a long struggle ahead, but unless Daisy re-injures herself (NOOOOOO!!), I feel like the worst is behind us. Thank you so much for being there for us.

 

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Raising Injured Daisy

Daisy’s home!! Hooray! Our little family is complete once again.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that she’s suffering – a lot. And we’re suffering right along with her; we can’t stand to see her hurting. She’s in a lot of pain despite the painkillers she’s on.

DD and I were up all night last night with her. She’s constantly cry-whining pathetically, occasionally yiping, and always shifting around cautiously trying to find a less painful position.

We called the emergency vet last night around 1 AM – we were both in tears – and she was so kind and understanding. Turns out her small dog had ACL tears in both knees at different times, and she said some dogs go through recovery like nothing happened while others feel pain severely. Unfortunately, both her dog and ours are the latter. Also unfortunately, shy of taking her in for one more pain shot, there’s nothing we can do.

Daisy drank two bowls of water (!) and ate her dinner as normal last night, but today I can’t get her to eat her food, nor have we been able to get her to use the bathroom at all since she’s been home. Standing seems to exacerbate the pain even though she keeps that leg raised, and it’s hard for her to calm down afterward.

It’s heartbreaking to see her suffering so much. She keeps turning to me for help with those big, sad eyes, and there’s nothing more I can do. If I could take the pain away from her, I would do it in a second.

Please help me

Please help me

I'm so happy to be home again!

I’m so happy to be home again, but OUCH!

Hey! Don't take a picture of my nekked butt! (Looks like she's wearing a furry sock!)

Hey! Don’t take a picture of my nekked butt! (Looks like she’s wearing a furry sock!)

The source of the ouchies.

The source of the ouchies.

Comfy cozy with all the love of her family around her.

A brief moment of comfort.

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Follow-up to Daisy’s surgery

Well if there’s one thing I can say about our little Daisy, it’s that when she does something, she REALLY does it.

The surgeon called me after her surgery yesterday and said that she not only tore the ligament clean through, she also tore the meniscus (the disc that cushions the knee joint). He said the surgery went well, but she’ll have to be inactive for two months.

TWO MONTHS. INACTIVE FOR TWO MONTHS.

Keeping a springy little Havachon inactive for two months will be like trying to keep champagne from exploding out of the bottle. Thank God Daisy likes being in her crate, because there’s no way we can leave the house without putting her in it so she won’t jump on the furniture or run around like a nut when she hears something.

The surgeon said they had to remove the meniscus as well the damaged portion of the ligament and replace both with artificial parts. He said because they did the surgery so quickly – within 24 hours of the injury – and because Daisy’s so young, there’s a good chance that she’ll heal completely. Ninety percent of dogs do. But if she re-injures it, he said, “that’s a different story”. Yikes.

There’s also  a 50/50  chance that she’ll get arthritis because of this injury. He shocked me when he said it could show up in only 4-6 weeks! We’re praying that doesn’t happen. Daisy’s only 3 years old, and I’d hate to think of her aging with worsening arthritis from such a young age.

We’re waiting for a call from the surgery this morning telling us we can pick Daisy up this afternoon. I’m a little nervous about caring for her to prevent her from injuring herself further, but mostly I can’t wait to get her back!

I snapped this picture of Daisy just before DH and DD left for the vet. I can see the difference in her expression – she looks sad, scared, and confused. (Maybe only a mommy would see the difference!)

Poor broken little Daisy.

Poor broken little Daisy.

We’re taking this as a positive sign – we got an early snow today!!

A beautiful November snow!

A beautiful November snow!

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Life Can Change In One Second…..

After our lengthy, unwanted hiatus due to moving my 90-year-old aunt into an assisted living home (more about that “adventure” another time), selling her dilapidated home (a miracle in itself), and getting all her stuff organized including bills and decades of accumulation, DD and I had a wonderful four-day weekend away last weekend so I could de-stress after the most stressful month-plus I’ve ever experienced.

But I can’t tell you about that now, because today everything changed in the flash of a second.

Little Daisy is in the hospital.

This afternoon, DD and I were working on some stuff in the family room while DH was fixing something outside. He hammered, which drove Daisy into her typical Havachon frenzy, which she truly enjoys.

She ran from window to window jumping up and down on chairs to find the source of the noise, barking up a storm in her usual “I’ll get ’em! I’ll get ’em!” adorableness, when suddenly, from the other end of the house, we heard the most horrible shriek-yipe followed by horrible nonstop cries of pain.

It was Daisy. We ran down the hallway and found her trying to hobble toward us with her hind right leg lifted in the air. DD picked her up and carried her to the sofa, where she laid her down so we could take a better look.

DD is excellent in an emergency – focused, serious, get-to-the source intense.

I fall to pieces. The cry of an injured innocent little thing sends me into a tailspin.

Daisy’s back leg looked generally okay, but she couldn’t put any weight on it. Then I noticed that the bottom half past the knee looked out of whack.

Daisy actually looked sad. Sad, scared, and confused. This is not a look we’ve ever seen on our happy little girl.

I called the emergency vet while DD comforted her (of course these things always happen on holidays or Sundays). As I’m trying to fight off something that’s giving me a sore throat, DH and DD took Daisy to the vet without me, DH driving while DD cuddled Daisy in her arms.

Twenty minutes later I got the call – Daisy tore her ACL. Those ligaments hold the bones in alignment, so that’s why her leg looked so funky.

Of course I turned to the internet to do some emergency research. Turns out that small dogs are particularly prone to this (though it happens to large dogs too), and when a dog gets one ACL tear, chances are it’ll happen to another leg too, because apparently it shows that that particular dog’s body has a tendency toward it. Great. Just great.

We had to leave Daisy there and she won’t be home until Tuesday. It’s even more uncomfortable because she’s not with our usual vet.

I can’t tell you what a hole we feel in our little family. I keep thinking I hear those happy little paws tick-tick-ticking across the floor toward me.

Tomorrow (Monday, 11/11), two board certified surgeons will be doing surgery on Daisy’s leg. They have to drill holes in her bone in order to anchor the fishing line-like thing that they use to realign everything and get those ligaments sewn back together. Then she has to stay overnight again because she’ll be heavily sedated and they want to keep an eye on her.

Daisy’s young age is to her benefit and will help her heal, but it’ll take many, many weeks. We have to somehow keep her calm and quiet during that time, and she won’t be allowed to jump on sofas either. That alone will take all our effort once she starts feeling “springy” again.

Even though this is considered “routine” and common surgery, it’s our baby and we’re upset. And we miss her terribly. We can’t stand to think of her all alone in that hospital – is she wondering why we left her while she was in pain? Does she feel hurt or confused that we’re not there?

There’s a huge void in our home tonight, and I’ll certainly miss my little buddy when everyone goes off to work tomorrow. I’ll miss looking down and seeing her trotting next to me wherever I go. I’ll miss our special morning cuddle and all-day lovies. And the constant cuteness. Oh, the cuteness!

We’ll be saying some prayers for our little one, that the surgery goes smoothly, that she doesn’t suffer, and that there are no complications or infections afterward. We just want our silly, adorable, loving, happy little baby back.

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