The only thing worse than having your puppy go through leg surgery, is having your puppy go through leg surgery twice…just a year a part.

Remember December 2007?

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The equivalent of a torn ACL in humans left him bandaged and gimpy with a very, VERY long recovery time.

Enter January 2009.

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Same leg, different injury. This time, cartilage in the knee that needed to be removed. Less invasive, no cast and a shorter recovery time, but still hard on him. Especially since they keep shaving off his hair and exposing his chicken leg.

We have our fingers crossed that this surgery will be the final one…allowing him to live happy, healthy and pain-free for many more years.

The first few days of post-op are the hardest. Just getting him out of the SUV last night was a production — I squatting behind him in the trunk trying to rotate him as Michael tried to get a grip under his front legs. And because of all the medication, Kodiak kept falling asleep in our arms, his head drooping from side to side.

I assume it’s like the first few days home with a newborn…constantly monitoring them. Sleeping in shifts (Dad slept on the couch, waking every hour to whines from a puppy in pain — and I’m taking the day shift, stroking his head and helping him outside while Michael sleeps.)

Last year the medicine did not agree with him and he had a major accident in the house. Wanting to avoid this scenario all together, he is on different meds this time. So far so good, but we’re so paranoid that every wail that comes out of his mouth has us on edge — do you have to go out? Are you sick?

Going out of course means threading a towel under his hind legs to help lift him as he goes down two steps to the outdoors. This is no easy task with such a big dog.

Past experience also taught us that while he has to eat to take the medicine, he has no interest in his usual food. As it turns out, all he will eat is yogurt and carrots, which have to be hand-fed to him since he can’t stand in front of his bowl. I love Kodiak, I really do, but it breaks my heart when he cries and I can’t decipher between hungry, pain or bathroom. I can only hope I’m guessing correctly.

In 10 days the stitches will be removed and by then he should be walking around again instead of awkwardly hopping. Let”s hope we have a speedy and successful recovery!

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