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Vet called to confirm appointment. Honestly that was a relief β€” I was a tiny bit afraid something would come up to complicate it. We have reconciled ourselves to it as a thing that will help his painful limp/stumbles.

So we dropped him off at the animal hospital at 8 for surgery. He was a bit grumpy because he a) dislikes the donut, b) didn't get his morning carrot.

But he was hydrated and exercised.

This will be the hardest part before he's sedated---being in one of their crates.

just got the call that he's going back for surgery now -- the vet is generally positive though he'll be getting painkillers to get through a few hard days up front.

I made him a one-armed t-shirt that matches a jumpsuit I just made for me. First draft, so I'll iterate as needed.

Just made myself this jumpsuit last night and this morning, then made Sterling a matching t-shirt without a right arm. Now I am crashing thanks to meds, which -- it's a nice comfy jumpsuit, so that worked out well.

Not a perfect run but I know how to make one if I want another.

Surgery is done. He’s come out of it a little but they just gave him more strong meds. Looking at transferring him to a local animal hospital for overnight care (briefly discussed but hadn’t gone into details before).

The vet said he’d be in a lot of pain tonight and it could be helpful to have people with more pain management options to care for him. Less stress on us to identify a crisis

He's on a painkiller IV drip over there & monitoring. First we had to carry him around the parking lot until they were ready to take him in.

Sterling's looking at the camera.

When he gets home I should be able to put the new t-shirt (or one I made earlier this week) on him to cover the wound and that should be good.

We'll see how things are at 7am -- he might go back to the original hospital or he might come home.

we both got to give him a lot of snugs during the transfer and wait. It was emotionally really hard at points but also he definitely knew it was us and that he was getting love.

Ok, updates! Sterling had a good night at the overnight vet--continued some hydration, monitoring, IV drip of drugs helped him be comfortable/dopey enough to eventually sleep. He's back at the daytime animal hospital now for tapering IV meds (already started taper abt 2am).

He hasn't yet eaten any food -- he was offered chicken over night and refused it. So regular vet is on that one.

He stood up a little wobblyly in my lap and tried to jump into Micah's--it was not successful, but valiant!

So we got him home and he was very interested in the chicken and rice but then even more so in the water! While he'd had an IV for fluids, I think his mouth was dry. Lookit him go! (we're gonna put down a mat for standing while he eats too)

He's now hanging out in the backyard on a pile of blankets. Sniffing the wind. trying out different positions, obviously it'll be comfier when he doesn't have a giant wound with staples and can flop on that side.

Everyone: don't worry, dogs adjust quickly

Us: yesterday after surgery πŸ˜•

Us today, one hour after getting him home: Sterling Tillman -- are you DIGGING?

There was a lot of hopping around and experiments and some faceplants and tips sideways too... but he's doing awesome, especially for an older boy.

Pupdates: He had a good sleep last night -- his daddy stayed in the sunroom with him but he only needed to go out and pee once. He's doing ok on 3 stairs, we aren't risking the basement stairs.

He enjoyed his morning carrot!

He's looking sharp in his mushroom shirt! Washing yesterday's shirt and making two more one-legged t-shirts so we can have a clean one for him daily with less laundry.

He's napping with me while I make them.

I told the vet we had peas at home and there was a very confused moment when I realized I left out β€œfrozen” and β€œfor icing to reduce swelling”

The whole "suddenly one leg is gone" experience is almost like he had a rendering glitch. He's our glitch puppy!

Micah got home with sushi and the dog just BOOKED IT from the backyard into the house (where he got some chicken but not the sushi)

successful evacuation! Obviously he still has to physically heal up but he's eating, sleeping, hopping about with interest, tackling upstairs even from the basement with decent success (and one parent always behind in case he stumbles too badly), and now this... so I feel like we are doing very well!!!

cannot express how good it is when Sterling looks at me with his normal little facial expressions. He's nowhere near back at 100% yet--but he's so much himself.

things that are not normal:

Sterling and his bed, which had to be washed at the vet, do not smell right. We can wash the bed again, but should probably not wash the Sterling until his staples are out. So gotta wait until he gets past this antiseptic smell.

I am deeply grateful to a) the surgical team who prepped him for the most sterile surgery possible and b) the overnight care people who had to clean him up a few times because it's hard to control your body when you're doped and lost a limb.

I knew we'd get here, but I didn't expect to get here less than 3.5 days after his surgery?

This is basically his normal method and once he did alternating back legs... which is his alternative method!

We took a longer walk this morning and he got really excited about all the things he can sniff! It's only been 4 days (less than that when this video was recorded!) and the first day was horrible but now??? He's just like ... hop hop hop hop let's sniff all the things I missed!!

Last night he got to practice learning to be left-pawed with a piggy ear. He normally holds his treats down with his right paw, so there was a bit of a learning curve, but he's figuring it out!

Some pupdates!! Today, he got up from a sun nap and then, instead of coming inside, he slipped under the stool so that he could STILL be sunning his butt!!!

dog update - medical, good 

Saw the vet over lunch -- she removed his staples but he still has a lot of interior dissolving stitches so he's got plenty of healing support. She's really happy with how well he's healing so far!

to update this thread -- he's done pretty well through the week except... last night he started really bothering his surgery spot (in occasional cleanings, scabs are coming off and nice pink skin is showing, yay!)

This was... very pathetic. And he's now back in the donut.

(he can actually get at the far Y-end of his scar, so that's a problem... we watched for a bit to see if he was just itchy and trying or if he could actually mess with it an alas he could)

@platypus This is exactly the behavior I'd expect from my own gremlin hound.

@bright_helpings like it's so FUNNY but also really pathetic AND like... buddy, you're catching the end of your Y, so we can't let you do that.


@platypus funny + pathetic + actually likely to do yourself an injury is big Gary vibes. :)

Sending love to you all. This long-haul recovery part is going to be a different kind of exhausting than the crisis part, but it still must be exhausting.

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