My Poor Brother!!
Hi, this is Sox. Remember me? I’m the little girl furkid in the Frericks family.
Between the upcoming wedding, Dad not feeling good, and now Ditka’s problems, Mom and Dad are REALLY stressed right now so I thought maybe I should drop by here and post a blog to update you on some major Frericks Furkid happenings.
Unfortunately it’s not good news. My brother, Ditka, well he’s not doing good right now.
Let me go back and explain from my point of view.
You might remember that back during the summer when we were at Bennett Springs State Park—that really cool place with all the fish--Ditka fell down the motorhome steps. When he got up he was crying and you could see his leg bone pushing up on the top of his back. Mom and Dad found him a furkid doctor there in Missouri but she couldn’t fix it except that when he came back to the rig he was a real bore – slept for the next 3 days straight. Well, it apparently had something to do with whatever Dad was putting in those balls of cheese. He called it really good drugs. Anyway whatever that stuff was, I just couldn’t rile up my brother for nothin’ even when they’d lay him outside on his rug he wouldn’t even help me bark a welcome to all our neat neighbor furkids that would walk by in the campground.
Ok, so when we got back home they took him to another furkid hospital. I have what they call littermate anxiety issues and just can’t seem to help crying and crying when he’s taken away from me. I was so, so happy when they brought him home two days later but he must have had some more of those really good drugs. This time he had to stay in his crate so I stayed on the floor right by him.
He had this awful looking tube and needle in his side that Dad said was time-released morphine, apparently more of those ‘good drugs’ since Ditka mostly slept. I felt bad for my bro though since when he was awake he’d moan a lot and he looked awful. He had all the hair shaved off his leg and these ugly marks on his side. His side sort of looked like one of the pillows we chewed apart after Mom tried to sew it back together.
Mom and Dad said the furkid doctor said Ditka had to stay in the crate and have one of those awful cones on for 14 days. You know that’s like over 3 months in dog life! Anyway, Ditka was doing the moaning bit really well. Every time he did I’d pace around nervously by the crate just to make sure Mom and Dad were getting the full impact. It worked since it wasn’t even 24 hours and Mom took Ditka out of the crate, and put him on the couch by her sans cone. Ditka just cuddled up gratefully and ceased moaning at that point. He really knows how to play Mom. She couldn’t leave him alone without the cone or outside the crate for fear he or I would mess with those ugly stitch places. They were right—I’m sure I would have gotten that junk off of him given the chance.
As it turns out, the doctor had taken off the head of Ditka’s leg bone (femur). For many weeks Ditka would not walk on that leg. Well, duh….how are you suppose to walk when your bones aren’t attached anymore. I thought it was really funny watching him trying to do that dumb boy lift-your-leg thing. He’d have to keep re-positioning around the tree since if he tried to lift his good leg he’d fall down since his surgery leg wouldn’t hold him up. But gradually it seemed a miracle occured. Mom and Dad would dance with him, try to get him to jump for treats and take him on walks, especially up hills, and little by little his muscles started taking over and making his leg work. They called it ‘doggy rehab’.
What makes me really sad about the surgery was that it seemed to make Ditka old. He just didn’t seem to want to play with me as much anymore even though I would do some of my very best pouncing. The other strange thing is that my usual Macho-man Ditka who was always too cool to cuddle is now on the couch with his humans playing lapdog. He even is letting his big-guy Trevor hold him and loves to watch TV cuddled in next to Trevor. What kind of furkid hospital stuff did they do to change my brothers whole personality—geez!! Dad is concerned because he says that the surgery has really aged my brother and he now seems old when we are only 7 dog years old.
Ok, so I’ve been going on and on and never really telling you about the new problem—which from what I understand is that we have to now go through this whole business again---grrrrrr!!!!
Yesterday Dad put us out in the backyard for our afternoon ‘business’. I can’t tell you exactly what happened but I looked over at my brother and, there he was, suddenly in terrible pain and not able to walk on his good back leg. I was horrified and started howling and howling. As I expected, my commotion got Dad’s attention. I kept looking over to Ditka until I got Dad to realize it was Ditka I was crying about. He was in so much pain and looked so, so sad all I could do was cry for attention to help him. Later Mom and Dad told me I did really good on that part.
Dad yelled for Mom and they just sat thereon the ground in the backyard with my brother for awhile. They all looked very, very sad. They brought us inside and Dad got on the phone. Then, before long, it seemed all the nasty stuff started all over. They left me all alone here crying for my brother while they took him away. Ditka couldn’t walk so Dad carried him to the jeep and put him on Mom’s lap.
When they got back home, Ditka was sleeping. Trevor came home from football and he was very, very sad too. Mom said she had the horrible fear that they wouldn’t be able to do anything for Ditka but that instead the doctor said they could do the same surgery on the other leg and my brother should be able to walk again. It made Trevor less upset to hear that but still all my humans seem really sad right now.
They had out-of-town plans for the weekend to go help with some wedding stuff in Carlinville but now all is changed so that my brother can have surgery on Friday. All my humans are trying to figure out how to regroup around the wedding activities and Ditka’s recuperation schedule.
Mom said that two $1200 vet bills in 3 months were not in her retirement budget so they might all have to tighten their belts for awhile. That doesn’t sound like fun—glad I don’t wear a belt!!
Ditka won’t lay down by himself because it hurts him too bad. He just stands by his rug and pretty soon his surgery leg starts shaking from trying to hold him up. Ditka doesn’t like it but Dad or Trev will have to pick him up and lay him on his surgery leg. It must hurt because he doesn’t like it but he settles down after a minute or two, relieved to finally be in a resting position. Once there he doesn’t make a move.
I know it hurts Ditka to move because normally we just can’t get comfortable without having our rugs just perfectly rumpled and our whole body on the rug.
This morning, although it took some nudging, I was able to get Ditka to hobble to the patio door and do our daily morning estate survey.
Then he went outside with me but now he has a real problem. How does a guy lift-a-leg when you don’t have any strength in either hind leg. Maybe he’ll just have to watch me and do it the girl way. So far he just seems to be spending lots of time worrying through the situation with no results – poor big brother!
One thing that Mom said really worries me now. Apparently the furkid doctor said that since my littermate has this awful thing called hip dysplasia I have an 80% chance of having it too. I guess my being so scrawny is a good think in this case since it puts less stress on my hip bones. Guess this is all pretty bad luck since our breed, Shiba Inus, have a less than 3% chance of this genetic disorder, compared to the big guys, like golden retrievers, who are like 10 times more likely to get it.
Well, I guess that’s pretty bad luck, but Ditka and I have been lucky to be in a human family that loves us so, so much --- guess that good luck makes it all even out!!