Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Jazz And Coach Had To Say

I have been considering calling the animal communicator for a long time, but Melinda's blog finally pushed me over the edge.  I made the appointment for 7PM and Jazz tore his knee about 7AM of the same day.  I almost called and canceled, but I was hoping she could help him get ready for surgery.  I'm so glad I called her.  She's so much fun to talk with and I learned a lot about my dogs.  I will warn all of you now - I believe this is all true.  I WANT to believe it, there is no harm in believing it, and it just feels right.  I get tired of pretending it's goofy or that I'm too smart to believe it.  It isn't goofy and I am a believer.  So here's what the dogs had to say.

Linda (the communicator) didn't want any information about the dogs except name and breed.  She had no clues at all.  She said she would talk with Jazz first and was quiet for a while.  He was asleep on the couch and I saw his ears prick up for a minute.  She asked if he was the one with the goobery eyes and headache.  He has had some eye irritation for a few days - the headache was news to me.  She said he had a headache and his left ear really hurt.  Coach had been screeching in his left ear just minutes before.  I know I had a headache so I'm assuming that was the cause of Jazz's headache as well!

He didn't complain about anything else except his right lower back was sore.  That would be from months of overusing his right leg while the left one healed.  I finally told her about his knee issues and she tried to find out how his legs felt.  He told her that he was fine and it was the steps that were to blame.  He said he did just fine if it was flat and a straight line.  He told her he would get there.  She said he is a very determined dog!  I had to laugh about the stairs thing because he had just been to the vet and since his knee was hurt I had to carry him up the stairs.  He really hates to be carried.  I think it's funny that he blames the steps for his problems.  This whole conversation made me realize that he honestly hadn't figured out that his right leg was that badly hurt.  It was too recent.

Next she asked him about Coach.  He told her that Coach is a smart aleck.  She asked if Coach was clever and he said yeah, but he was definitely not very happy about it.  Jazz said that Coach is "good boy".  He is definitely jealous.  He also said that he doesn't like the way Coach plays - he said Coach cheats.  Linda said that Jazz is very mature and wonders why I brought Coach home.  This is not a huge surprise.  He also said that Coach body slammed him in the right side.  Again - no surprise there - Coach body slams everyone!

I asked her to find out how Jazz feels about obedience.  His behavior in the ring suggests he hates it!  He told her that he has a real cool, quick sit.  She was laughing - she said he is very proud of his sit.  This cracks me up.  Part of rehab for the knee has been sit/stands.  He is so excited to get to do them because he hasn't been able to do anything for weeks.  I have been praising the heck out of his efforts and had just been telling him how quickly he was sitting after weeks of slow creaky sits.  He said obedience is OK but agility is more fun because he likes the talking.  I knew he had more fun in agility, but I never thought the talking part was that big a deal to him.  I think I can use that information to help him with obedience.  We'll see.

I had been trying my own communicating lately to help him stop being so afraid of thunderstorms.  I put him in his kennel, laid down beside, put the kennel cover on and told him over and over that it was safe.  It seemed to work and I asked Linda to see if he really heard me.  She said he kept saying something about fabric making it safe.  By Jove I think he got it!

She tried to tell him that he needed surgery again but he would be able to do agility after the surgery healed.  He said he really liked agility because he can fly.  I don't know - run fast? top of the A frame?  I'll watch and see if I can figure out what he meant by that.  He told Linda that we are a team.  I can't think of a nicer compliment.

Then it was Coach's turn.  Oh my.  He was laying in his kennel chewing a bone.  He stopped chewing for a second, cocked his head and went back to chewing.  The first thing he told her was that he didn't do anything different.  He did the same thing he always does and it wasn't his fault.  I was really floored.  She said he was feeling guilty.  I don't know if this was because I hollered at him to make him leave Jazz alone (he was pulling Jazz's tail to try to get him to play) or if the earlier mentioned body slam is when Jazz hurt his knee.  Either way, the poor little guy is only being a pup.  No blame from me or Jazz as far as I can tell.

