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So Alex Hasn't QUITE Achieved Old-Man Status Yet.

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

So Alex Hasn't QUITE Achieved Old-Man Status Yet.

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Alex had his vet appointment this afternoon for his sore leg. He's been favoring his right hind leg a lot lately; when he first gets up, he'll limp and hold the leg off the ground. He is sometimes slow to get up, and once when we pushed him over on the bed, he showed his teeth, like we'd hurt him. We assumed that, since he's seven, he maybe had a touch of arthritis, a theory compounded by the fact that my sister's dog--who is around his age--was just diagnosed with the same.

But the vet checked his leg and pronounced that he has injured his ACL: not torn it, which would require surgery, but just strained it. So instead of having an old man's arthritis, he has an athlete's injury! (He is named after Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.) It's not surprising given the way he plays. He's on anti-inflammatories for two weeks and not allowed to run, play, or do anything more strenuous than a 5- to 10-minute walk on-lead or go outside to use the bathroom. The proscription on running and playing is going to be the hardest part, since he tears around the yard on his own and plays hard with his brother both in and out of the house. (They get in trouble pretty much every night during dinner for playing tug with inappropriate toys or the famous "ad hominem attack," when they wrestle in the house, which they are not allowed to do, with their combined weight of 150 lbs. They go into the living room where we can't see them, but I can hear their mouths snapping open and closed at each other and will holler, "No ad hominem attack!" at which point they'll come back into the dining room all wide-eyed and innocent to be reminded to "Attack the toy, not the man.") Dr. Baker is worried that he could tear his ACL, which would require an expensive surgery to fix. So we have to endure the two-week torture of keeping him from running and playing, she said, to avoid the much worse torture of paying for an expensive surgery. (Alex has health insurance, so presumably that would cover all or most of it, but we'd still rather avoid it altogether if we can.) He'll go back for a re-evaluation in two weeks.

Meanwhile, Phil was sitting on the floor next to me and let out this squeaky fart, which scared him enough to propel him to his feet and partway across the room, looking behind himself like, "WTF was that??!"

Phil went with us to the vet because, when we opened the door to let Alex out, Phil ran out too and to the car. Alex had his leash on, so that was the logical conclusion! Since we got Phil at 9 weeks, I can probably count on one hand the number of times he's been separated from Alex, and he seems incapable of wrapping his brain around the idea of Alex going somewhere separate from him. So we just let him have the ride in the car.

Completely unrelated, but today is the first full day of spring break! \0/ It's pretty nice outside, in the mid-50s and sunny. We only ended up with a dusting of snow the other day, thank goodness, and all the plants that looked damaged by the deep freeze have pretty much sprung back. It's supposed to get progressively nicer during the weekend. Tomorrow, we're planning to go to Gettysburg for a late lunch or early dinner at the French restaurant and then to see The Grand Budapest Hotel at the Majestic. Saturday, we are going back into Baltimore (twice in a week, which might be a record!) on the lightrail for lunch at a highly rated Indian restaurant, a visit to the Walters Art Museum for a bookbinding exhibit, back on the lightrail to the Inner Harbor, where we plan to visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore, then take the water taxi across to Fells Point to meet Pat and Chanel for a beer festival at Max's Bar and a slice of pizza at the legendary BOP (Brick Oven Pizzeria). And Sunday, continuing what we both have decided is a nice tradition of enjoying nature on the day of Easter for us (since we don't celebrate Easter but most things are closed that day), that we started last year when we went to the Grand Canyon, we are going to ride our bikes and have a picnic lunch along the North Central Railroad Trail. I guess an upside to us being out of the house is that Alex will be forced to stay in!



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/336881.html
  • Oh, poor Alex! Though not having arthritis certainly is very good news! I hope he will be good and follow the movement restriction - perhaps it helps if you tell him that if he has to have surgery, he would be restricted afterwards far more longer? Pitou had this surgery a few weeks back, if you remember (though to the posterior ligament) and was lucky to be left out of the room after three weeks, but it was five weeks until he was allowed back to his old range of movement. I never gave a thought before that keeping dogs "unmoving" is an equal challenge than doing so with cats - I didn't realise that playing and running around is the problem. *g *
    Give him a cuddle from me, and Phil, of course, too! ;o) And to you both a great Easter weekend. Your plans sound lovely, I hope you enjoy yourselves lots!
    • I hope he will be good and follow the movement restriction - perhaps it helps if you tell him that if he has to have surgery, he would be restricted afterwards far more longer?

      :D Luckily, he is a Golden retriever, a very trainable and generally obedient breed. (Although Alex tends toward stubbornness and always has, being very smart [Phil not so much], a lot like a rebellious kid.) So if I tell him to go lay down, he usually will. He's laying down now next to me, definitely looking a little sorry for himself, as Bobby went outside to move things in the lawnmower cart without him. A travesty.

      I never gave a thought before that keeping dogs "unmoving" is an equal challenge than doing so with cats

      I'd much rather try to keep the dogs immobile than the cat. When Freyja was spayed, we were told that she couldn't run or jump for two weeks. Lol. She was a six-month-old kitten, i.e., very active and not very bright.

      I hope you have a lovely weekend too! :)
  • Good for Alex Good luck with keeping him on doggie bed rest. Ha! That's one way in which kids and dogs are not much different.

    Edited at 2014-04-17 07:24 pm (UTC)
    • The good thing is that, if we keep him in the house, the most activity he usually engages in (aside from nightly attempts at ad hominem attacks with his brother) is going from window to window to see where Bobby is in the yard. And with us being away much of the weekend, then he'll be home and asleep.

      I'd much rather keep a dog immobile than a cat! When Freyja was spayed, we were told she couldn't run or jump for two weeks, which is like telling the sun not to rise or set for two weeks.
  • Good news for Alex - and you too! Keeping him quiet for two weeks ... my sympathies. When Benito broke his back leg at two months old, the vet recommended trying to keep him from running and jumping and doing puppy things to see if it mended on its own. Two days later, he changed his mind and immobilized it in a plaster cast as immobilizing the dog was out of the question! And he can't have weighed more then five kilos.

    • Alex is sound asleep right now! The good thing for Alex versus Benito is that Alex is seven years old and sleeps like an old man. :D Immobilizing a two-month-old puppy is not something I'd want to attempt. If we keep him in the house, he should stay pretty settled down. It's just going to be hard keeping him in the house with the weather so nice!
  • I hope Alex's leg will heal.
  • I giggled at the ad hominem attacks. Our dog's done the fart thing too, in the past. :P

    Poor pup. He doesn't know it'll save you money and him trauma and pain! Give him extra hugs and treats!

    Edited at 2014-04-18 09:42 am (UTC)
  • Poor Alex, I hope he does what the Doctor ordered so that he will feel better in a few short weeks. Have a wonderful and relaxing Easter Sunday. I'll be busy cooking a turkey and thinking about you enjoying the sunshine :-)

    - Erulisse (one L)
  • Aaaaw, Alex! Glad to hear it wasn't arthritis.

    Between "No ad hominem attack!" and Phil being startled by his own fart, I am cracking up here. :^D

    I'm interested to hear your take on The Budapest Hotel. I'm a big Wes Anderson fan, and Mr. P wants to see the movie.
  • I'm glad it's not arthritis and I hope it heals well! Good luck keeping him calm…
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