He thinks Jazz is a goody two shoes.  He said Jazz is always perfect.  At least they are equally jealous of each other!

Linda said he is at that "know it all" teenager stage - no surprise to anyone who knows him.  She described him as tough, but not a bully.  Pushy (oh yes), determined, independent thinking like a cat.  She said he thinks of me as a playmate.  He likes agility because it's a game we play together, but he likes to play with me in general.  I have to graduate from playmate to team mate, but I'm sure we'll get there.

So that was my communicator experience.  It was great!  I will certainly call her again one of these days.  I learned so much about both dogs.  I think these were mostly things I knew, but the difference in perspective was very interesting and the whole experience was just plain fun.  I sure needed the distraction the night before Jazz had to have surgery!  Thanks Linda - from me and the boys.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Knee Bites the Dust

On the 12 week anniversary of knee surgery on the left knee, Jazz tore the right knee.  This time the ACL was completely torn (only partial last time) and the miniscus (sp?) is intact (torn but left in last time.)  I just don't have the heart to get too dramatic about all this.  As my husband said when I asked for a divorce - I'm pretty disappointed.

The knee tore on Wednesday and I had him in to the surgeon and my vet on Wednesday afternoon.  I scheduled surgery for Thursday morning.  I felt like the longer we waited, the more muscle mass he would lose.  He still hasn't built his left leg up to strength and I just didn't want him to lose any more muscle than absolutely necessary.  We met with Dr Aper (the regular surgeon at Eastern Iowa Veterinary Specialty Clinic) who was on maternity leave for the last surgery.  She discussed a new procedure called a tightrope surgery.  This one does not involve breaking or cutting the bone.  I think it is similar to an older surgery that didn't work because they didn't have strong enough material.  Now they have a material that is used to replace human tendons.  They drill into the bone and tie this stuff around the joint to hold it in place.  It doesn't stretch or break like the old fishing line did, so it is a great answer.  Dr Aper has been doing these for a year or two I think.  Anyway - we had that one done.

Meanwhile, the left knee had opened a small hole and was draining fluid again.  It has been a problem since the original surgery and drove me crazy because the incision didn't want to heal.  Dr Aper looked at it and said it appeared that the implant was infected and might need to come out at some point.  I decided that "some point" is now.  Our luck has not been good and I don't want to see him almost healed and then have another surgery with another two weeks of restricted activity.  So the implant was removed at the same time as the tightrope surgery was done.  They tell me he no longer needs it in there since the knee is so thoroughly healed.  This is the hardware they removed - cool huh?
So we start over with rehab.  The amazing thing is how different this surgery has gone so far.  He is walking on both legs and has been since the day of surgery.  He wants to get out and walk and I have to restrain him.  Last time he basically slept for seven weeks.  The incision is clean and has never drained at all.  It is healing so quickly and nicely I am afraid I will jinx it by talking about it.  He is also eating well.  His overall appearance and attitude are great.  I hope and pray it stays that way.  I know that one reason for walking on both legs is that the left one is still weak so he really has to use both.  Last time he could do fine on three legs and didn't need to try to use the left one.

I talked with the animal communicator that Melinda talked about in her blog on Wednesday night before the surgery.  I will tell you more about that next time.  She was so terrific and I really learned a lot.  Anyway- she said Jazz didn't think there was anything wrong with him.  He said the problem was with the stairs.  He said he did just fine if he could go somewhere straight and flat!  I'm not positive he really knew he had hurt his knee permanently since he had been sleeping ever since it was hurt.  Anyway - I asked her to try to tell him about the surgery and tell him that he should be good and he would get well soon.  Who knows what he heard, but she tried and he has been great.

I think both vets and all the vet techs have pointed out that he can't tear his knee again because both knees are done.  I guess that's a positive thing.  This twelve weeks is up on December 30.  I am really looking forward to New Year's Eve!